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- If given in small amounts, Gatorade will not hurt your dog. Same goes for other electrolyte drinks.
- Gatorade and other electrolyte drinks can help dehydrated dogs replenish their water and electrolyte levels. It can also provide vitamins and other minerals.
- Avoid giving your dog too much Gatorade too often as it has high levels of sugar and sodium. Homemade electrolyte water without high sugar and sodium content is a better option.
Yes. A bit of Gatorade wouldn’t cause any harm to your dog. But since Gatorade is intended for humans, its nutrient content is not compatible for dogs’ bodies in large amounts.
You probably know by now that dogs have a bit of a sweet tooth. They enjoy natural sugars in fruits such as nectarines. A single Gatorade Thirst Quencher has 36 grams of sugar —one reason I would rather give my dogs homemade electrolytes—so letting them lap up a small amount can certainly satisfy a dog’s sugar craving. However, they’re unlikely to prefer any flavors that are citrus-based, such as lemon and orange.
But before you go and let your dog chug a whole bottle of Gatorade when they’re dehydrated, consider the risks that the sports drink can pose to their health. I’ve listed these below, as well as the better alternatives for Fido.
Health Benefits of Letting Your Dog Drink Gatorade
It supplements your dog’s electrolytes
The primary purpose of Gatorade, and sports drinks in general, is the efficient hydration of the cells. It does this primarily by increasing the amount of electrolytes, particularly sodium, in the body.
Electrolytes make it easier for water to pass through the cell membranes, thus ensuring that our cells regain lost fluids quickly.
However, it’s worth noting that dogs also get electrolytes such as sodium and potassium from their usual diet. Hence, electrolyte replacing drinks are only really helpful for a particularly dehydrated or sick dog.
It helps them drink more
The commonly observed phenomenon with anything consumable is that the better tasting it is, the more of it you’d want to consume.
Since Gatorade is essentially flavored water, the taste of it encourages people to drink more and thus become more hydrated. The same would go for any dog who has developed a taste for it. Can dogs drink blue gatorade? The answer is the same. Dogs can drink it but only a few sips—plus remember that there are better alternatives.
This is particularly useful for ensuring that particularly thirsty dogs get enough water. If your dog has started to go to their water bowl more often recently, this could be a good way to make your dog stay hydrated.
It energizes them
Gatorade contains plenty of sugar. In most cases, it may contain too much sugar for your dog’s daily carbohydrate needs.
But if you’re training your dog for strenuous physical activity such as intense exercise, or simply need them to have a bit more pep in their step, a few sips can give them just the boost they need to keep going.
It contains some essential minerals and vitamins
Many sports drinks include vitamins and minerals to supplement their energizing qualities.
Gatorade is no different. In terms of vitamins, the average ready-to-drink Gatorade product contains good amounts of Vitamin B3, B6, C, and K.
In terms of minerals, on the other hand, Gatorade has a decent amount of phosphorus and manganese, as well as calcium, zinc, and iron.
Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Dog Drink Gatorade Too Often
It’s high in sugar
This is the number 1 reason why giving dogs gatorade is only safe if it’s a few sips at a time and only occasionally. Dog owners must remember that each bottle of Gatorade contains approximately 31 grams of sugar. If you want to help your dog lose weight, stay off gatorade. Know how much exercise a dog needs instead and make sure he gets it.
Dogs are much less equipped to handle artificial sweeteners, so giving your dog Gatorade in large quantities can lead to serious health consequences.
At best, your dog will only experience an upset stomach or tooth decay. At worst, this could develop into diabetes or other metabolic disorders.
It’s high in sodium
Sodium is one of the primary electrolytes in Gatorade. In order to replenish electrolytes well, it has to have a high amount of sodium.
An excess of sodium can cause vomiting and diarrhea along with lack of coordination and severe muscle spasms.
In extreme cases, drinking gatorade in high amounts and frequency can take a toll on your dog’s kidneys. This can result in kidney damage as well as other urinary tract infections such as dog bladder infection, seizures, or even death.
If you’re currently nursing a dehydrated dog, a bit of Gatorade mixed in with their water could help them regain their lost fluids.
But Gatorade isn’t your only option when you want to keep your dog hydrated during a particularly nasty bout of canine dehydration. When you want to give their hydration a boost, consider these beverages as well.
This is by far the best option to go for. Giving your dog plenty of plain water is the simplest and least risky way to ensure they’re well-hydrated.
There are situations when this isn’t ideal, however, such as if your dog just refuses to drink enough water. In this case it can be advantageous to give your dog Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing drinks if it makes them drink more.
But if your dog is simply the type that tends not to drink that much water, you can encourage them to drink more by putting a few ice cubes in their water bowl. Researchers from the University of New England found that dogs, much like humans, actually prefer drinking cold water .
If you add ice cubes, you also help keep the dogs cool on a hot day, which minimizes the likelihood of heat stroke.
Homemade electrolyte water
If your dog is dehydrated, you can simply make your own electrolyte water at home. This lets you dodge all of the issues that can arise from consuming Gatorade.
If you make your own electrolyte water, you can create just the right balance of electrolytes without the added sugar and sodium.
Sports drink made specifically for dogs
Much like there’s now snack bars, ice cream, and even Prosecco made for dogs, there are now energy drinks made specifically for canine consumption.
Brands like K9 Power are essentially the Gatorade for dogs. They offer much of the same benefits, but scaled down for their smaller bodies and other biological parameters.
If your dog is severely dehydrated, your best course of action may be to get them something like K9 Power’s Go Dog hydration supplement in plain flavor.
It’s too risky to give them Gatorade, since they’ll need more than a few sips of it for it to help them, and to dilute it in this situation might render it ineffective. You might also not have enough time to prepare an effective homemade electrolyte drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if a dog drinks Gatorade?
Gatorade helps the cells rehydrate by replenishing the body’s supply of electrolytes, which helps water pass through cell membranes. But this also carries some risks with dogs since the sugar and sodium content of Gatorade can be too much for their bodies.
What type of Gatorade is good for dogs?
The best kind of Gatorade to give to your dog is most likely Gatorade Zero, since this has no added sugars or calories.
Can dogs drink Gatorade or Pedialyte?
Gatorade and other sports drinks intended for humans are safe for dogs to consume in small amounts. Issues arise when they are given more than a small amount.
Can dehydrated dogs drink Gatorade?
Yes, but it would be best to give dehydrated dogs sports drinks that were actually created for them. These products are by and large perfectly safe for them to consume, and have consumption instructions to ensure that no issues arise as well.