Can Dogs Drink Gatorade Safely? What Are The Risks?

Written by Marisa Wilson
Updated: October 8, 2022
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The original sports beverage is Gatorade. It was created in 1965 by researchers at the University of Florida for the football squad known as the “Gators” to replenish and rehydrate athletes. About 90% of Gatorade is water. Hydration is crucial for our overall health, especially after physical effort; therefore, this is an essential component. 

Additionally, Gatorade has sugar-based carbohydrates. This aids in regenerating glycogen, which your muscles use to store sugar for energy. Sodium and potassium are two major electrolytes in Gatorade. Electrolytes perform various tasks, such as controlling how your muscles contract, keeping you hydrated and maintaining a pH balance. 

You may have enjoyed the benefits of this beverage on hot days or long workouts too. How your body responds to this drink makes it normal to ask if it can give your dog the same benefits. Dogs can drink Gatorade safely, but only in moderation. This post will inform you of the benefits and risks and if there are better options for your pup. So keep reading to keep your doggie healthy!

Benefits of Gatorade for Dogs

Gatorade has quite a considerable hydration benefit. It can aid in rehydrating and replacing electrolytes. It can help your dog get to a safe spot to recover in the meantime if they are not drinking enough water on a hot day for any reason. In addition to preventing significant health issues, such as severe dehydration, Gatorade is a highly well-liked sports drink that is widely accessible. 

When given in moderation, there can be some advantages. Be careful because it includes sugar, and excessive amounts can make you sick. More importantly, ensure to provide them with lots of water, as dehydration can be harmful to pets and result in problems like heat stroke. 

You must be aware of the risks associated with providing your dog Gatorade, even though it may assist your dog in retaining water and supplying electrolytes. Before giving anything new to your dog, it is always advised to consult your veterinarian.

Risk of Giving Your Dog Gatorade 

Beautiful labrador retriever dog in the park, sunny day

Gatorade can help with rehydrating but be sure to only give to your pup in moderation to avoid side effects.


If your dog isn’t used to the ingredients in most sports beverages, giving them Gatorade could harm their health. Too much salt can also irritate their stomachs, which may cause them to vomit because it is acidic to the delicate stomach lining. 

Small amounts of Gatorade can help dehydrated dogs gain electrolytes without making them nauseous. Still, you should talk to a vet before giving it to your dog as a dehydration treatment because large amounts can harm a dog’s kidneys over time if offered as a course of care. The sugars in Gatorade might also affect your dog’s blood sugar levels. 

Look out for artificial colors or flavors, as dogs can react to them badly if they are sensitive. While Gatorade can help your dog rehydrate after an illness or physical activity, you should still give them water. This is because it will hydrate them just as well without the risk of side effects from the artificial sweeteners found in many sports drinks, including kidney dysfunction and high blood pressure.

Can Dogs Have Sugar-Free Gatorade?

Artificial sweeteners can be more dangerous to your dog than sugar. The type that is found in Gatorade Zero is sucralose. This is a sweetener with no calories and is widely used worldwide. Sucralose is technically safe for dogs to consume. Therefore, giving your dog small amounts of Splenda or other sucralose products shouldn’t have any adverse effects. Sucralose is not suggested for dogs either, despite this. 

Effects of Sucralose 

If you allow your dog to drink a lot of sucralose, he may encounter a lot of unpleasant side effects, such as:

  • Blood glucose and insulin levels can increase

Sucralose was found to impair insulin sensitivity while raising blood glucose and insulin levels in a previous investigation. Sucralose can destabilize your dog’s blood glucose levels. If they have diabetes, you might wish to avoid adding it to their diet.

  • Irritation of the gut

Numerous helpful bacteria are found in your dog’s digestive system, and these microorganisms are essential to your dog’s immune system health. A study found that sucralose reduced the number of good bacteria in the stomach by 50%. Therefore, if your dog consumes significant amounts of sucralose, they are likely to have digestive problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Cancer risk

Sucralose has been demonstrated to break down and release chloropropanols when heated, which are potentially cancer-causing and hazardous to your dog. 

Better Options 

Suppose you want to find other options for your dog that are better than Gatorade; you’re off to a great start. It’s a great idea to carry these options along with your Gatorade on hot days. 

That way, you have something for yourself and something made for your dog. It’s always helpful to have food and drinks for dogs available so you don’t have to research to see if your dog can have your food or drink. 

It’ll be better food for your dog and more food for you! You can try these lightweight, easy-to-carry drinks for walks. If your dog needs to be rehydrated because they are sick, this can help. There are several excellent options, but these two should cover the bases! 


husky drinking out of water bottle

Portable water bottles are great options to give your dog water on road trips or out hiking.

© Jankovic

It’s safe to give your dog a few ounces of Gatorade but check the ingredients in the sugar-free versions. Giving them sports drinks every day is not recommended. It can affect your dog’s overall health in the long term. Water is the best option to give your dogs for several reasons. 

It helps to keep them hydrated, which is essential for their overall health. Water can help flush toxins out of their system, and it can help to prevent constipation. Finally, water is a refreshing way for them to cool down on a hot day.

If you’re ever unsure whether you should give your dog water, always offer a little to drink, especially during long walks or hot days. They’ll let you know if they’re thirsty! Your dog will be happy knowing you are looking out for them as much as they are looking out for you! Share this article with a dog lover who loves Gatorade!

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The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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