Can Dogs Drink Gatorade?

April Saylor

April Saylor

. Reviewed by Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP
Updated Apr. 18, 2024
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In This Article

What Is Gatorade?
Always check with your veterinarian first before giving your dog any new foods, especially “people foods.” What might be OK for one dog

If you’re looking for ways to rehydrate your pet after a hot day outside, you may be wondering if dogs can drink Gatorade®.

While Gatorade may quench human thirst and replenish lost electrolytes, it’s not a suitable beverage for dogs. Gatorade contains sugar and sodium that can make your pet sick if they have too much, so the risks of offering your dog Gatorade are greater than any benefits they might get from the boost of electrolytes.

What Is Gatorade?

Gatorade is a sports drink designed to replenish fluids and electrolytes lost during physical activity in humans. The drink contains sugars and sodium, making an electrolyte cocktail that can help us rehydrate after a sweaty, strenuous workout.

Is Gatorade Bad for Dogs?

While the drink does contain electrolytes that are beneficial for humans, there are a few reasons Gatorade is not recommended for dogs. Gatorade is high in sugar and sodium, and it also contains artificial ingredients that can be harmful to your pet.

While a gulp or two likely wouldn’t cause your dog serious harm, Gatorade is just not necessary and can cause more harm than good. This is because dogs have completely different nutritional and hydration needs than us humans. 

What Can Dogs Drink Besides Water?

Water remains the most essential and safest drink for dogs. Hydration is crucial for dogs to maintain normal bodily functions, regulate body temperature, and support overall health. Unlike humans, healthy adult dogs do not need additional electrolyte drinks like Gatorade to stay hydrated.

Introducing Gatorade or other types of beverages to your dog’s diet can disrupt their digestive system and lead to health issues in the long run. You should only give your dog water to drink.

How To Keep a Dog Hydrated

To ensure your dog stays properly hydrated, offer fresh, clean water at all times. If you notice signs of dehydration, offer a small amount of cool water (not all at once, as they may drink too quickly and vomit)  and watch your pet closely. If your dog is dehydrated but won’t drink water, head to the vet ASAP.

These tips can help keep your furry friend hydrated and healthy:

  • Monitor water intake: Keep an eye on how much water your dog is drinking daily. Changes in water consumption can indicate underlying health issues that may need veterinary attention.

  • Hydrate during exercise: Provide access to water before, during, and after physical activity to prevent dehydration and overheating. There are portable water bowls that make this easy.

  • Attend regular vet checkups: Schedule routine vet visits to ensure your dog’s hydration and nutrition are appropriate for their size, age, and breed. 

  • Provide shade: Your pet should always have access to shade, which is especially important during hot weather. Limit your dog’s outdoor physical activity during extreme bouts of heat; avoid midday or full-sun walks and activity in lieu of cooler mornings or evening hours.

In case your dog is sick, dehydrated, or losing fluids from conditions like diarrhea, call your veterinarian for appropriate rehydration methods. Instead of offering Gatorade, your vet may recommend other electrolyte replacement products that are formulated for dogs, or other safe alternatives to help rehydrate your dog effectively and without harmful side effects.

April Saylor


April Saylor

Freelance Writer

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