Dogs are at risk of dehydration just like humans, so it’s essential to ensure they have access to fresh, clean water at all times throughout the day, even more so in summer. Water is the best drinking option for dogs, but other fluids can also benefit them and can be used as a special treat on a hot summers day!
It is essential to know what choices are available for dogs so that you can make the best decision for your pet. But what if your dog doesn’t seem to be drinking enough water? Are there other options besides plain water you can give your canine friend?
In this post we explore other options for what dogs can drink besides water.
What can dogs drink other than water?
A common misconception is that you should only give your dog water to drink. While water is the best drink for dogs that provides adequate hydration, other options can benefit your dog. Here are some of the best water alternatives for dogs:
Coconut water is a low-calorie, natural alternative to human-made drinks. Coconut water contains several electrolytes and nutrients, including potassium, magnesium and calcium. These minerals can help prevent dehydration in dogs with chronic kidney disease or other health conditions that cause an increased risk of dehydration.
Dogs love coconut water, so it serves as a fantastic treat every so often in small quantities.
Vegetable juice and extracts
Vegetable juice and extracts are usually fortified with vitamins and minerals that help hydrate your dog’s body. Some vegetable juices also include antioxidants to support healthy skin and eyes, as well as liver health in dogs suffering from liver disease or digestive discomfort due to a change in diet (like switching from commercial dog food).
Nut milk offers a great source of protein for dogs with dry coats or skin problems like eczema or psoriasis. Nut milk contains all essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein), making them an ideal choice for many dogs who don’t get enough proteins in their diet.
Chicken or beef broth
Chicken or beef broth is a good alternative for dogs that cannot drink plain water. It has high protein content and is rich in minerals, vitamins and nutrients. The broth also helps maintain the correct balance of electrolytes and minerals in the dog’s body.
Fruit juices like apple juice, orange juice, grape juice or pineapple juice contain natural sugars that are good for your dog’s teeth and gums. Fruit juices provide vitamins A, B6 and C and antioxidants like beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A).
As with any fruit juices that contain high amount of sugars, it’s important to consume small quantities, the same applies to your dog. A teaspoon every once in a while is completely fine as a refreshing, healthy treat!
Kefir is another option for dogs who don’t like drinking plain water. It’s made from fermented milk and contains probiotics that can help maintain the health of your dog’s digestive system by improving digestion and helping maintain a healthy hair coat.
Pedialyte is a powdered electrolyte solution that comes in several flavours. It’s made for dogs with dehydration and other illnesses, but it’s safe for dogs of any age. It’s also free from sugar, artificial colours or flavours, preservatives, and fillers.
Milk contains many nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy and strong, including protein, calcium, phosphorus and carbohydrates. It also has unique benefits for dogs, such as helping strengthen the immune system and promoting bone growth.
Milk isn’t suitable for dogs in large quantities, so it should only be used as a treat. Milk contains lactose, which is the sugar that dogs can’t digest. But 2 or 3 spoons of milk occasionally as a treat is absolutely fine.
Unsalted broth made from chicken or beef bones is another good choice for dogs needing extra fluids while recovering from illness or injury. While it may sound gross, unprocessed bone broth has been proven to improve immune function and aid digestion in humans and animals.
Should dogs only drink water?
Yes, a dog should only drink water to stay healthy and fit. Dogs are animals that are very susceptible to dehydration. They need water constantly because they don’t sweat like humans, so they have to drink more water. Even if you have a dog that doesn’t drink much water in general, it’s still essential to ensure that they always get enough water from their food. Dogs are very active animals and need plenty of water to stay hydrated.
The recommendations above should not be a replacement for water by any means, but an extra added benefit and treat for your dog.
Why is water so important for dogs?
Water is essential for a dog because it helps them regulate their body temperature, preventing dehydration and keeping them healthy. This is why dogs tend to drink as soon as they get back from a walk, to keep themselves cool.
A healthy dog weighing 40 pounds needs 5 to 6 cups of water daily. Water is the best option for dogs because it has no calories and can help a dog stay hydrated while not encouraging wait gain. Dogs have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so if they don’t drink enough water, they can become dehydrated very quickly, which will cause them to become sick or even result in death because of hypothermia.
It’s very important to ensure your dog has adequate water during hot summer months.
How can I keep my dog hydrated without water?
Consider giving wet food
Wet foods contain moisture, which helps to hydrate the dog’s system. Wet foods also have protein and carbohydrates that help replace lost nutrients after a meal or exercise session. They are more accessible for dogs to digest than dry kibble due to the added moisture content of the food.
What your dog should never drink
Below are some of the liquids that are toxic to dogs and should not be consumed:
Coffee is a popular beverage that isn’t suitable for dogs. Coffee contains caffeine, which can be toxic to dogs. Caffeine is a diuretic that causes fluid loss in the body and can lead to dehydration, which can cause low blood pressure, seizures, and even death if left untreated.
If your dog has a habit of swimming or drinking from ponds and lakes, it is best to avoid those areas until the water has been tested for E. coli and other harmful microorganisms.
Alcohol is toxic to dogs, especially pure ethanol (i.e. vodka). Alcohol poisoning symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea; these symptoms can be fatal if left untreated.
If you are drinking an alcoholic drink, you should make sure that it’s not in reach of your dog to avoid any accidents.
Gatorade is a sport drink that contains high level of potassium, glucose and sodium, which is not recommended for your dog. It also has electrolytes that help replenish lost fluids in humans, but this will result in symptoms of dehydration and thirst if consumed by your dog.
Soda and lemonade
Carbonated drinks contain a high quantity of sugar, artificial flavours and caffeine, which can be corrosive to the stomach and bones if consumed in large quantities over time. Lemonade is a citrus and contains carbonated drinks, that can lead to an upset stomach, nausea and vomiting in your pet.
If your dog has consumed any of the above liquids, you should immediately consult with a veterinarian. Even more so if your dog is known to have a sensitive stomach or has been diagnosed with diabetes or kidney disease.
It’s also worth familiarising yourself with the foods that are known to be toxic to dogs too.
It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new food or drink to prevent possible stomach upsets.
Conclusion: What can dogs drink besides water?
While water is best for dogs to drink, a few other options can be given in moderation. Milk, low-sodium chicken broth, and 100% fruit juice are safe for dogs to consume occasionally as a treat.
The recommendations above are by no means a replacement for water. Water is critical to make sure your dog is hydrated and is needed as part of a healthy lifestyle.
It’s essential to avoid giving dogs sugary drinks, as this can lead to health problems. When in doubt, always check with a veterinarian before giving your dog something new to drink.