As humans, we have the chance to enjoy any number of fluids besides water, so it’s not unreasonable for pet parents to wonder whether they should mix things up a little and give their dog a little liquid variety.
But is this a good idea four our furry friends? And if so, what kinds of things can dogs drink besides water? We’ll explain all this and more below!
Things Dogs Can Drink Besides Water: Key Takeaways
- The vast majority of your dog’s hydration needs should be satisfied by water. However, there are a few dog-safe liquids you can give your pet as an occasional treat.
- Some dog-safe liquids may also be useful in specific circumstances. For example, dogs who engage in strenuous work or activity may benefit from electrolyte-replacing fluids at times.
- While some fluids other than water are safe for dogs, it is important to avoid giving your pet dangerous liquids. This includes things like coffee, alcohol, or anything containing chocolate.
Can Dogs Drink Anything Besides Water?
There’s no mistaking that the bulk of your dog’s hydration should be satisfied by water. However, some liquids make great occasional treats for your furry friend and can help dogs hydrate and replenish their electrolytes.
Just remember that — like any other treat — the calories and nutritional content of supplemental liquids need to be factored into your dog’s diet. If you’re planning on introducing a liquid in addition to water into your pup’s regular diet, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to ensure that the transition is a balanced one.
Do Dogs Get Bored with Water?
It’s highly unlikely that dogs could get “bored” of water. While it’s impossible to know for sure, the vast majority of animals, including wild canines, rely entirely on water outside of the nursing phase.
Dogs need regular water intake to thrive, so any additional liquid will be a supplement rather than a substitution to H2O.
Why Would You Want to Give Your Dog Something Besides Water?
Why might you consider offering your hound some novel hydration options? Here are a few scenarios in which you may want to give your furry friend something to enjoy besides water.
- Other liquids can make a tasty treat. Many pups find other liquids such as unsalted broth downright delicious making them a fun way to treat your precious pooch. Liquid treats can also be frozen for a cool treat for your canine.
- They might help encourage hydration for poor drinkers. Pups that aren’t inclined to hydrate as often as they should may be enticed by a little added liquid to their water bowl.
- Some liquids can have nutritional benefits. A couple of these liquids contain dog-friendly vitamins and minerals to help boost your best buddy’s diet. Some even provide things like supplemental calories, fat, and protein too.
- Certain liquids may be useful for dogs in recovery. Some liquids may help your pooch get back to his normal self by providing rehydration to a dehydrated dog, or helping with gastrointestinal upset.
- They can help liven up your dog’s usual bowl of kibble. If your pooch finds his dry food drab, a little added liquid can transform your mutt’s usual meal into a doggie delight.
7 Things Dogs Can Drink Besides Water
Without further ado, here are a couple of liquids you can occasionally share with your furry friend in small quantities. When in doubt, check in with your veterinarian to make sure it’s a good fit for your furry friend.
- Unsalted Broth: Unsalted meat broth provides your pooch with a tasty treat they’re sure to love. You can either purchase a dog-safe broth or make your own broth from beef or chicken marrow, just make sure any bone remnants are thoroughly removed before serving to your canine companion.
- Pedialyte: Pedialyte is an electrolyte-enhanced water that can help your furry friend rehydrate quickly. Make sure your furry friend is only drinking the unflavored version of the product and contact your veterinarian for proper dosage.
- A small amount of pure fruit or vegetable juice: Your four-footer can enjoy a small amount of pure fruit juice so long as there isn’t added sugar. It’s best to avoid citrus fruits like orange, lemon, or lime since they’re pretty acidic, which can lead to gastrointestinal upset. Vegetable juice from dog-safe vegetables works great too!
- Milk: Dogs can enjoy a couple of tablespoons or cow’s milk on an occasional basis. However, note that many pups don’t respond well to dairy products, as most adult dogs are lactose intolerant. So, you’ll want to avoid milk if you notice any GI upset, vomiting, gas, or diarrhea from your furry friend. Note that there’s also milk replacement formula that’s safe for puppies if Mom isn’t around.
- Nut Milk: Some nut milks can provide your pooch with vitamins E and B3. Your furry friend can enjoy a small amount of unsweetened almond or cashew milk, so long as there aren’t any added ingredients.
- Vegetable Juice: Pure juice made from dog-safe vegetables like carrots, cucumber, or broccoli can all be shared with your furry friend for a nutritious and delicious doggie delight. However, note that in most cases, it’s more beneficial for your furry friend to enjoy the whole vegetable than just the juice.
- Coconut Water: Coconut water is perfectly safe for your pooch and contains nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and B-vitamins. This drink can help rehydrate your furry friend so long as it is unsweetened.
Remember that any of the above should be supplements to your dog’s water intake, not replacements. All dogs need fresh water to survive.
A Commercial Liquid Your Dog CAN Drink Safely
There are a few liquids on the market that are safe for dogs to drink, giving owners a quick-and-easy way to provide some variety to your dog’s water bowl and encourage better hydration. Most are technically designed as food toppers, but there’s no reason you can’t add a splash to your pup’s water bowl instead.
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6 Things Dogs Should NEVER Drink
While there are a couple of beverages that you can safely share with your pet, there are also some drinks you should never share with your canine companion, as they can be poisonous to dogs. Here are some liquids your dog shouldn’t get his paws on.
- Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages can cause breathing problems, vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, death for dogs. It’s essential that any alcoholic drink in your home is stowed safely away from your pooch.
- Caffeine: Caffeine contains methylxanthine which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. Therefore, it’s essential to avoid giving your dog any caffeinated beverage or food.
- Chocolate: Chocolate also contains methylxanthine which is toxic to dogs. It also has theobromine negatively affects your dog’s circulatory system, nervous system, and kidneys. Even a small amount of chocolate can sicken your dog, and while dark chocolate is the most toxic, avoid giving all chocolate to your pooch.
- Grape Juice (and Wine): For reasons unknown, grapes can cause kidney failure for dogs. Wine is obviously made from grapes, but it also contains alcohol which is toxic to dogs.
- Anything with Added Salt, Sugar or Artificial Sweeteners: Any drink given to your dog should not contain added salt or sugar. These substances simply aren’t good for your furry friend and can lead to excess weight gain. Artificial sweeteners — including xylitol, in particular — can be highly toxic to dogs and can lead to coordination loss, coma, seizures, and even death.
- Contaminated Water: Prevent your pooch from lapping up pool water, pond water, or any water besides fresh water, really. Consuming contaminated water can lead to digestive upset, or worse, internal parasites.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to provide your pooch with a hydrating treat. Just make sure your dog is still drinking plenty of water along with these other beverages for your best buddy.
What’s your dog’s favorite thing to drink? Has he tried any of these ruffreshments? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!