Sometimes, dogs will accidentally drink something that they are not supposed to. Owners may also occasionally want to offer their dogs something apart from water. This begs the question: Is it ok to have your dog drink anything but water?
The short answer is that dogs can drink whole-fruit juices in small amounts as long as there are no added sugars. However, clean, fresh water is enough, and they do not need any other drinks to supplement their diet.
Why Is Water Important?
All animals, just like us, need water to ensure that their bodies function normally. Water is important for keeping your dog hydrated and lubricates their joints so that they can play and run about with ease. Water is vital for a healthy digestive system, prevents constipation, and plays a role in regulating body temperature.
If your dog is particularly active, they will require more water and you may want to leave their water bowl out the whole day for easy access – just remember to change out the water often so that it is only filled with clean water!
When your dog does not drink enough water, it can become dehydrated and experience symptoms such as lethargy, tight skin, loss of appetite, dry nose and mouth, panting, and thick saliva. Your dog will also be lacking in electrolytes such as chloride, sodium, and potassium, which cannot be replaced by just giving him water again. You might want to give your dog an electrolytes-based fluid or consult your vet for dehydration treatment.
What Drinks Should Dogs Avoid?
Whilst dehydration would cause health problems for dogs, drinking the wrong drinks can also be dangerous. Here is a list of drinks that may potentially be harmful to your dog:
- Alcoholic Drinks
This is the number one drink that you should not be giving your dog. Alcohol is highly toxic for them and will induce diarrhea, vomiting and cause damage to their central nervous system. It may also disrupt their breathing and cause comas, and in the worst scenario, death. Do avoid it at all costs.
- Caffeinated and Sugary Drinks
Coffee may be our go-to drink to kick start our day, but the same cannot be said about dogs. Caffeine will cause a negative reaction akin to poisoning in your dog’s body and should be avoided.
Lime juice or Lemonade. These drinks contain high amounts of citric acid and may cause an upset tummy or other gastronomical problems such as diarrhea. The sugar content may also cause them to gain weight.
- Cow’s Milk
After puppies wean off their mother’s milk, they develop lactose intolerance. As adult dogs, they will not be able to digest the milk, which can cause an upset tummy. However, if you do want to treat your dog to a small amount of milk, go for goat’s milk. It has less lactose, making it easily digestible, and contains prebiotics and probiotics that are great for your dog.
Overall, there isn't any need to give your dog anything besides fresh, clean water. Juice or a nice cup of bone broth can be offered, but as with all treats, only in moderation and should never replace the water in your dog’s diet.