Can Dogs Drink Gatorade vs. Pedialyte: Which Is Better for Your Pooch’s Hydration?

Humans use electrolyte drinks to rehydrate, either after exercise or during a bout of sickness where we might lose fluids through vomiting or diarrhea. But, what if your dog is dehydrated? Can dogs have Gatorade, or will that just make them even sicker? 

Can Dogs Drink Gatorade

Before we get to everything you need to know about Gatorade for dogs, let’s get the most basic question out of the way. Can a dog drink Gatorade safely? Yes! Dogs can have small amounts of sports drinks or rehydration drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, and Pedialyte to help treat dehydration.

However, Gatorade should only be given to your dog in very specific circumstances and in very small doses, and you’ll need to know how, when, and why to give your dog Gatorade in the first place. Here, we’ll answer all your questions about dogs and sports drinks, and explain what you can do to help your dog if they are dehydrated, have an upset stomach, or are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea. 

Is Gatorade Good for Dogs? Nutrition & Ingredient Info

Can dogs drink Gatorade or Powerade? Yes, they can, but should dogs be consuming beverages formulated for humans? 

Let’s take a quick look at the ingredients in a classic Yellow Lemon Lime Gatorade: 

IngredientToxic to dogs? Necessary for canine diet? Safe in small amounts?
Citric AcidYes, in large amountsNoYes
Sodium CitrateNoNoYes
Monopotassium PhosphateNoNoYes
Gum ArabicNoNoYes
Natural FlavorNoNoYes
Yellow #5NoNoYes

As you can see, there isn’t much nutrition in a Gatorade, but that’s not why you’d be giving it to your dog. You should only allow your dog to drink Gatorade on the rare occasion where they might need a boost of hydration, electrolytes, and sugars and sodium for energy—Gatorade should not be a long-term solution, nor should it become part of your dog’s everyday diet

When a dog does need help with retaining water and replenishing electrolytes, the trade-off of the added artificial sweeteners, dyes, and flavorings is worth it. 

Benefits of Gatorade for Dogs

Can Dogs Drink Gatorade

We know that sports drinks and electrolyte drinks are safe for dogs, but can dogs drink Gatorade or Pedialyte for their health? 

The key ingredients you’ll find in Gatorade, Pedialyte, and Powerade are water and sodium. These two essential components are beneficial for your dog if they are having trouble keeping food or water down. Sodium is an electrolyte and helps your dog’s body (and your human one) to retain healthy levels of hydration. 

When and How To Give Gatorade To Your Dog

Can a sick dog drink Gatorade? Can dogs drink Gatorade for dehydration? The answer to these questions is: it depends

If your dog is having a bout of vomiting or diarrhea due to simple GI upset—maybe they ate something too quickly, got into a food that upsets their stomach, or are just a little under the weather according to your vet—it’s safe to give them a little bit of Gatorade. 

Can Dogs Drink Gatorade

Serious health issues cannot be addressed with Gatorade, and even extreme hydration should be addressed by a veterinarian, not at home with electrolytes. When a dog is experiencing life-threatening dehydration, they will usually need intravenous fluids, and won’t be able to rehydrate from drinking. Some dogs may not even be willing or able to drink once they reach this level of dehydration. If you suspect your dog is seriously dehydrated, always reach out to your veterinarian. 

However, for simple stomach problems or on a day when you’ve gone on a long hike in the sun, it’s okay to give your dog a little bit of Gatorade or Pedialyte to quench their thirst and replenish their bodies. 

Give 1 tablespoon of Pedialyte, Gatorade, or water every hour or two for each ten pounds of body weight (e.g. 3 tbsp for 30 lbs) to replace the water and electrolytes lost puking and pooping,” says advice from Gilroy Veterinary Hospital on how to treat vomiting and diarrhea in dogs at home. “Remember your pet is not taking in water and is losing more than normal and can dehydrate fast if very young or old.” 

Other recommendations for treating dogs with stomach issues include feeding them a bland diet, feeding small meals every few hours, and anti-nausea tablets which can be provided by your veterinarian. 

Symptoms of Dehydration in Dogs

Can Dogs Drink Gatorade

Some symptoms of dehydration aren’t serious and can be treated at home by slowly rehydrating your pup. Some examples of less serious symptoms include: 

  • Panting
  • Dry nose
  • Thick saliva
  • Dry gums

If these are your dog’s only symptoms, it’s usually safe to treat them at home, but you may wish to also consult with your veterinarian. More serious symptoms of dehydration that always warrant a call or visit to your vet include: 

  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken eyes
  • Loss of appetite or interest in drinking

Which Is Better: Gatorade, Pedialyte, or Powerade?

In general, Pedialyte is the best human-formulated electrolyte drink for dogs. Lower in sugars, artificial sweeteners, and added flavors than Gatorade or Powerade, Pedialyte is considered the healthier option. If you cannot find Pedialyte, Gatorade will do in a pinch, and Powerade should be your final option. 

Can dogs drink gatorade? Pedialyte, or Powerade?

Some brands make “dog Pedialyte,” or electrolyte replenishment drinks that are specifically formulated for dogs. For example, you could try Vet Classic Pet-A-Lyte Oral Electrolyte Solution which contains everything your dog needs to rehydrate without any of the added sugars or flavors. We recommend chatting with your vet for a recommendation for their favorite electrolyte supplement. 

Can Dogs Have Gatorade? FAQ

So, can dogs drink Gatorade when sick? It turns out, yes, as long as you’re taking the right precautions. But what else is there to know about your dog and sports drinks? Here are a few of the most common questions asked by dog lovers like you about giving their canine best friends Gatorade, Powerade, and Pedialyte. 

Can dogs drink Gatorade Zero?

Yes, but it’s not recommended. Gatorade Zero contains an artificial sweetener not found in standard full-calorie Gatorade: acesulfame potassium. While this artificial sweetener is not toxic to dogs—unlike xylitol, another common artificial sweetener that can be deadly to dogs—it isn’t good for them and can cause gastrointestinal issues in large doses. For this reason, it’s best to stick to full-sugar Gatorade, even though added sugars aren’t good for your dog. 

What Gatorade flavors are safe for dogs? 

All flavors of full-sugar Gatorade are considered safe for dogs in small amounts. We recommend steering clear of Gatorade Zero or sugar-free electrolyte drinks since they typically contain artificial sweeteners that can be harmful to your dog’s health. 

Can dogs drink Gatorade for diarrhea? 

Yes! If your dog has diarrhea because of a mild case of GI upset, Gatorade can be a good tool to help replenish their electrolytes after losing water. 

How much Gatorade can a dog drink? 

Dogs should only have Gatorade on very rare occasions, and it should not be a routine part of your dog’s diet. If your dog needs some extra hydration because of vomiting or diarrhea, you can give them 1-tablespoon of Gatorade or Pedialyte per 10 pounds of their body weight, once an hour. For example, if you have a 50-pound dog, you could give them 5 tablespoons of Gatorade once an hour. If you have a 10-pound dog, you would give them 1 tablespoon every hour. 

How do I prevent my dog from becoming dehydrated?

If your dog doesn’t like to drink water or doesn’t drink enough water to keep themselves hydrated for the amount of exercise they do, we recommend adding moisture to their food! If you’re feeding a dry kibble, try switching to canned, fresh, or raw food. If your dog is already eating wet food, add extra water or bone broth to their meals to ensure they get additional hydration. 

Does chicken broth rehydrate dogs? 

Yes! Low-sodium chicken broth is a great option to add to your dog’s food, or tempt them with if they aren’t interested in their water. Broth is mostly water with a few nutrients and some added salt, which serves as an electrolyte just like it does in Gatorade. Remember that you should never give your dog chicken broth made with garlic, onions, or added herbs—plain, low sodium chicken broth only or chicken broth specifically formulated for dogs. 

Can I give my dog sugar water for dehydration?

Some veterinarians may recommend making a solution of sugar and water to help replenish your dehydrated dog’s energy. While the sugar in sugar water can help give your dog a boost, sugar water doesn’t have the added electrolytes of a sports drink, and won’t give them that essential sodium. 

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