Given how sensitive certain dogs’ digestive systems can be, you never know what foods, other than the tried and tested ones, could induce stomach issues in your beloved pooch. The wrong food or even the wrong amount of the right food could be harmful to Fido.
While we all know that chocolate and alliums are a complete no-no, what about flavored water? Is that lime-and-water mix going to work just as many wonders for your dog as it does for you?
Here’s the lowdown on giving your dog flavored water.
If the question is whether your dog can drink flavored water, of course, he or she can! Dogs have the ability to drink most things.
But should you be giving your dog flavored water?
Absolutely, provided it’s the right flavor.
Flavored water is a great way to get your dog to meet his or her daily water needs. Insufficient water intake can lead to a host of circulatory and physiological issues, such as dehydration and its resulting complications.
Flavored water can encourage your dog to drink more water, but this doesn’t mean that you give your dog any flavored water.
Instead, you could opt for store-bought flavored water that’s concocted especially for dogs, or even make your own at home.
Here are some safe flavors that your dog will adore (win-win!).
If you’re intent on feeding your dog flavored water, here are some flavors that could earn you some doggo brownie points!
- Broth: Flavoring your dog’s water with broth is a no-brainer—dogs love meat and ergo, love meat broth. A teaspoon of broth in the water bowl could have your dog lapping up all the water (and healthy goodness) like there’s no tomorrow! However, ensure that you avoid store-bought broth. Always go homemade since store-bought broth could contain onion, an allium that could seriously harm your pet.
- Canned Food: Whisking water and your dog’s favorite canned treat or food to make flavored water. You could also use frozen treats in place of canned ones.
- Fruit and Vegetable Infusions: Fruits such as watermelon and vegetables such as cucumbers are extremely healthy for your four-legged friend. Frozen chunks of both in a bowl of water can be both healthy and refreshing. However, not all fruits and vegetables are healthy for dogs. Seemingly harmless options like raisins, grapes, and cherries could result in kidney damage, whereas citrus leads to an upset stomach.
- Peanut Butter Powder: Dehydrated peanut butter (yes, it exists!) can make your doggo both hydrated and happy! It’s as simple as adding a quarter of a tablespoon of peanut butter powder to your dog’s water bowl. However, given the high caloric value of peanut butter, make sure you’re not overfeeding your dog or crossing his daily calorie limits.
It’s best to only occasionally give your dog flavored water; never prioritize flavored water over plain water or substitute the former for the latter, as nothing beats the goodness of fresh, plain water.
Regular intake of flavored water can lead to excess sodium levels in your buddy’s body. It’s also hard to keep track of consumed calories if you’re regularly feeding your dog flavored water, paving the way for obesity.
Additionally, it’s always best to pair a bowl of flavored water with fresh water, in case your dog feels the need to stick to fresh water or alternate between both. This way, your dog won’t feel forced to stick to one, or even worse, not drink anything at all!
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Mushroom Soup?
While it can be tricky to track how much water your dog is drinking, an ounce of water for each pound of weight is a good number to aim for each day.
Conditions such as illnesses, the weather, exercise or physical activity, and dietary changes could cause water requirements to fluctuate, in which case flavored water and wet food can help supplement your dog’s water needs.
If your dog’s thirst is due to excess physical activity, make sure that your dog’s breathing has calmed down before he or she is allowed to drink water. Drinking water too soon after exercise or activity can lead to vomiting.
Here are some drinks besides plain water that you can either feed to your dog as is or mix with the natural flavors mentioned above:
- Ice Cubes: Dogs love ice cubes! Ice cubes are an easy way to get your dog to drink enough water each day and are especially great after exercising since the cold forces your dog to slow down the water intake. However, give your dog a bit of time to calm down before you treat them with ice.
- Carbonated Water: Carbonated water can make a good occasional treat for your dog.
- Dog Alcohol: Yep, dog alcohol is actually a thing! Dog-friendly prosecco, wine, and beer exist and are great occasional treats for your dog, just like carbonated water. This in no way means that regular alcohol is safe for your dog—it’s either “dog friendly” or nothing!
- Protein and Vitamin Supplements: In the right quantity and fed the right way, protein and vitamin supplements can go a long way in giving your dog the nutrition he or she needs. There are several dog-specific supplement powders in the market, each with specific instructions for feeding.
Some drinks cannot be fed to your dog no matter the circumstances. In addition to the ones already mentioned earlier, you should avoid giving your dog milk, caffeinated drinks, sports drinks, or electrolytes of any kind.
It may come as a surprise, given how much dogs adore milk, but milk should be avoided since most dogs, like many animals, are lactose intolerant. The calcium and protein content in milk can cause a stomach upset.
Caffeine, on the other hand, is toxic to dogs, causing a rapid decline in health if ingested. Even an amount as small as a sip could have serious consequences.
Lastly, sports drinks are loaded with salt, sugar, and other artificial flavonoids. Since dogs don’t lose salt while sweating (they only lose water), such sports drinks could lead to a sharp rise in sodium levels, leading to sodium ion poisoning.
The sugar content in the drink can cause dehydration.
Electrolytes may be fed to your dog only if the vet recommends it, generally in the case of illnesses where fluid and electrolyte levels need to be restored to prevent a threat to your dog’s life.
Also Read: Can Dogs Drink Kombucha?
While it can be tempting to feed your dog human foods as treats, it’s important to remember that what is a treat for you, or healthy for you, needn’t be the same for your dog.
It’s crucial to remember what you can and cannot feed your dog to prevent serious illness and even life-threatening situations.
If you’re feeding your dog flavored water, stick to the above guidelines for the best and safest results.