It can be difficult for pet parents to see their beloved pooch battle an upset stomach. As people who want nothing but the best for our dogs, we’re quick to jump to any solution that might help our furry friend better manage the symptoms of dehydration that this condition often comes with.
In these cases, giving the dog access to good amounts of water may not be enough to offset the excess loss of fluids. This is where electrolyte sports drinks like Pedialyte come into the picture. But can dogs have Pedialyte?
Naturally, seeking veterinary treatment for your canine companions when they’re having bouts of diarrhea and vomiting should always be your first recourse.
But when your personal veterinarian advises you to keep your canine friend at home until more severe conditions present themselves, you may start thinking about giving Pedialyte a shot in the meantime.
Before pouring them into your dog’s drinking bowl, here are a few things you should know about these human electrolyte replacement drinks.
Pedialyte – Everything You Need to Know
Pedialyte is a product of Abbott Laboratories, a company based in Columbus, Ohio. The formulation of this oral electrolyte solution is made with a mix of products that have been officially approved by the World Health Organization for offering supportive therapy in children.
As these solutions work to regulate electrolyte imbalances, they can help kids better manage cases of acute gastrointestinal illness, persistent vomiting, and bouts of diarrhea.
The primary supportive care that Pedialyte offers includes ensuring that the levels of chloride balances sodium content in the body, especially during times of high fluid loss. It also leads to elevated potassium concentration levels as well.
This is relevant because the body loses most of these electrolytes during mild or severe vomiting and diarrhea.
While freshwater works just fine too, Pedialyte is an arguably better alternative to water intake. It does more than just increase the volume of fluids in body composition.
It comes with elements of glucose, which can help the body produce energy for crucial body functions and recover faster.
Pedialyte is available in powder and freezer-pop forms. You can also get this electrolyte drink in unflavored and flavored variants.
Using Pedialyte as a Treatment for Dehydration in Dogs
We’ve gone over the use of Pedialyte as a treatment for symptoms of dehydration in children. But can they alleviate signs of dehydration in dogs as well? Even if they can, can dogs have Pedialyte in the first place?
Let’s get into that now!
Can Dogs Have Pedialyte?
Yes, dogs can have Pedialyte. More specifically, your furry friend is only able to handle the classic, unflavored Pedialyte electrolyte drink in small amounts.
In the short term, administering small amounts of Pedialyte to dogs can help them combat mild diarrhea and vomiting. It’ll restore their electrolyte balance and help them stay hydrated.
That said, it’s important to remember that Pedialyte for dogs only offers supportive care, at best. This means that this electrolyte drink can’t offer any substantial assistance in the case of ongoing vital fluid losses.
If the condition of a sick animal has worsened to the point where you feel they truly need this drink, then you should get them to your veterinarian for treatment as fast as you can.
Pedialyte Is Not a Viable Treatment for Dogs in All Cases
Not only is Pedialyte an unideal treatment for severe dehydration and other more severe conditions, but there are instances where parent owners are better off not giving this substance to their canine companions at all.
This is because this electrolyte drink can worsen the condition of the gastrointestinal cells in some dogs. Aside from this, there are instances where your vet might ask you to withhold solid foods and liquids from your dog for a few hours.
Should you give your dog Pedialyte during such a time, the electrolyte solution can make diarrhea and vomiting worse as it would only irritate their stomach lining.
Finally, don’t forget that there aren’t any studies that confirm Pedialyte’s safety and efficacy in pets specifically. The majority of scientific studies conducted so far have focused on this drink as a supportive therapy for children affected with mild cases of vomiting and diarrhea.
This fact reflects in the formulation of the mixture. As an example, the sodium levels in this drink are ideal for young children but are far too high for canine requirements.
Ultimately, if during or after immediate veterinary care, your doctor gives the go-ahead to use Pedialyte, be sure you stick to the unflavored varieties.
While you may use flavors like mixed berry, coconut, or grape (doesn’t contain real grapes), there’s a higher chance that these will irritate the stomach lining of your sick puppies or dogs.
The Best Way to Give Your Dog Pedialyte
The first and most important thing to remember when using Pedialyte to treat mild to moderate dehydration in your dog is that you must never give them large amounts of this fluid in a single go. Doing otherwise will almost immediately make the vomiting worse.
Ensure that you get permission from your vet to give the dog this drink at all. Then, depending on what your veterinarian says, you could let your pet take a few laps of the electrolyte solution every 2 hours. About 2 to 4 mL of this drink for every pound of body weight is sufficient.
You have two options when it comes to administering this drink. You could either let them take it plain or mix one part of water with one part of the electrolyte solution. Which way you go will largely depend on your pooch.
Some prefer taking Pedialyte as is while others consume it more readily when it’s mixed.
Another crucial thing to keep in mind here is that you should only give this drink to your dog orally as a free choice. Pedialyte is not to be given as oral syringe feeding.
If the health of your dog has gotten so bad that you need to use syringe-feeding, Pedialyte isn’t going to do much good for them. You’d need to get your pet more advanced hydration treatments in such cases.
Also, if after using Pedialyte the vomiting returns or doesn’t even stop in the first place, withhold feeding the drink to your pet and get them veterinary care immediately.
Potential Side Effects of Pedialyte for Dogs
The most pressing side effect of administering Pedialyte to dogs that’s likely to surface is due to overcorrecting electrolytes. The main reason for this is that, as we mentioned earlier, the amounts of electrolytes in this drink fall higher than the canine requirement.
As such, if you don’t follow the recommendations of your veterinarian closely and watch how much Pedialyte you give your dog, you could predispose them to a cardiac arrest, cardiac contractions, heart disease (congestive heart failure), and abnormal heart rhythm and heart rate.
Can dogs have Pedialyte?
Yes, dogs can have Pedialyte, but never without the consent and recommendations of your vet. And, when you’ve gotten the go-ahead from a professional, ensure you stick with the unflavored Pedialyte solution as this is less likely to irritate your beloved pooch.
See more about how to keep your furry buddy healthy here.