Last Updated on December 12, 2021 by Griselda M.
Dogs are quite prone to dehydration in the hot summer days or after exercise but can dogs drink Gatorade for dehydration or is this a No-No? Standard Gatorade is a mixture of water, sodium (salt) sucrose (sugar), electrolytes, and various other flavor/coloring ingredients.
None of these are technically bad for a dog in moderation but are they good in Gatorade? And, more importantly, is Gatorade a good substitute for water for a dehydrated pooch?
Is Gatorade Bad for Dogs in Any Way?
The short answer here is that Gatorade is not bad for dogs as long as it’s used in moderation. There isn’t anything in standard Gatorade that can harm your dog unless you go overboard with it. The flavors and colors in some types of Gatorade can be an issue, however, so stick to flavorless Gatorade instead.
The Problem With Sugar and Sodium
The main thing to watch out for when giving your pooch Gatorade is the sugar and sodium in it. These two elements are filtered through the kidneys and, in moderation, a dog’s kidneys can handle them easily.
However, Gatorade is designed for people and not for dogs so too much of it can overwhelm your dog’s kidneys. This is especially true for mid-sized and smaller dog breeds such as Miniature Dachshunds, Lhasa apsos, Yorkshire terriers, Miniature schnauzers, Shih Tzus, and others.
Be especially careful if you know your dog has kidney problems or a predisposition to developing such an issue. Too much Gatorade too fast can lead to kidney infections or kidney failure which is very unpleasant.
How Much Gatorade Is Too Much for A Dog?
Dogs can come in hundreds of breeds and sizes. Additionally, every dog’s kidney health is different too. So, there’s no precise “safe” quantity we can give you. However, the rule of thumb is to limit the Gatorade to several gulps before switching to water.
Can Dogs Drink Gatorade for Dehydration for The Electrolytes?
Electrolytes are as important for a dog’s health as they are for ours. They help preserve the water balance in the dog’s body and they benefit the electrical impulses in the dog’s muscles and nervous system. The three most important electrolytes for a dog are sodium, potassium, and chloride, all of which are present in most types of Gatorade.
So, can dogs drink Gatorade for dehydration for its electrolytes? Yes, Gatorade can be beneficial for dogs in this way. Sodium and chloride are crucial for maintaining a proper water balance, and potassium is key for the dog’s cardiac and muscle contractions.
However, as we talked about sodium and sugar above, more isn’t always better. You should always give Gatorade to your dog in moderation even if you know the pup needs the electrolytes.
Learn more about: Are Wiener Dogs Hypoallergenic?
Can Dogs Drink Gatorade for Dehydration in The Long Term?
Even if you give Gatorade to dogs in small quantities per day, can dogs have Gatorade every day for years? Technically, yes, regular intake shouldn’t be a problem as long as the quantities are small enough. One thing to watch out for is kidney stones.
Kidney stones in dogs form in much the same way they do in humans. The leading causes usually are:
- Not enough water
- Too much sugar and sodium
- High oxalate foods such as nuts, rhubarb, beets, green beans, or spinach
- Regular calcium supplements
As you can see, substituting a lot of your dog’s water intake with Gatorade can easily lead to kidney stones in the long term. However, Gatorade is rarely the lone cause of kidney stones. Regular unhealthy treats and frequent dehydration also contribute a great deal to kidney stones.
To avoid such problems you should just make sure your dog is always well-hydrated. A bit of Gatorade in addition to the water shouldn’t be an issue.
Can You Give Dogs Gatorade After Vomiting or Diarrhea?
Gatorade is usually recommended for people after vomiting or diarrhea and the same goes for dogs too. Dehydration in dogs is a big problem after vomiting and diarrhea, after all, and that’s what Gatorade is designed to help with. However, as with water, you should be very careful with how much you give your dog to drink after vomiting.
How to Give Gatorade to Your Dog After Vomiting or Diarrhea?
The best way to go about this is to just give your dog a few small sips at a time. Giving your dog too much to drink – whether water or Gatorade – can just cause another round of vomiting or diarrhea. Instead, give the pooch just a bit and then take a several minutes break to see how the canine’s body takes it. If everything seems fine, give the dog a few more sips.
If there has been no repeated vomiting or diarrhea, you can eventually allow your dog to drink to its heart’s content. Just make sure that it’s not just Gatorade – the water should be the main ingredient.
Can Dogs Have Gatorade During Long Hikes or Hot Summer Days?
As with vomiting and diarrhea, Gatorade can be helpful in the scorching summer heat as well. Dogs can get severely dehydrated even by just a short hike if the weather is hot enough.
The fact that your dog is in dire need of hydration isn’t an excuse to go overboard with the Gatorade, however. Small quantities are still a must and clean water should be the main remedy. So, if you don’t have water with you and you only have Gatorade, you can give some to your dog. But you should use the time the Gatorade has given you to find water for your dog.
Should You Give Dogs Gatorade Instead of Water Under Normal Circumstances?
If your dog doesn’t like drinking water but enjoys Gatorade, mixing the two is a good trick to get the pooh to stay hydrated. Using unsweetened coconut water is also a good substitute for Gatorade in such situations.
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