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Hydration is basically vital for all living creatures, including dogs. While the weather is hot enough, no amount of water seems to be enough to help you get rid of your thirst and get you the necessary minerals that you lose through sweating.
This is why Gatorade of other sports drinks might help people get hydrated, containing sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes, as well as sugar. Gatorade will do a great job replacing the needed fluids we will lose while spending a lot of time outdoors. IF you’re having stomach issues and are vomiting or suffering from diarrhea, this is also a great drink to help you quickly replace the fluids lost within a short period of time.
So Gatorade works great for humans, this is a fact. But what about dogs and Gatorade?
Can Dogs Drink Gatorade?
Yes, dogs can drink Gatorade and will normally have no side effects from it. That being said, there are a few things that you should keep in mind when giving your dog Gatorade.
- Introduce it slowly
Don’t give fluids to your dog if it has been passing diarrhea or vomiting, but only a few times and its health looks good otherwise. This is because, when your dog is experiencing these symptoms, it usually means that its digestive system is trying to get rid of some toxins and it should be left to do its job.
IF you still want to give it something to drink, just give it water slowly, just a few sips if possible. This is to prevent an unwanted scenario in which the dog will drink a full bowl of water and then throw it up completely again. This will be a lot worse for its health than not giving it liquids at all. The best thing you can do is to just give it a small amount of water and see how it reacts to it and whether it can keep the liquid inside the body. Wait around 10 to 15 minutes between giving it liquids and see whether it throws them up or not. Keep doing this until you notice that your dog isn’t asking for more water.
You can give your dog just water, substitute some of it with Gatorade, or give it straight up Gatorade. It’s all up to you and the liquids you have at hand.
You should do the same with its food as well. Add it back into the dog’s diet slower than water if you see it has stomach issues because a dog can always go longer without food than without water. Wait for the vomiting or diarrhea to stop and then, after a few hours, give it just a small amount of bland food and see how its body will react to it. If your dog won’t eliminate the food within a few minutes, give it some more bland food, and more after that, leaving considerable intervals between feedings.
- Sugar and sodium
One of the aspects that should be considered when feeding your dog with Gatorade is the amount of sodium and sugar in it. Although it will do wonders in replacing the lost liquids, there is a caveat as well. A dog is usually smaller than a human, which means its organs will also be smaller than those of a human.
Our kidneys are big and strong enough to take a full bottle of Gatorade in one go, without having issues handling the sodium and sugar in it. This isn’t the case for most dogs. They will also have a considerably harder time processing additives the way we do, which means that too much sugar or sodium can lead to complications.
Your dog will feel considerable pressure on its kidneys if it gets a frequent intake of Gatorade. In an effort to process these, it will lose considerable amounts of additional minerals that are very important for the dog’s body. This stress will lead to very severe issues in time, like kidney stones or even kidney infections.
So, what can you do as a dog owner?
Keep the amounts of Gatorade your dog gets as limited as possible. Don’t just empty a bottle into their water bowl instead, just give them a few sips from time to time.
It will be pretty hard to keep your dog from this drink because it does taste good and it will help with their thirst. You will be responsible for giving your dog just small amounts of the drink at a time and stopping it from getting more than a few sips each time.
How to Give Your Dog Gatorade?
You can try to mix Gatorade with water, in a 50 – 50 ratio, before giving it to your dog. You can do this easily by just drinking half of a Gatorade bottle and then filling it up with water. This is to make sure your dog won’t get too much sugar or sodium to become a burden for its kidneys, while also getting the needed nutrients out of the drink.,
If the dog has mild diarrhea or vomiting or if you’re just looking for something to give it for some additional hydration during summer, then you can freeze the Gatorade and make small ice cubes from it then give it to the dog. It will usually come down to the situation at hand. It might not be the best thing for the animal to eat Gatorade Popsicles if it is already throwing up.
When Should you Give it Gatorade?
Most of the experts agree that you shouldn’t give your dog Gatorade if it is severely dehydrated and is vomiting intensively or has issues with diarrhea. These cases are better handled with just water, to avoid any additional stress on your dog’s kidneys and unnecessary sodium and sugar intakes.
It is also very important to remember that Gatorade, like most other sports drinks, isn’t made from natural ingredients. You will even find written on its label and on its official website that Gatorade is a lab-made drink. This means that you would either have to trust its creators that the drink is perfectly made to hydrate all creatures, or take it with a grain of sand and consider that it wouldn’t be appropriate for a smaller-sized animal to drink it.
Regardless of your beliefs, you should refrain from giving your dog high amounts of Gatorade.
Dehydration can be really tough on your dog’s health and it can even become fatal if left untreated. This is why you should keep the pet hydrated especially during hotter months.
Although Gatorade is advertised as the perfect drink to counter the effects of dehydration, you should still give it to your pet in moderation. Don’t just pour a bottle of Gatorade directly into your dog’s water bowl, especially if not properly diluted. It could have very bad effects in the long run.