Water is essential for all living things on our planet, your pup included. But sometimes, when dogs feel unwell, they will refuse to drink water or eat.
The problem is that dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially smaller-sized ones and those that suffer from profuse vomiting or diarrhea.
The summer heat can also cause dangerous dehydration in canines.
The question which many dog parents ask is – what can dogs drink besides water?
You may want to entice your pet to get hydrated or simply add some variety to its daily menu by adding some dog-friendly drinks. But not all beverages we enjoy drinking are good for canines. Some can be harmful and should be avoided.
Overall, water is the best option, but there are some alternatives that you can switch to from time to time and are safe for your fur baby.
Read more to find out what you can give your pup occasionally as an alternative to water and which drinks you should avoid.
Are dogs supposed to drink water only?
Yes, like all living creatures, water is vital. So, dogs should predominantly drink water to stay alive and well. H2O is the safest drink for pups and will provide them with the hydration they need, regardless of breed, age, and health.
Dog parents should ensure that their pets always have access to enough fresh water.
Related: How Do Dogs Drink Water
Why is water vital for canines?
Water is one of the vital elements for all living things on our planet.
Dogs need it to ensure that their organs, muscles, and entire bodies function properly. Water is also vital for hydrating and regulating the body temperature of canines.
On average, a healthy dog requires around an ounce of water per pound of its body weight every day. So, if your pup weighs about 30 lbs. you should ensure that it drinks about 4 cups of fresh water daily.
Remember that your dog will require more water if it is very active and when the temperatures are high in the summer.
Is it safe for dogs to drink other things?
Yes, but still, you should not consider these dog-friendly liquids as replacements for fresh water. Instead, you can add small quantities of other fluids which are deemed safe for dogs occasionally.
Many new dog parents think that dogs, like other mammals, can drink cow milk. But the truth is that after puppyhood and being weaned from their mother’s milk, most canines develop an intolerance to milk and lactose. This means that giving your dog dairy and milk can lead to digestive upsets such as discomfort, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Some of the safe alternatives for water that you can give to your pup include freshly squeezed juices from the veggies and fruits, which are good for dogs. Some of these plants include carrots, watermelon, spinach, apples, and beetroot.
Still, you should not overdo it, especially with the fruit juices, because they contain fructose, which can harm the pups when consumed in larger quantities.
Other water replacements include beef or chicken broth if your pet does not have an allergy or intolerance to them.
You can also give your pet some nut milk or coconut water in addition to clear water to help keep it hydrated.
What can your pup drink apart from water?
Your dog or any dog should always have access to clean water, and water should be its primary source for hydration.
You can add some alternatives to the regular water, such as freshly squeezed fruit and veggie juices, broth or nut milk, and coconut water. But this should be done in moderation and only if the ingredients do not include harmful or toxic products.
You can find some dog-friendly drinks produced with canines in mind at the pet store. Different dog teas, tonics, energy drinks, and even pup-friendly beers exist.
But they are not a better source of water and nutrients than some other fresh products and sources.
Read ahead for a detailed overview of the best alternatives for water you can give to your pup. You will also find out which beverages to never give your dog.
A list of safe alternatives for water for canines
Here is a list of the safest drinks you can give your pup, in addition to the water, which it should always have access to.
Veggie juices and extracts
To help keep your pup hydrated and add some healthy vitamins and minerals to its diet, you can treat it with some freshly squeezed vegetable juice. The suitable and safe veggies for canines include beetroot, carrots, celery, kale, and spinach.
You can make your pup a healthy juice with the help of your food processor. Or you can boil one or several of these veggies and give your dog the extract as a healthy alternative to water.
This is one of the safest water replacements for dogs. Coconut water will help keep your pup hydrated and provide it with some essential vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.
Coconut water can be beneficial for dogs. This healthy drink can relieve skin problems and help improve the pup’s breath and the quality of its fur.
Soy or other nut milk
Since canines are lactose intolerant, it is not advisable to give them dairy milk.
Instead, you can treat your pup with small amounts of nut milk that doesn’t contain lactose and can benefit your dog’s health.
This, of course, is true only for dogs without nut allergies and intolerances!
A little nut milk given to the pup from time to time can help boost its immunity and help improve its breath.
Still, remember that soy and other nut milk can be high in calories, so do not overdo it to prevent your four-legged companion from becoming overweight.
Before treating your pet with nut milk, make sure that it doesn’t contain harmful or artificial ingredients that can be bad for it.
Chicken or beef broth
Most dog foods are beef or chicken-based, so it is only natural that the broth from boiling these meats can be an excellent addition to the dog’s diet.
The broth extracted from the beef or chicken during the boiling is rich in all nutrients and tastes. It is easy to digest and can help resolve issues in canines, such as gastrointestinal problems and distress.
Some homemade broth is an excellent way to help keep your pup hydrated and provide it with many vital nutrients when it is sick or has lost its appetite.
Some fruits are safe for dogs, and others can be harmful and even toxic. Some safe fruits include watermelons, bananas, blueberries, and apples. The potentially dangerous fruits for canines include grapes and avocado.
If you want to treat your pup with some fruit juice, choose the fruits with the best health benefits for canines. Avoid giving your pet store-bought juices because most of them contain added preservatives, artificial flavors, sugar, and sweeteners, which can be harmful and even dangerous for dogs.
So, the best way to ensure that your dog is safe is to select the canine-friendly fruits and make the juice at home.
Keep in mind that all fruits contain fructose, which can be harmful to pups when ingested in large quantities or very frequently.
Kefir has become an increasingly popular drink because of its health benefits. It is an excellent source of good bacteria, known as probiotics, essential for our gut health and overall wellbeing.
These probiotics can also be beneficial for canines, especially if your pup is having digestive problems, such as diarrhea or vomiting. Kefir is also an excellent addition to the dog’s menu if it has undergone antibiotic treatment.
Kefir is derived via goat, cow, or coconut milk fermentation.
What drinks can you give to young puppies?
If you are looking for a safe drink for puppies, which you can give them apart from the water, then read on.
Since most dogs develop lactose intolerance only after they become older, you can give young puppies some dairy milk in small quantities.
The safest milk for young pups is goat milk (low lactose) or dog milk.
If your puppy is young and still not weaned, and there is no dog milk available, you can give it baby dog formula milk.
You can also give young puppies moderate quantities of freshly made juice from canine-friendly veggies or fruits. Another safe liquid for the little ones is homemade beef or chicken broth without any added salt or other seasoning, onions, garlic, or other harmful ingredients.
As always, we recommend that you discuss any such dietary changes or the addition of new foods to your puppy’s diet with your vet before proceeding!
How to hydrate a dehydrated dog?
Naturally, the best way to help avoid dehydration in canines is to provide them with enough fresh water. But if your pet is unwell or refuses to drink water, you can help keep it well by following one of these tips:
- You can add several ice cubes to the water bowl, making the water more attractive to dogs, especially on hot days.
- Add a canine-friendly electrolyte solution to the water if the dog is already dehydrated.
- Add a little salt and sugar to the water to make your own homemade electrolyte solution.
- Make some broth by boiling chicken or beef, and add a few spoonfuls to your pup’s water – this will make it more appealing and help alleviate stomach upsets in canines.
If your furry friend is severely dehydrated and refuses to drink any water or alternative, you should immediately take it to the vet!
Your veterinarian will perform an examination and may administer fluids via IV. You can also try squirting some water in your pup’s mouth using a syringe without a needle.
What are the drinks which you should never offer to your dog?
To ensure that your four-legged companion is safe and stays healthy, you should avoid giving it any of the following drinks, some of which can be harmful, and others can be poisonous to canines:
Even though dogs are mammals like us, most develop lactose intolerance as soon as they are weaned and grow up. This means that consuming dairy can lead to stomach problems, gas, pain, and diarrhea in dogs. This is why you should avoid giving your pet any dairy.
Please note that some dogs are more tolerant to dairy products and lactose than others. But for peace of mind, we recommend that you refrain from giving your pup any milk or other dairy.
You should never give your dog any alcohol. The reason is that canines cannot process it properly as humans can. The ingestion of any type of alcohol can cause mild to severe problems with the pup’s nervous and digestive systems. Plus, dogs are much smaller and lighter than us, so even small amounts of alcohol can mess them up and be dangerous for them.
Wine is made of grapes, and grapes are toxic to dogs. Plus, wine contains other ingredients which can harm or poison your pet.
So, make sure that you keep your wine, beer, and liquor bottles and glasses safely out of reach from your dog.
Dogs do not need added sugar to their diet. Keep in mind that most commercially available juices contain added sugar, so avoid giving them to your pup altogether.
If you are keen on treating your pet with some fruit or veggie juice, it is best to prepare it yourself from fresh and canine-friendly vegetables or fruits.
Remember that the fructose in fruits can also be harmful to dogs, so if you are going to give your pup fruit or juice, do it in small quantities and only occasionally.
Coffee, latte, tea, milkshakes, energy drinks, and all other caffeine beverages can be harmful and toxic for your dog.
Caffeine is especially dangerous for smaller dogs and when ingested in larger quantities by larger pups.
The signs of caffeine poisoning in canines can include seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive urination, and restlessness, leading to severe dehydration.
Most sodas contain a lot of sugar and artificial ingredients, and, in some cases, caffeine. Carbonated drinks have no health benefits for dogs and can be harmful and even dangerous for them.
Not only is caffeine toxic for dogs, but sugar is bad for them too.
In addition, the carbonation itself can lead to discomfort, gas, and bloat in canines.
So, never offer your pup any soda.
Drinks containing citruses
Drinks such as lemonade, juice, or other beverages containing citruses can cause stomach upsets, vomiting, nausea, and light hypersensitivity. The reason is that citrus fruits contain citric acid, which is harmful and unsafe for consumption by dogs.
What kinds of canine-friendly drinks to give to your dog?
If you are determined to give your pup drinks other than water for one reason or another, then follow the guidelines from this article.
You can make dog-friendly drinks at home or get some healthy and safe doggy drinks made by reputable manufacturers and sold in pet stores.
Does your pup have a favorite drink besides water? We would love to read your comments!