There's nothing better on a super-hot day than cracking open a can of fizzy cola - the smell, the sound, the sipping quality, it's all too perfect. We're sure that your four-legged partner in crime notices when you start to drink your favorite soda, too. As much as you don't like to share with your dog, you probably want to give your buddy a taste - but can you? Are you actually able to give your dog soda?
Unfortunately, soda is pretty terrible for your pup. While a tiny little drop or two of fizzy cola definitely won't hurt your pup, it's a bad idea to split a bottle of coke with your four-legged friend.
Why is that, though? What about soda is bad for your pooch? What happens if your pup gets into your soda stash without your permission? Is it dangerous?
We'll answer all those questions and more in our doggo-soda guide below!
Signs Your Dog Has Had Too Much Soda
Whether accidental or intentional, sometimes your pup can have too much soda. We never recommend giving your pup a sugary-soda for a few reasons that we'll dive into, but likely, a sip or two won't hurt your pooch.
Soda, however, is one of the worst things your doggo could get into. Soda is packed with both sugar and caffeine, two things that can have a giant effect on your dog's health, mood, and behavior. With soda, your run the risk of ramping up your dog's blood sugar and giving your pet accidental caffeine poisoning. If your dog drinks soda, they also could have bad GI issues including vomiting, diarrhea, and uncomfortable gas bubbles.
Worse, your dog is likely to gain weight if he or she has access to soda regularly. If your dog gets into your soda stash, we recommend calling your vet asap to get instructions on what to do. It's likely your doggo will experience extreme dehydration, a sugar rush and then a blood sugar crash. They could even be subject to caffeine poisoning.
The History of Dogs and Soda
People often think that the reason soda is bad for dogs is because of the carbonation. True, your dog probably can't digest the carbonated liquid as well as you can and they could probably get diarrhea from it, the real danger lies within the sugars and caffeine that soda contains.
While lapping up a few drops of spilled soda certainly won't harm your pup, if your pooch gets into your soda stash, you could be facing serious issues. But why?
Well, let's start with sugar. The simple sugars in soda are incredibly bad for your pup. When your dog drinks a high amount of sugar water that's not equipped with nutrition or dietary fiber (like fruits), your pup's health could spiral.
Additionally, the added sugar can put tons of extra pounds on your poor pup. Finally, the caffeine in soda can be deadly for your pup. Doggos are not equipped to digest caffeine the way humans are. Dogs have a much lower tolerance for it than we do and run the serious risk of getting caffeine poisoning when they drink excess amounts of soda.
The Science Behind Soda's Effects on Dogs
The reason that soda is bad for dogs is pretty much the same reason it's bad for humans - it's chalk full of sugar, caffeine, and has no real nutritional value. Mind you, doggos are far more susceptible to the negatives of these things.
Unfortunately, the huge amounts of sugar and caffeine in soda will not only dehydrate your pup, they can also cause things like diabetes, obesity, and can make your dog pretty uncomfortable. Additionally, a dog's stomach is not equipped for dealing with soda, so it's likely that the combination of bubbles, sugar, and caffeine will wreck your pup's gastrointestinal tract.
Training Your Dog to Avoid Soda
When your dog goes after your can of soda, it's not as if he or she is actually seeking it out because they know what it is - in other words, unlike people, your dog isn't addicted to the sugary drink. Instead, your dog is going for your soda because, well, your dog is a dog.
They're curious and they want to get in on whatever it is you're eating or drinking. As we said though, soda is a dangerous beverage to serve to your dog. You should train yourself to avoid it, but also, train your pup to avoid it as well. Here's how.
First, make sure your dog has a firm grasp on the whole "no means no" policy. When you tell your dog no, ensure that he or she understands that and doesn't ignore you. A well-behaved dog that listens is often a safer dog.
Further, train your dog not to beg. It's a lot easier to avoid giving your pooch a quick sip of soda if they're not asking for you to share it in the first place. It's also helpful to train your dog to avoid certain areas where you know your soda will be. If you keep the soda in the pantry, ensure that your dog is trained to leave the pantry alone. Want your dog to stay out of the kitchen entirely? That's possible!
Finally, if you leave the house and you're afraid your pooch might get into something he or she shouldn't, try crate-training your dog. This gives pups a safe, comfortable spot that's all theirs and provides you with the peace of mind knowing that your doggo won't be getting into any mischief while you're out and about.
By a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus
Published: 04/06/2018, edited: 04/06/2020