Can Dogs Taste Gatorade?

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Introduction

Gatorade is a very popular sports drink - due to its high electrolyte content - that is great for replenishing the body while you're sweating a lot. You may have wondered if you could give your dog this beverage, particularly if they are feeling under the weather. 

Although some believe giving your dog Gatorade in certain situations is perfectly fine, it is not preferable due to its very high sugar content and artificial flavors and colors. Rather, you should seek other more natural alternatives like unsweetened coconut water or fresh and plain water. 

We will take a look at the positives and negatives of Gatorade in this article. 

Signs of a Dog That is Dehydrated

The most popular reason to give a dog Gatorade is because they are dehydrated. The high level of electrolytes in this beverage help to hydrate a human's or animal's body much quicker than just plain water. There is a multitude of reasons why your dog may be dehydrated, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of dehydration dogs so you can easily recognize when your dog may need some extra help with fluids. Early detection of dehydration can save your pet's life and your bank account from costly vet bills. 

If you have found your dog has lost their appetite, they may be dehydrated. So if they are not eating their meals like they normally do, this is a potential cause for concern. If your dog is also very tired and lethargic, is panting excessively, has sunken and dry eyes, has a dry nose, dry gums, and skin elasticity is lost, your pup might be suffering from dehydration. 

To tell if your dog has dry gums, run your finger over their gums. If they are wet and slimy, your dog is well hydrated. If your dog's gums are dry and lack moisture, they are likely suffering from dehydration. 

Body Language

These are some signs you might notice if your dog is dehydrated:
  • Panting
  • Weakness
  • Lack of focus
  • Sleepiness

Other Signs

Here are other signs you may notice if your dog is dehydrated:
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Dry and sunken eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethary

History of Giving Dogs Gatorade

Gatorade gained popularity in the dog world likely when some individuals began to believe that if Gatorade can help humans with their electrolyte and hydration levels, it could help dogs as well. Although this is true on a functional level, dogs are not the same as humans and Gatorade is not specifically formulated for a dog's body. For instance, this sports drink has very high levels of sugar and sodium, which can negatively affect your dog's body.  

However, this has not stopped people, and some vets, from recommending Gatorade be given when a dog is sick and not drinking as much as they should be or losing too much fluid from vomiting and diarrhea. Although it may help with the symptoms, the sugar, sodium, and artificial flavors and colors are not worth putting into your dog's body in most circumstances. 

As time has progressed, there are now options you can choose that are better for your dog. Gatorade has made an organic version of this popular drink that only uses organic ingredients, no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Therefore, if you really have no choice and must give your dog Gatorade, opt for the healthier, organic version to lessen their exposure to artificial ingredients. 

Science Behind Dogs Drinking Gatorade

Here, we will take a look at some of the pros and cons of Gatorade for dogs so you can make the most informed decision possible. 


Pros:

  • It replaces electrolytes in your dog's body and plain water cannot do that. It will replace some of their sodium and potassium levels so they can get to feeling better. 
  • This drink will also work fast to rehydrate your dog, maybe more so than plain water. 

Cons:

  • Sugar! Gatorade has a ton of sugar, being particularly in high fructose corn syrup, which is extremely bad for your dog's health. It has no nutritional value, is used as a preservative, and has no place in a human's, let alone a dog's diet. 
  • Artifical flavors and colors abound in this sports drink as well. 

Giving Your Dog Gatorade (or Alternatives):

If you do choose to give your dog Gatorade, you must do it in the safest way possible. As we said above, try and go for their new organic version that doesn't use artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This will be a much safer way to give your dog Gatorade. 

You also need to make sure you mix the Gatorade with water. A 50:50 ratio is the best way to go. You want to reduce the amount of sodium and sugar you are putting into your dog's body. Your dog is much smaller than any human, so it does not make sense to feed them the amount of Gatorade a human body would take - the amount must be cut down. 

You should also make this a recurrent event that happens on a daily basis for an extended period of time. Only give them this beverage if they are sick and truly need the extra electrolytes and hydration. Otherwise, it is not necessary, even on an extremely hot day. We recommend speaking to your vet before giving your dog this drink and to see how much you should give them and for how long. 

If you are not comfortable with giving your do Gatorade, there are other better and more natural options you can go with. Smart Water has added electrolytes, but without any added sugars, colors, or flavors, making this a much better option for your dog. 

Unsweetened and unflavored coconut water is also naturally high in electrolytes, making it a solid option as well. Coconut water is also filled with even more beneficial minerals and vitamins that are very healthy for your dog. Coconut water does have some sugar, but it is natural sugar and there are no added sugars to most coconut waters on the market. 

How to React if Your Dog is Dehydrated:

  • Speak to your vet first.
  • Stay calm in order to find a solution in the most efficient way.

Safety Tips for Feeding Your Dog Gatorade:

  • Use Gatorade as a last resort.
  • Choose organic Gatorade if possible.
  • Do not overfeed and mix 50/50 with water.
  • Only give it to your dog if you have no other choice.