Can dogs drink soda?

Estimated Reading Time 4 minutes
Can dogs drink soda?

Soda is a quintessential, all-time favorite drink and thirst-quencher. When you reach for your favorite soda drink on a super-hot day, your canine buddy will surely be waiting for his share, too. But before you offer your dog some soda, here are some important things that you should know!

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Is soda safe for dogs?

The short answer to this question is “no”. A sip or two may not create a problem but too much of this sugary drink can lead to digestive upsets and even toxicity!

Why Soda is Bad for Dogs

Soda contains too much sugar and caffeine. These two ingredients can wreak havoc on your dog’s health and behavior. They not only cause dehydration in pets, but too much soda can lead to sudden spikes in your pet’s blood sugar levels and increase the risk of caffeine toxicity. Your dog could suffer from gastrointestinal tract (GIT) issues including vomiting, diarrhea, and increased gassiness (flatulence).

Frequently sharing a soda drink with your pet can increase both your risks for piling on the pounds. Obesity and diabetes can go hand in hand, and they can predispose you and your pet to a lot of serious medical problems.

If your pooch gets into your soda stash, you should call your vet immediately to receive instructions on what to do. Your dog may experience a sudden spike and crash in blood sugar level coupled with extreme dehydration.

Caffeine poisoning is also a possibility. Dogs are unable to digest caffeine as efficiently as humans do. All of these can occur within a short time after drinking too much soda. According to Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor of Emergency-Critical Care, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, “if pets do ingest caffeine, it can take just 30 minutes to an hour to reach peak concentrations in their bloodstream and cause signs of clinical toxicity.”

Can dogs drink diet soda?

Diet soda contains artificial or natural sweeteners, flavors, and colors. Some have added vitamins or caffeine. Most contain the sugar substitute aspartame which, unlike xylitol, is not toxic to dogs. However, aspartame consumption could cause digestive upsets in dogs. One of the components of aspartame is phenylalanine. Generally, it’s not toxic to dogs and may only cause minor digestive disturbances in sensitive dogs and those that have consumed too much diet soda.

However, dogs with phenylketonuria (PKU) are unable to process phenylalanine efficiently. This can lead to the build-up of toxic levels in the bloodstream.

What should I do if my dog drinks soda?

A small sip of soda likely won’t do any harm to your dog, so there’s no need to worry. But if you suspect that your dog has consumed a more significant amount of soda, you should keep a close eye on your pet for signs of toxicity or other issues.

If the soda contains caffeine or xylitol, or if your dog starts to exhibit any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact your vet immediately so you can be instructed on what to do. You may be asked to bring your dog to the hospital right away.

Treating Caffeine Toxicity in Dogs

If your dog has consumed a lot of soda and is showing symptoms of toxicity, immediate veterinary intervention is needed.

The treatment regimen is aimed at addressing caffeine toxicity. Depending on how quickly you get your pet to a veterinary facility, your vet may decide if there is a need to induce vomiting to prevent absorption of more caffeine from the digestive tract.

Warning: If you suspect that your pet has consumed a substantial amount of soda, you should not induce vomiting at home except if under the supervision of a veterinarian. When done incorrectly, your pet can die from aspiration pneumonia.

Activated charcoal may be given to absorb any caffeine that may still be in your dog’s digestive tract. Intravenous (IV) fluid therapy may be started to flush out any caffeine that has been absorbed by the body. Medications may also be administered to address specific symptoms, such as abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, seizures, or an elevated heart rate.

Caffeine takes about 24-48 hours to be fully eliminated from a dog’s body. Timely treatment can help ensure a good prognosis and your pet’s survival.

Read more:

Can Dogs Drink Pedialyte?

Can dogs drink flavored water?

Can Dogs Drink Kombucha?

Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding your dog drinking soda or another condition?

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Published: 9/30/2021
Last updated: 10/5/2021

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