Can You Give a Dog Gatorade?: Without a doubt, water equilibrium is the key to a well-hydrated dog and it is undeniable that hydration is as vital for dogs as it is for humans. Water is needed by them, like every other mammal, for regular body functions.
Since dogs are unable to regain the lost fluids from their bodies as quickly as humans can, dehydration can be one of the worst conditions dogs have to go through. To prevent this, you have to ensure that the level of electrolyte in your dog’s body is maintained.
This is the reason why Gatorade was taken into consideration to be given to dogs. As it helps humans to rapidly replenish the liquids they lose after intense workouts and maintain their hydration level. People also use it in case of excessive vomiting or diarrhea.
It is known that Gatorade is the best drink to work for humans, how suitable is it for dogs?
Giving Gatorade To Your Dog:
First off lets talk about what is in this drink. Basically Gatorade is a sports drink developed to compensate for the crucial liquids that are lost from a body. It consists of sugar and electrolytes like sodium, sugar, phosphate, and potassium.
Some of these ingredients are essential which help in maintaining the body’s balance and some could be harmful. Maintenance of the body’s balance is very important for nerve, muscle, and brain functioning.
Dehydration in your dog is a serious condition that must not be left untreated or it could lead to fatalities. Some of the day-to-day causes of dehydration are panting, breathing, urinating, and sweating. All of these lead to the loss of liquids from a dog’s body.
Usually, water is deemed sufficient to keep dogs hydrated but in severe cases of dehydration, experts recommend providing dogs with energy drinks such as Gatorade to help them recover quickly. If dogs have lost liquids from their body over a short period of time due to vomiting or diarrhea, Gatorade helps in replenishing those fluids much more rapidly than plain water.
There are a few symptoms of dehydration that you need to be familiar with to detect any such problem in your dog in future. If you notice that your dog is being lethargic and is not being more active than usual, they might be dehydrated. They will lose their appetite and may appear weak. Excessive panting, loss of skin elasticity, dry nose, gums and eyes and lack of focus are some other signs of deficiency of water in your dog.
Gatorade can also be given to dogs if they have gone through surgery and are not able to stomach solid foods. If given in adequate amounts, it will help heal your dog quite quickly.
Even when given in less amount, Gatorade can bring immense changes in your dog when it is feeling sick or its energy level is lower than usual.
The pros of giving Gatorade to your dog
Due to the presence of electrolytes in Gatorade, it makes up for the lost minerals such as sodium and potassium in your dog’s body and helps in making them feel better much faster than plain water. In short, Gatorade is an instant source of keeping your dog hydrated.
Gatorade has come up with an advanced version of itself that solely consists of organic ingredients. Despite being made in labs, it has absolutely no artificial content which means that there is no use of any such flavours, colours and preservatives.
The cons of giving Gatorade to your dog
A typical bottle of Gatorade contains loads of Sugars which is not essential for a human’s body at all let alone a dog’s. It can be extremely bad for a dog’s health if they are unable to take in all the sugary content. As a dog’s body is much smaller than a human’s, their organs do not readily process sugar if given in large amounts.
Dogs mainly lose water and not salts when they sweat. As Gatorade is not specifically developed for a dog’s body, it can have a negative effect on them and they may end up losing even more water.
The answer to your question about giving your dog Gatorade is in affirmative. You can give your dog Gatorade when they are dehydrated. However, it is extremely necessary for you to follow some precautions to avoid any further problems that are caused due to large doses of this drink.
The correct procedure of giving Gatorade to your dog
The first thing that you need to be very careful about is to introduce this beverage slowly into your dog’s body. To lessen the amount of sugar and sodium intake in your dog’s body, the best way is to dilute it with water with a 50:50 ratio of Gatorade and water. In this way, they can safely take advantage of all the nutrients and are also relieved of any consequent stress on their organs, especially kidneys which can lead to infections or even stones by the time.
For an even slower consumption of Gatorade by your dog, you can freeze the diluted version of Gatorade in ice cubes and then leave it to melt at room temperature.
You have to make sure that this is done only when your dog is suffering from dehydration and seriously needs the electrolyte. As mentioned earlier, you can also go for the organic version of Gatorade which does not use artificial colours, flavours and preservatives. It is a much safer option for your dog and will also help in cutting down the excess amount of sugar and sodium present in Gatorade.
The alternates of Gatorade for your dog
There are several other options that you can choose instead of Gatorade if you are not comfortable with it. You can go for Smart Water which consists of added electrolytes with the absence of any sugars, colors and flavors resulting in it being a rather safer option for your dog.
Coconut water is another alternative that you can go for. The fact that it is a natural, unsweetened, and unflavoured drink makes it a very healthy option. It consists of minerals and vitamins which can prove to be beneficial for your dog. Although it does contain some sugar content, it is all-natural and no extra sugar is added to coconut water in markets.
If you prefer a homemade cure for dehydration, you can consider making diluted chicken broth. Although it requires you to be a bit more patient, it is a very effective way for dogs to help get better. To prepare the broth, you have to freeze cubes of the leftover water of simmered chicken. Add some of these cubes to your dog’s water bowl. You can also add vegetables to your broth to add flavors to it and obtain an improved version.
To prevent your dog’s bowl from getting infectious, you will have to ensure proper hygiene and change the liquid before refilling the bowl.
There are plenty of other sports drinks that consist of electrolytes and make up for a good alternative for Gatorade. They are readily available in markets today.
Also, plain water is also an excellent source of hydration if you add salt and sugar in proper proportions to it.
It must be clear by now that Gatorade is not the very first option experts recommend for a dog in every situation.
Your dog could be suffering from different ailments that may be mistaken for dehydration. It is preferred that you contact your dog’s vet and ask for their advice first.
There are certain diseases that do not respond well to Gatorade.
If your dog remains sick for long and does not show any sign of improvement, it is a clear indication to visit the vet.
If your dog does not stop vomiting, it is hesitant to drink water and has become too lethargic, then it is time for a visit to the vet.
To prevent dehydration in your dog, water is seemingly the best option.
However, if the situation grows a bit too serious, you can give your dog Gatorade and only if you practice moderation. There are several other alternatives you can switch to, preferably natural sources, to withstand dehydration.