Drinking Gatorade is a popular way to re-hydrate and replace your body’s lost electrolytes. That benefit is well known but can pet dogs consume it for the same reasons?
Actually, some say this sports drink can help dogs recover from sicknesses such as diarrhea. So while active people often gulp down their favorite Gatorade flavor after a workout, it may be useful for your dog in other ways.
We are going to take a close look at Gatorade’s suitability for dogs and compare it to alternatives including plain old water. We’ll also address its potential use for active dogs as well as Gatorade’s health recovery abilities.
Can I Give My Dog Gatorade? Answer: Yes, but not routinely and Pedialyte is better for rehydration
Under normal circumstances, your dog only needs water but an occasional taste of Gatorade is fine.
Just like for humans, all livings things for that matter, water is the ultimate go-to hydration solution for dogs. We have so many beverage options these days, including lots of Gatorade flavors, but your dog’s life should be kept simple and routine.
Consider Your Objective
The key difference is that people drink Gatorade routinely and dogs probably should not. Of course, you can occasionally serve some to Fido during the hot summer months. It does make for a nice refreshing treat, and there are worse things you can give a dog, but you shouldn’t get into the habit of doing so. There’s no definitive answer regarding dogs and Gatorade. There are pros and cons but it’s safe to say that moderation, at the very least, is a good policy.
Gatorade for Dehydration
There are, however, certain situations where Gatorade may be of some benefit to your dog. You can provide it temporarily, when you don’t have anything better for restoring dehydration. For example, sometimes Gatorade comes in handy for canine diarrhea. Of course, if your dog is sick then they probably need something a bit more helpful than a sports drink. One of the best liquids for handling dehydration and a smooth recovery is Pedialyte.
The Problem w/ Beverages
All those tasty drinks that you see on the shelves almost always contain fairly high levels of sugar, salt or caffeine. Ironically, many other questionable additives are also included which only serve to make you more dehydrated.
Remember that dogs have smaller sized organs. They shouldn’t be forced to process refined sugars, preservatives, chemicals and other unnatural ingredients that are put into human beverages. Unfortunately, that also includes Gatorade to a certain degree. We think it should be used sparingly and only when it makes sense.
The Sugar Factor
Sugar is a big reason why your dog shouldn’t be routinely given Gatorade. While the levels in this drink are less than those found in most colas and many other beverages, it still contains several grams per serving. You may be of the opinion that it’s harmless but really, even if your dog’s health isn’t at all affected, it’s a bad habit to introduce because they may come to expect it.
Sodium as Well
Gatorade also contains a fair amount of sodium which is where the electrolytes come into play. Suffice it to say, your dog doesn’t need to replace their electrolyte levels to the same degree that professional athletes do. This is why Gatorade isn’t as practical for dogs as it may be for people. Rest assured, if you have a healthy dog, they are already getting what they need from good old fashioned fresh water in their bowl.
Conclusion on Gatorade
Your dog won’t benefit from drinking Gatorade in the same way athletes do. However, if your best buddy is recovering from a sickness, it can be used to re-hydrate them. Ensuring hydration is an important part of any recovery. Just be mindful that there’s a degree of undesirable ingredients in Gatorade so there are better options. If your dog is dehydrated then consider using Pedialyte or even Kaopectate instead. Even if your four-legged friend is very active, you probably shouldn’t be providing them with Gatorade regularly. A steady and fresh supply of water is always best.