Can Dogs Have Gatorade? Everything Pet Parents Need to Know About the Sports Drink

Dogs need a variety of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and more, but they must come from safe sources to maintain their overall health.

Rayna Skiver - Author

May 6 2024, Published 11:21 a.m. ET

Close up of brand new red Gatorade bottles on a shelf.
Source: Getty Images

Did you know that, like humans, dogs need electrolytes? If so, the idea of giving your dog a small amount of a sports drink might not seem so far-fetched.

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But can dogs have Gatorade safely? Sharing isn’t always caring when it comes to your pet — especially with food and drinks. Stick around to learn how to properly provide your dog with the necessary electrolytes.

Can dogs have Gatorade?

A pug drinking from a stainless steel bowl on the floor inside.
Source: ISTOCK

In general, dogs shouldn’t have Gatorade. The sports drink might do a good job of quenching your thirst, but it’s best to avoid it when it comes to pets.

Due to the high amount of sugar, sodium, and artificial flavors in the drink, it’s not safe for dogs to consume regularly, according to PetMD. A small amount of Gatorade is okay, but it’s not something you should intentionally give your pet.

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When given too much, sugar can cause dogs to experience short-term adverse side effects like vomiting and diarrhea. According to The Spruce Pets, if an excessive amount of sugar becomes a part of their everyday diet, it could lead to tooth decay and weight gain.

The weight gain could lead to other serious long-term issues as well, such as inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, and more. These health conditions aren’t ideal and can significantly lower your dog’s quality of life.

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Too much sodium can lead to salt toxicity, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and a decreased appetite. If your pet’s condition worsens, neurological issues like tremors and seizures are possible. Monitoring salt intake is crucial for dogs with certain pre-existing conditions, like heart or kidney disease.

When it comes to keeping your pet hydrated, water is the best and safest option.

Can dogs have Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is an over-the-counter electrolyte solution most commonly used to help those struggling with dehydration. For example, someone who experienced a serious illness might drink Pedialyte to rehydrate their body.

But is it okay for dogs to consume it? Ingredients like glucose and sodium, which are found in the product, can be harmful, according to Fetch Pet Insurance. The flavored versions are even worse and should definitely remain off-limits as well.

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A small amount of Pedialyte shouldn’t be detrimental to your pet’s health, but it’s important to always consult your veterinarian before letting them consume anyway. A professional will know how to help your dog get better using safe and effective methods.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), typical signs of dehydration include lethargy, a dry nose, dry gums, and panting. To prevent these symptoms, you should ensure your dog has constant access to clean water, especially after exercise or in hot weather.

If your pet doesn’t drink as much water as they should, try adding bone broth or another safe flavoring. You can also give your dog ice cubes to help keep them hydrated, but if they aren’t familiar with this, be sure to monitor them at first.

If you suspect your dog is severely dehydrated, contact your vet for instructions and advice.

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