Let’s get a sports drink! Sports drinks are advertised as an excellent source of electrolytes, including magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. They also provide enough fluids and glucose, replenishing your energy and enhancing endurance after strenuous workouts. Powerade is one popular drink in this category.
Most pet owners want to give their dogs whatever they eat or drink, including Powerade. However, before you do that, you want to know whether it suits them, avoiding health complications. Before giving your dog this sports drink, here are a few insights to keep in mind.
Is Powerade Safe For Dogs?
Powerade is safe for your dog when taken in significantly small quantities. It can help hydrate the dog, replenishing its body glucose and energy levels. While this sports drink could be beneficial in small doses, it can be substantially unsafe when taken in more significant amounts.
Powerade could help hydrate your dog when in dire need. It contains enough water and glucose to trigger better fluid and electrolyte balance in dogs. However, its benefits will only suffice if you offer measured doses of Powerade. It will help avoid health issues caused by some harmful ingredients.
Powerade contains multiple ingredients and active components that could harm your dog. The main elements of Powerade are citric acid, water, glucose, fructose, flavorings, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners. Each component has an impact on your dog’s health.
How Harmful Is Powerade?
While Powerade can help hydrate your pet, it is not the safest choice. It contains multiple active ingredients that pose a health danger among dogs.
This sports drink contains a significant amount of sodium, which can be toxic to dogs in large quantities. Taking adequate but regulated amounts of sodium could help keep your dog healthy. However, any slight increase in this amount could trigger sodium poisoning.
The amount of sodium to be consumed varies with the dog’s weight. Usually, a 33-pound dog requires approximately 100mg of sodium per day. Yet, a single Powerade serving contains about 150mg of sodium. This amount can cause hypernatremia, which can be fatal.
Glucose And Artificial Sweeteners
Powerade’s glucose, fructose, and artificial sweeteners cause a metabolic imbalance in dogs, triggering obesity and weight issues. These health complications could gravitate to diabetes II, which is costly to manage.
One serving of Powerade contains about 21 grams of sugar, which can be too much for your dog. In excess, this sugar causes tooth decay and dental health problems. Pathogens will likely thrive in environments with excess sugar, causing bad breath. Further, it triggers inflammation in the body.
This sports drink is rich in citric acid, which can be toxic to dogs and cats. This active ingredient causes stomach upsets and gastrointestinal tract irritation. It could also contribute to central nervous system depression, causing incoordination, muscle weakness, and cognitive complications. Without prompt treatment, this problem could be fatal.
When To Give Your Dog Powerade?
Powerade is an excellent source of fluids and electrolytes, providing a perfect solution for dehydration. However, you can only use it sparingly to avoid multiple health issues, including obesity, sodium poisoning, and GI tract irritation.
Sometimes, your dog could be so dehydrated that water will not sufficiently address the problem. In such cases, the mineral content in their body is diminished, causing fluid imbalance. Such will be the best time to provide Powerade in measured quantities.
Various signs show that your dog is dehydrated and needs Powerade. The most notable clinical symptoms include:
- Dry mouth, eyes, gums, and nose
- Sunken eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Vomiting and nausea
- Gastrointestinal tract dryness, irritation, and diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive panting and thick saliva
- Decreased skin elasticity
- Lethargy, incoordination, and general body weakness
Further, you can consider help from a vet. This professional will offer intravenous fluids to help rehydrate the dog, ensuring a perfect balance of the minerals and electrolytes in the body. They could also help nurse the dog back to health.
Alternatives To Powerade
Water, rice water, and Pedialyte are the most common alternatives to Powerade. The choice depends on the dog’s state.
Pedialyte is an electrolyte-rich fluid that will help rehydrate your pet within a short time. While it is recommended for mild cases, you must get authorization from a vet. This professional shall provide a comprehensive guide on suitability and dosage.
You’ll offer Pedialyte when your dog exhibits heatstroke, persistent vomiting, and other mild dehydration symptoms.
On the other hand, rice water works for very mild dehydration cases. It helps reduce the loss of fluids in dogs, including thickening the stool. While this is not a treatment option, it could help the gastrointestinal tract manage the situation. In addition, rice water helps your dog’s body to recover from diarrhea.
How To Prevent Dehydration In Dogs?
Proactive measures could help protect your pet against various health complications, including kidney failure, loss of consciousness, and fatality. These problems arise when the dog loses more water and electrolytes than they take in.
Dehydration often stems from excess urination, panting, breathing, and defecation. However, proper nutrition and fluid balancing can help avoid this problem.
Various steps can help minimize dehydration in pets, including the following:
- Ensure that there is sufficient and easily accessible water
- Embrace wet food in your dog’s diet
- Choose cooler weather whenever you want to participate in outdoor activities with your dog
- Have a pet-specific fountain for your dog for continuous flow of water
Powerade is an excellent source of glucose and fluids, particularly after workouts. While it is healthy for humans and can help rehydrate dogs, it is not the safest choice for your pet. This sports drink can cause significant health issues to your dog if given in large quantities. The best way to avoid its effects on dogs would be to embrace the abovementioned measures.