Can I Give My Dog Gatorade?

Can I Give My Dog Gatorade?Drinking Gatorade is a popular way to re-hydrate and replace electrolytes. But can your dog consume it for the same reasons?

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While active folks routinely gulp down their favorite Gatorade flavor after a good workout, its usefulness for a pet dog is questionable.

The truth is that Gatorade, compared to alternatives, isn’t a great choice. Sure, there are potential health recovery abilities so let’s take a closer look…

Can I Give My Dog Gatorade? Answer: Yes, but Pedialyte is better

Only water is needed under normal circumstances.

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 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

Tasty drinks on the supermarket shelves almost always contain high levels of sugar, salt or caffeine. Ironically, many other questionable additives are also included which only serve to make you more dehydrated.

Dogs have smaller sized organs. They can’t process refined sugars, preservatives, chemicals and other unnatural ingredients in these 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 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 some 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. 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 Gatorade in the same way athletes do. Understand there’s a degree of undesirable ingredients in Gatorade. There are better options such as Pedialyte or Kaopectate. Don’t provide Gatorade regularly. A steady and fresh supply of water is best.

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Dr. Stephanie Flansburg Cruz, a practicing vet, has reviewed and endorsed this article. She has 3 dogs of her own and cares about the welfare of all animals.


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