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can you give pedialyte to a dog

Can You Give Pedialyte To A Dog? Evaluating Dehydration in Canines

Just like you and I, dogs can become dehydrated quite easily.

Luckily, us humans can reach for the closest sports drink to quickly quench our thirst. Our dogs don’t have that luxury since they only have access to water.

If your dog has become dehydrated, you may find yourself wondering – can you give Pedialyte to a dog? Good news – Pedialyte is a safe way to combat doggy dehydration for both humans and canines. 

can I give pedialyte to my dogWhat is Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is a name brand, oral electrolyte solution. The product was originally designed to help combat dehydration in children.

Certain types of Pedialyte can be safely administered to our canine friends to help replenish lost fluids and essential minerals.

Can You Give Pedialyte to a Dog?

Yes! Pedialyte can be given to your pup to recover from dehydration.

Dogs can drink Pedialyte just like people do, and can experience the same benefits and replenish electrolytes.

Why is Dehydration a Concern For My Dog?

Dehydration is the loss of fluids and minerals that are essential for normal bodily processes. This typically happens when the body loses more fluid than it can take in.

Mild dehydration can cause some lethargy but severe dehydration is very serious, and if left untreated, can lead to death in humans and canines alike.

What Are Causes of Dog Dehydration?

Dehydration is commonly caused by:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • High temperatures
  • Lack of fluid intake
  • Exercise
  • Increased urination

What Are the Signs of Dog Dehydration?

The signs of dehydration can vary depending on the severity of the condition.

dog pedialyteMild Dehydration:

  • Lethargy
  • Panting more than usual
  • Depression
  • Slightly sunken eyes
  • Dry mouth, nose, and gums

Moderate Dehydration:

  • Skin tenting (see below)
  • Delayed capillary refill time (see below)
  • Fever

Severe Dehydration:

  • Extreme weakness
  • Unsteadiness

How Can I Test My Dog to See if He is Dehydrated?

There are a few different methods for testing to see if your dog is dehydrated. A couple of popular methods include:

Skin Tenting

Skin tenting allows you to measure the elasticity of your dog’s skin, which help indicate hydration levels.

How To Do It: Pinch and pull up an area of skin over your dog’s shoulder blades.

Normally, when released, the skin will return to its original shape. Dogs with dehydration will have skin that takes longer to return to place. The skin not popping back into place and remaining tented characterizes severe dehydration.

capillary refill testCapillary Refill Test

The capillary refill test evaluates how long it takes for blood to return to your dog’s capillaries. A delayed refill time is often indicative of dehydration.

How To Do It: Press firmly against your dog’s gum line. The pink area should become white as the blood is squished out. Release your finger.

Count how long it takes for the gums to become pink again as the blood returns. Anything longer than 1.5 seconds is abnormal and may indicate dehydration.

A tutorial video of these methods for measuring dehydration in dogs can be seen below!

How Can I Stop My Dog From Becoming Dehydrated?

No one wants their dog to suffer from dehydration. Prevent doggie dehydration by helping ensure that your dog drinks plenty of water throughout the day.

  • Provide Unlimited Water. Always offering limitless amounts of water, unless potty training or health reasons suggest otherwise.

can I give pedialyte to a dog

  • Try Dog Water Fountains. If your dog is provided with water but is not drinking enough, the water may not be fresh enough for your dog’s liking. Try changing the water more often, or opt for a dog fountain or automatic dog waterer that provides a steady stream of fresh, flowing water. Some picky pets prefer water fountains over stagnant, still water.
  • Take Breaks. Make sure your dog takes frequent drink breaks when playing or exercising, especially in the heat.
  • Monitor Any Sickness. Have problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea, addressed right away by your veterinarian.
  • Administer Pedialyte. Pedialyte can be used to help your dog quickly hydrate and recover from dehydration.

When Should I Give My Dog Pedialyte?

You should give your dog Pedialyte at the first sign of dehydration. I always keep a stash of Pedialyte packs in my first aid kit. I love it because it is safe for my pooch and I to both use, especially after a tough hike.

It should be noted that Pedialyte shouldn’t be given to dogs with severe vomiting. If a dog is having trouble keeping down food or drink, giving it Pedialyte may cause your dog to vomit even more. Instead, seek out immediate medical treatment.

How Should Pedialyte be Administered?

Pedialyte is administered to your dog in liquid form for them to drink.

Pedialyte actually comes in different packaging, including powder and liquid. The liquid is the most common variety, and it’s easiest to use since it can be used immediately right out of the bottle, with no reconstituting required.

Powder can also be handy since it can last a long time and can be made into a liquid solution as needed.

I recommend using the clear, unflavored variety because dogs can be allergic to the flavoring additives. Also make sure you read the instructions on the package – some products need to be diluted, while others can be given immediately.

Ideally, Pedialyte can be offered to your dog in his water bowl. If your dog refuses to drink, you can also administer it via a syringe.

How Much Pedialyte Should I Give My Dog?

The dosage is really dependent on your dog’s size and the severity of his dehydration.

As a rule of thumb:

  • Small Dogs: 1/8 cup every hour
  • Large Dogs: 1/4 cup every hour

You can continue to give your dog Pedialyte every hour until symptoms of dehydration cease or until you can get to the veterinarian.

While it is extremely rare to overdose your dog with an electrolyte drink, be mindful that too much of a good thing can be bad. Giving Pedialyte in excess can cause electrolyte imbalances and make the kidneys overwork.

For the best accuracy, contact your veterinarian. They can calculate the exact dosage for your pet.

Where Can I Buy Pedialyte?

You can purchase Pedialyte for your pup at your nearest pharmacy or grocery store, or stock up online. Most stores will carry the name brand in their medical or children’s section.

Pedialyte is Great, But You May Still Need a Vet

Giving your dog Pedialyte does not replace appropriate medical treatment by your veterinarian. It will not resolve any illness that may be causing your dog’s dehydration.

Whenever your pet is ill, always seek guidance from your veterinarian. Administering Pedialyte is a safe measure of supportive care for mild cases of dehydration. Moderate to severe dehydration requires more aggressive methods of rehydration.

Do you have experience providing your dog with Pedialyte due to dehydration? What was your experience like?

About the Author Paula Simons

Paula is a second year veterinary student who has worked in the field for several years. She is passionate about sharing her pet knowledge. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her best friend Liberty!

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