We all know how it feels. We eat something bad, catch a 24-hour bug, and end up dehydrated. When adult humans feel that way, we hydrate with plenty of water. When our small children feel that way, we give them Pedialyte as hydration. Well, our dogs can feel just as bad as there are Pedialyte options on the market for these four-legged friends, as well.
Whether your dog somehow gets into the trash and eats something bad, finds something to eat outside that she shouldn’t, or catches a little tummy bug as people do, we know the results. Suddenly she starts having diarrhea and you hear that horrible coughing sound that eventually results in a little vomit — and then relief.
What Is Pedialyte?
Some people may be surprised to learn you can give a dog Pedialyte safely, but let’s be clear on what it is first. Typically found in the baby aisle of your local grocery or big box store, Pedialyte the brand name for an oral electrolyte solution that helps replenish lost vitamins, minerals, and basic fluids.
Pediatricians will recommend Pedialyte rather than baby formula or even breast milk for 12-24 hours for babies who have become dehydrated and it acts as a supplement in older children. But, veterinarians also recommend Pedialyte of comparable products made just for dogs when canines become dehydrated.
Signs Your Dog May Be Dehydrated
Your usually happy, tail-wagging pup will not seem like herself at all if she’s become dehydrated after a tummy ache. You will notice she’s more lethargic and maybe loses the proverbial ‘pep in her step’. While that can happen for a number of reasons, dehydration has some specific signs to look out for, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC):
- Sunken or dry-looking eyes
- A loss in skin elasticity
- Dry nose
- Dry and sticky gums
- Thick saliva
- Appetite loss
If you see any of these signs in your pet, call your vet immediately. He or she may recommend you bring her in for a check, but if you can answer some other specific questions that assure the vet this is a case of dehydration, she will likely recommend an electrolyte solution. While you can certainly use the brand name Pedialyte, there are electrolyte solutions out there for dogs that work just as well.
Choosing The Best Electrolyte Solution For Dogs
Sometimes the ‘best’ depends on your pup and the severity of her dehydration, as well as what your dog can handle. Pedialyte or other comparable brands come in flavor varieties often made with sugars. That may be appealing for a child and help convince them to drink up, but might not be necessary for a less-picky canine.
Know how your dog’s tummy reacts to certain artificial ingredients before making your electrolyte choice as the last thing you want is to prolong the dehydration.
How Much Pedialyte Does A Dog Need
Unlike with humans, it’s not a lot. You’re not going to just pour a generous amount into your dog’s bowl and have her drink up. Administer the electrolyte solution carefully and measured according to your dog’s weight.
Feed your dog the electrolyte solution via a measured syringe at a rate of 2-4 ml per pound. Yes, you can measure this out for larger dogs and put it in her bowl or feed her via water bottle, but for smaller dogs, it’s easier to administer using a medical syringe. More severely dehydrated dogs may warrant that vet trip and intravenous hydration.
In the following section, we will examine the features, pros and cons of different electrolyte solutions for dogs so you can make the right choice for your precious pooch.
The Best Electrolyte Solutions For Dogs
- ENHANCES PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE — Improve energy efficiency in slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. Maintain higher output longer. Rapid and slow release fuels help generate high muscle ATP, which can...
- SUPPORTS HYDRATION LEVELS — Nothing does more to hydrate and keep your dog in the performance safety zone than Go Dog. Dogs operate within a narrow core temperature range. Their power zone is...
- AIDS MUSCLE FUNCTION — Supports electrolyte balance, normal cardiovascular, immune and neurological function. Muscle function and fluid balance is aided by maintaining normal fluid balance in the...
Yes, some electrolyte solutions come in powder form and you need to follow the instructions on the packaging and make the mix yourself, but it’s worth it for high quality.
Use K-9 Powder both to rehydrate your dog or to keep an active dog hydrated. It helps her go for long walks, play in the park, run around the yard, and exercise the way she likes while keeping her energy levels up. It comes in different varieties, including Go Dog and Super Fuel. Plus, it comes in different flavors, including meat flavor, to make your specific breed of dog happy. Of course, like any product, there are pros and cons:
- Easy-mix solution
- Enhances your pet’s endurance
- Works quickly to rejuvenate your pet
- Good for both younger and older dogs
- Comes in enjoyable flavors
- Sometimes leaves lumps when mixing
- Needs to be refrigerated to avoid spoiling
Garmon Corp. Pet Electrolyte Concentrate For Dogs
While this solution can also enhance performance like K-9 Powder, it is mainly made for sick dogs. Not only can you give this product to dogs, but you can also give it to cats. You’ll find all the essential vitamins and minerals in this product, including Vitamin B12, potassium, and zinc.
It’s been created by veterinarians who know dogs best and it’s ready to go, meaning it doesn’t have to be mixed. Compare the pros and cons of this product to make the best choice for you and your dog.
- Helps dogs recover from surgeries
- Replaces depleted electrolytes
- Doesn’t leave a powdery residue or lumps as it’s not a mix
- Some dogs are not happy with the flavor and will refuse to drink it
- Veterinarian Recommended
- All Natural
- Maintain proper fluid balance in the blood and tissues
NuPro Custom Electrolyte formula is both affordable and easy to mix. It enhances a dog’s performance, while also rehydrating her if she has become sick. You can use this product on any size dog, helping replenish important vitamins and minerals.
You can even add this to your dog’s bowl (measured, of course, depending on your pet’s breed and size), making this product easy to feed. As always, there are pros and cons to using it.
- Contains added vitamins and nutrients to enhance diet
- Easy to feed to your pet
- Made for animals with dog needs in mind
- Affordable and economical
- Not always easy to mix and leaves lumps
- Some dogs will reject the taste
- Provides Energy Sources, Amino Acids, Dextrose, and Electrolytes
- Helps Support Normal Hydration in Dogs and Cats
- Encourages Water Consumption During Stress and Times of Fluid Loss
This solution needs to be mixed as many electrolyte formulas do for dogs, but it’s chock full of everything a dehydrated or active dog needs.
You’ll find amino acids, dextrose, potassium, calcium, riboflavin, and other important vitamins and minerals in this formula. And, like others like it, it promotes water consumption as it’s mixed with water and can trick your pet into drinking more of the most essential ingredient for hydration. Read below for the pros and cons.
- Contains essential ingredients for hydration and energy
- Helps dogs recover from surgery or illnesses
- Keeps dogs hydrated while they’re transported
- Simple mix solution just using water
- The taste may not be appealing to dogs
- Lumps may be left while mixing
- Unique combination of electrolytes, antioxidants, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to speed recovery after strenuous exercise.
- Non-irritating buffered electrolytes and pH regulating action that helps provide optimum pH and maximize energy utilization and nutrient absorption.
- Nutrient dense with multiple energy sources to promote longer term energy availability.
Like other similar products, this is also a mix and it keeps already hydrated dogs energetic while replenishing electrolytes in dehydrated dogs.
Your dog will get a supplement of all the essential nutrients he needs, including proteins, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, and Vitamins A, D, and E.
This product is good for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds and helps your pet recover from illness, surgery, or just too much activity. See below for the pros and cons.
- Easy-mix formula
- Created by animal experts
- Contains a measuring scoop
- Keeps dogs hydrated when traveling
- Great tastes most dogs enjoy
- Some pickier pets may not enjoy the taste
- Sometimes leaves lumps when mixing
When comparing these five products, The Dog Digest does see a clear winner and that is Thomas Labs HydrADE Electrolyte Powder Dog & Cat Supplement.
First, you can give this product to both dogs and cats. (No, this is not the only multi-pet product out there, but some electrolyte formulas are specific for dogs.)
Next, it comes with such a wide variety of nutrients, your dog’s energy level will increase quickly once ingested.
The Garmon Corp. Pet Electrolyte Concentrate For Dogs comes in as a close second as it’s easier to serve than the other products. While you still have to mix it with water, it comes as a liquid concentrate for convenience. And like the Thomas Labs formula, you can also give this product to cats.
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