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
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.
- Lack of focus
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Dry and sunken eyes
- Loss of appetite
History of Giving Dogs Gatorade
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
- 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.
- 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):
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.