Can dogs drink flavored water?

Estimated Reading Time 5 minutes
Can dogs drink flavored water?

With their keen sense of taste and smell, dogs can be picky not only with their food but also with their drinking water. Tap, distilled, filtered, or bottled water vary in taste and even odor. Your dog may not touch his water bowl if he smells or tastes something strange or different than what he’s used to. The good news is, there are easy ways to encourage your canine buddy to drink more and stay hydrated. Keep reading to learn about canine-safe water additives and which ones to avoid.

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Why is it important to prevent dehydration?

Water is one of the six basic nutrients needed by the body. It is essential to the body’s physiological processes as well as for proper circulation. Dogs should have easy access to fresh clean water at all times. Without water, they could develop dehydration that could pave the way for potentially life-threatening complications.

Can dogs drink flavored water?

One way to encourage your dog to drink and stay well-hydrated is to offer flavored water. There are flavored water products specifically formulated for dogs that you can buy in stores. However, you can make flavored water at home. This way, you can be sure what goes into your pet’s flavored drink. Also, homemade tends to be cheaper than store-bought flavored water which, by the way, may contain ingredients that can be harmful to your pet.

When offering flavored water to your pet, it’s always recommended to have plain, fresh drinking water in another bowl so your dog can choose which one he likes best. Keeping your dog well-hydrated should always be the primary goal.

Flavored Water That’s Safe for Dogs

1. Broth-Flavored Water

Broth is an excellent way to encourage your dog to drink more water. You can buy broth cubes or powder or make broth from scratch. There’s tuna broth, chicken broth, beef broth, bone broth, etc. Broth is rich in nutrients that are beneficial to your dog. If you’d like to try adding broth to your dog’s water, consider these tips:

  • Broth can be made into ice cubes and placed on your pet’s water bowl. Your canine buddy won’t be able to resist them, especially during warm, humid days. Think brothsicles! The delicious flavor of the broth is released over time, so if it’s a new ingredient, your dog won’t feel overwhelmed.
  • Adding a spoonful or two of broth can add more flavor and appeal to your pet’s drinking water. Instead of tap or distilled water, you can put broth in your pet’s water bowl. Just make sure that you have another bowl filled with plain water, so your pet has a choice when he gets thirsty.
  • If you’re buying chicken, beef, or other types of broth for your dog, always check the label. Some commercial broths have added ingredients that are toxic to dogs, like onion and garlic.
  • Also, the sodium content of ‘low-sodium broths’ can still be very high for dogs. It’s highly recommended to check with your vet before adding any broth to your pet’s drink, more so if your pet has an underlying health issue, such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or cancer.

2. Lemon-Flavored Water

  • Lemon is rich in vitamin C which has great immune-boosting properties. It can be given to dogs but only in very small amounts. Also, keep in mind that some dogs may hate the smell of lemons.
  • Start by adding a few drops of lemon to your pet’s drinking water and monitor for problems.
  • Lemon is acidic and adding only a few drops to your pet’s water bowl can prevent digestive upset.
  • Aside from doing wonders to your dog’s immune system, lemon-flavored water can help keep your pet’s breath smelling fresh.
  • One thing to remember when flavoring your pet’s water with lemon is NOT to add sugar, as it is harmful to your pet’s health.
  • Also, if your dog avoids lemon-flavored water, you should not force him to drink it.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar-Flavored Water

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) offers several benefits including combating yeast infections, supports digestion, allergy relief, and promoting joint health. The acidity of ACV is also good for your dog’s dental health as it can break down plaque and tartar. This can prevent bad breath as well as tooth and gum problems.

Because of its high acidity, ACV should be diluted properly before offering it to your dog. Too much ACV, whether in their food or water, can cause diarrhea. When adding ACV to a dog’s water bowl, most experts recommend NOT exceeding 1 teaspoon of ACV for small to medium-sized dogs and 1 teaspoon for large breed dogs. ACV should not be given more than twice a week.

Before adding some to your pet’s drinking water, it’s a good idea to consult your vet about it. ACV is contraindicated in dogs with particular health issues, such as kidney disease.

If it’s your dog’s first time to taste ACV-flavored water, you should start by adding a drop or two and monitor him closely for any adverse reactions. If there’s none, you can continue to add ACV gradually, adding a few drops each day until you reach the recommended amount. But if your pet is showing signs of an adverse reaction, you should stop flavoring the drinking water right away.

4. Fruit-Infused Water

Fruits are excellent sources of vitamins and antioxidants. Fruit-infused water is a refreshing beverage that can help encourage your dog to drink more. There’s no need to buy those fruit-infused drinks for pets because you can easily do it at home. Some of the most popular fruits that can be infused in your dog’s drinking water are watermelon, apples, cucumber, lemon, and a whole lot more. Just make sure to avoid grapes because they’re toxic to dogs.

Can dogs drink electrolyte water or sports drinks?

Sports drinks contain essential electrolytes, but the problem is, these products are generally formulated with loads of sugar, salt, and other ingredients that are not healthy for dogs.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t lose salts when they sweat. Instead, only water is primarily lost during panting. So, when you give your dog an electrolyte drink, it could lead to sodium ion poisoning. Smaller dogs are the most susceptible. This can cause vomiting, dehydration, overall weakness, diarrhea, and seizures.

The sugar in sports drinks can also worsen any level of dehydration that your pet may be experiencing. Sugar attracts water and draws it out from your pet’s body.

However, when your dog has diarrhea, an electrolyte formula may be necessary, but make sure to consult your vet. Depending on the cause and severity of the problem, there may be a need to administer IV fluids to restore fluid and electrolyte balance in the body to prevent life-threatening complications.

Read more:

Can Dogs Drink Pedialyte?

Warning Signs of Dehydration in Dogs

Can Dogs Drink Kombucha?

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Published: 9/21/2021
Last updated: 9/29/2021

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