Most humans typically sip from a variety of tasty beverages each day. Water should still be a part of our daily drinking routine, but it’s rare when water is someone’s only hydration source. With this in mind, many pet parents often wonder if their dogs can enjoy multiple beverage options as well. If you find yourself wondering “What can my dog drink besides water?”, then you are in the right place! The short answer is that there are a few beverages that are safe for dogs to drink in small servings, but water still needs to be your dog’s main source of hydration.
In this article, we will discuss the dog-safe liquids that you can offer your pup in small amounts. Let’s get started!
Do Dogs Need To Drink Water Every Day?
Before we dive into the discussion on safe drinking options for dogs, we should first cover the importance of daily water intake for our canine friends. Water should be the main source of hydration for your dog, as this is the key to their overall health and nourishment. Our dogs rely on a healthy water intake to ensure the proper function of their organs, to carry nutrients from cell to cell, to support cognitive function, and so much more. Water is just as essential to our dogs as it is for us, and dehydration can lead to serious health complications as a result.
Our dogs need to drink one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day to maintain adequate hydration. While your dog’s thirst will vary based on how active they are each day, this is the general goal that your pup should aim for. Whether you are offering your dog small samples of other liquids or not, you should always make sure they are at least hitting this water intake goal. Water is the best option for full canine hydration, so you should not factor any other liquids into the ounce per pound of body weight rule.
Can Dogs Get Tired Of Drinking Water All The Time?
We love a little variety when it comes to the beverages we drink each day, so you may wonder if your dog feels the same as well. Thankfully for our water-drinking pups, they just don’t know any different. Our dogs do not realize that there is a world out there filled with sugary sodas and refreshing treats, so they do not feel like they are missing out when they drink water. While it’s nice to let our pups take a sip of a dog-safe beverage from time to time, we do not need to worry about our dogs growing tired of their water. Water is simply a refreshing tool for survival for the dogs in our home.
What Can Dogs Drink Besides Water?
Now that you are aware of the fact that water needs to be a dog’s main source of hydration, we can list some of the safe beverage options that dogs can occasionally indulge in. Just keep in mind that while dogs can take a few sips of the following liquid options, it should only be seen as a treat. The following beverage options should not take the place of water in your dog’s daily fluid intake.
Unsweetened Coconut Water
Unsweetened coconut water is safe for our canine friends to drink on occasion. Coconut water contains nutrients like Vitamin C and potassium, so it can be a hydrating pick-me-up on a hot summer day. As long as you offer your dog no more than an ounce per serving, then your pup can safely enjoy this tasty treat.
Unsalted Bone Broth
Unsalted bone broth is another safe liquid option for our canine companions. Some pet parents even mix bone broth with their dog’s food each day, as it contains an array of essential minerals that improve nutrient absorption. The safest way to offer your dog bone broth is by choosing a company that creates bone broth for dogs, as this will allow you to ensure their safety with each sip. As long as your bone broth of choice is unsalted, then most dogs can typically enjoy up to an ounce safely.
Some Vegetable Or Fruit Juices
If the fruit or vegetable is safe for dogs to eat in small amounts, then your pup can consume it in juice form as well. As long as this juice is free of any added sugar or salt in the juicing process, then a few sips of fruit or veggie juice can be a wonderful treat. Just keep in mind that some fruits are higher in sugar than others, so you may need to limit the intake of certain juices. For example, while mangoes and bananas are safe for dogs to eat, they are quite high in sugar and should only be offered to your dog in small servings.
If you need some insight on which fruits and veggies are safe for dogs to eat, then take a look at our detailed guide on the topic here!
Unsweetened Nut Milk
Dairy can lead to GI upset for the dogs in our home, but nut milks can be a safe alternative. Unsweetened cashew or almond milk is packed with beneficial vitamins, so a few sips of this milk alternative can be a nutritious treat. Just be sure to avoid any type of macadamia nut milk, as macadamia nuts are considered highly toxic to dogs.
How Often Can My Dog Drink Other Liquids?
Now that you are aware of the other drinks you can offer your canine friend, you might be wondering just how often you can give them to your pup. While every dog will vary on how sensitive their stomach is, it’s safe to say that your pup can enjoy these treats anywhere from 3-4 times per week. Just make sure that you are offering this liquid as a treat, and this means it should not exceed the 10% calorie rule. A dog’s daily treat intake should never make up more than 10% of their daily caloric intake, and this includes dog-safe beverages as well.
If you notice that your dog gets an upset stomach after drinking any of the liquids above, then we suggest either cutting back on the amount you offer or not offering this beverage at all. You know your dog best, so we suggest always keeping a close eye on them when you introduce a new treat to their diet. Even if a beverage is considered safe for dogs, some dogs will still be sensitive to certain food and beverage items.
Are There Any Liquids I Should Never Give My Dog?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the drinks that dogs can enjoy safely, we want to make sure you are aware of the drink options that you should always keep away from your pup. No matter how interested your dog is in the items we list below, you should keep them away from your furry friend at all times.
Some drinks that are dangerous for dogs include:
- Caffeine of any kind which includes coffee, energy drinks, and soda
- Drinks containing chocolate
- Alcohol, or any drinks that contain alcohol
- Grape juice, or any juices that contain grapes
- Drinks that are high in sugar or sodium including soft drinks, artificial juices, and sports drinks
- Drinks that are sugar-free, as they often contain artificial sweeteners like xylitol
- Water that contains chlorine
If your dog accidentally consumes any of the liquids that we listed above, then we suggest reaching out to your veterinarian for guidance as soon as possible. The above beverages can cause complications ranging from GI upset to seizures, so you always want to seek veterinary care as soon as you can.
What Can I Flavor My Dog’s Water With?
Dogs are able to drink naturally flavored water that is only comprised of safe and suitable ingredients. If you would like to add something to their water to enhance it for them, you should only ever add ingredients that are acceptable to their diets. Many human water enhancers are not intended for dogs and contain many ingredients that can harm your pooch’s stomach and digestive tract. Not only that but many of the water enhancers we use contain toxic items like artificial sweeteners, which are deadly to our furry friends.
If you wish to add something to their water in order to give them a flavor boost, here are a few excellent choices:
- Fresh Fruit – apples, blueberries, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries, and watermelon are just a few of the many fruits you can add. However, it is important to note that you should never add grapes as they are toxic to your dog’s system.
- Frozen Dog Treat Mixes – there are many powdered mixes available for your dog as well as items that you can freeze, like peanut butter or almond butter (make sure your dog is not allergic to nut butters), and add to their water bowls for a touch of flavor.
Before you add anything, it is always important to look at the ingredients to make sure they are safe for your dog.
There are a few beverages that are safe for dogs to drink in small servings, but water still needs to be your dog’s main source of hydration. As long as you only offer the dog-safe liquids we discussed above as an occasional treat, then your canine companion can enjoy these tasty liquids without harm.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © BublikHaus/Shutterstock.com
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- Advanced Pet vet, Available here: https://advancedpetvet.com/2021/02/16/how-much-water-should-a-dog-drink/#:~:text=A%20general%20rule%20of%20thumb,fluid%20ounces%20in%20a%20day.