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

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Dog Health By Paula Simons 5 min read August 6, 2020 11 Comments

can you give pedialyte to a dog
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Just like you and I, dogs can become dehydrated quite easily.

Luckily, we 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 safe for dogs and can be used to combat dog 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 they can experience the same benefits it provides. For example, Pedialyte helps to replenish lost 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 the 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 pedialyte

Mild 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)

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 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 (it can also indicate anemia or heart conditions, so it’s wise to speak to your vet anytime your dog exhibits poor capillary refill).

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 veterinary 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 administered 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. Just be sure that you don’t do so forcefully, as this can cause the fluid to end up in your dog’s lungs.

Vet Pro Tip

Always remember to provide water at all times to your pet — Pedialyte should be offered in addition to water, rather than as a replacement.

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? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by

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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11 Comments

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Julie

My dog dont drink much water like a few licks here n there she a 5lb mantis can I give her pedialyte once a day so she don’t get dehydrated thank you

Reply
Ben Team

Hey, Julie.
If your dog is only drinking “a few licks here n there,” we’d recommend speaking to your vet about it.
Pedialyte may be helpful (as would other things, like water fountains or wet dog food), but we’d encourage you to follow your vet’s advice.
Best of luck!

Reply
Martha Neenan

Just bought a pediatric electrolyte solution for my 10-1/2 month old pup. He’s been vomiting at least 3-4 times a week for the past month or so. I think it’s because he eats everything he picks up and constantly has to be watched. I’m worried about dehydration so I bought an electrolyte solution for him. Should I administer it to him even though he seems ok and has an appetite, could it be Just regurgitation and how often and how much should I give him.

Reply
Ben Team

Hey, Martha.
Because your pooch is repeatedly vomiting, it may not be a good idea. We’d recommend getting over to your vet’s office ASAP to figure out what’s causing your dog to throw up so much and assess his hydration levels.
Best of luck!

Reply
Ives

If only it was so easy to just take your pet to the vet, no one would be relying on the internet if it were that easy, it’s expensive to even go for a check up! Sometimes you gotta do it all on your own!

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Ben Team

Hey, Ives.
I definitely understand the fact that veterinary care is expensive — I get sticker shock every time I leave my pup’s vet. However, if you are going to own a dog, you simply must be willing to provide them with the veterinary care they need. It really is that simple.
Thanks for reading!

Reply
Anthony mackle

Hi Paula

This is a great article and it’s really important for pet owners to know the signs of dehydration, as it’s not just during hot weather when they can occur. Vomiting and diarrhoea are common in nearly 30% of dogs and cats that visit the vet clinic and can be related to a wide range of causes, eaten something hey shouldn’t have, viral such as parvovirus or guardia, pancreatitis or even chronic problems with colitis. Seasonality is also varied as at Christmas chocolate poisoning is common as is easter and summer brings hot Weather and parvovirus is more common.

While pedialyte is a suitable source of rehydration to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. We developed a product in Ireland called Oralade that is widely used by veterinary clinics throughout Europe and is specially designed for dogs and cats. It is an isotonic formula made with a natural chicken flavour that encourages even nauseous patients or pets to drink. We don’t use citric acid which is in pedialyte as a preservative and is palatable to humans, because dogs and cats are citrus sensitive. Oralade also contains simple sugars for energy and amino acids to nourish the intestine for faster absorption and recovery. Currently we are working on export documents and hope to have Oralade available in the US later this year.

If you would be interested to try it, please let me know and I would be happy to send you samples and hear your feedback.

Best regards
Anthony

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Bobi Sue Cobb

Can you buy this online

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ms hamilton

would like to try very interested I buy several items from the UK, please give me an email update thank you

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Donna Barrier

My male dog was just fine a week ago but now he isn’t eating, and I would so very much like to receive your product either by sample or purchase. You may contact me either through email or phone or my address which is 352 N. G Street
Tulare,CA. 93274
Thank you.
Sincerely Donna Barrier

Reply
Audrey M

Would love to try this oralde. I have a nursing dog that suddenly isn’t drinking as much as she was. She’s a mommy of 8, a week old today. Her feces isn’t solid but not diarrhea. More like mush. She’s still playing and pretty bubbly as usual. She loves ice cubes and will eat a couple of them when offered but, isn’t interested in her usual water bowl. Let me know how to go about getting some samples. Thank you.
Audrey M

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