Gatorade is a "power" drink that was created for and made popular by athletes to replace their electrolytes after an intense sporting game or physical workout. But even though it is primarily used in athletics, it has found its way into the canine world, too.
Can dogs drink Gatorade? The answer is yes, but know the reasons why and the facts behind this drink before you fill up Fido's bowl on NolongerWild
Why Would My Dog Need Gatorade?
Gatorade consists of basically water, sodium, sugar, potassium, phosphate and flavoring. We know these ingredients are vital to a depleted human body, but when would your dog need Gatorade?
Just like in humans, dehydration would be the main reason you might give your canine companion a gulp or two of Gatorade. Dehydration can be caused by excessive fluid loss due to vomiting, diarrhea, fever, heat stroke or over exertion. There may also be other underlying issues for these symptoms that a simple slurp of Gatorade will not cure, so this sports drink would only be used as a quick "fix" if there's nothing else available.
Signs of Dehydration in Dogs Dehydration can be a serious issue for dogs, especially in the smaller breeds that can lose electrolytes very quickly. Look for these signs to find out if your dog is dehydrated:
- Dry, pale gums
- Thick saliva
- Sunken in eyes
- Loss of elasticity in the skin
If left untreated your dog can go into shock and even die from dehydration. Know the signs and always be sure to have cool, fresh water available for your dog at all times to prevent dehydration from happening.
How Do I Give My Dog Gatorade?
You would never want to just pour the contents of a bottle of Gatorade into your dog's bowl and expect him to drink it. First off, this drink comes in flavors humans find delicious; however, they are not usually palatable to a dog, much less one that is dehydrated and not feeling well.
The best way to get this sports drink into Fido is to mix it with water: for the amount you use of Gatorade, mix that same amount in water.
Another way to help keep your dog hydrated on hot days is to freeze the 50/50 mixture of Gatorade and water in ice cube trays. Pop one out and let your dog lick it to help keep him hydrated.
The Problem With Gatorade
Since Gatorade is marketed towards humans, there are ingredients in it that are not necessarily the best option for dogs. These include:
1. Sugar - too much sugar in a dog's diet can lead to tooth decay and obesity.
2. Sodium (Salt) - too much sodium can lead to excessive thirst, which will lead to excessive urination.
A Better Solution
If your dog has been suffering from vomiting or diarrhea which has lead to dehydration, it's better to use Pedialyte. This liquid contains sodium, chloride, and potassium and is normally marketed for infants and toddlers.
However, it is a much better choice for dehydration in dogs because it doesn't contain artificial colors, flavors or sugar the way Gatorade does. Pedialyte is readily available at any drugstore and large box retailers.
Can Dogs Drink Gatorade? Only in a Pinch
Giving your dog a dose of Gatorade will not cure the problem, but is good in a pinch if Fido is dehydrated; however, Pedialyte is better. If your dog is suffering from vomiting or diarrhea be sure to get to the root of the problem. Leaving these symptoms untreated can lead to more serious health issues, so be sure to address them with your veterinarian.