Are you questioning whether to give your dog flavored water? Perhaps they do not seem interested in drinking, maybe you just want to treat them. Either way, is this something that can, or should be done? Here is what you have to know.
So, can dogs drink flavored water? For the most part, dogs should not be drinking flavored water. Most flavoring products contain sweeteners, high amounts of sugar, or other potentially harmful ingredients that dogs cannot digest or excrete. There are, however, a few flavored water exceptions, such as those designed for dogs and vet-approved.
For the most part, flavored water is really not a good idea.
Let us now look at why, before turning to some of the potential exceptions.
Be sure to keep reading; it’s pretty important you get this right!
Can You Give A Dog Flavored Water?
Whether you can give a dog flavored water depends on the flavoring; what is the water flavored with? For the most part, however, most flavored water is not appropriate in the diet of a dog.
And here is perhaps the most important point of all.
Flavoring is not necessary.
This is not something that will appeal to a dog, make them drink anymore, nor will it give them any benefits.
Besides, most flavored water products you are likely considering were designed for humans.
And our enjoyment.
Now we have to consider here how different our bodies are to our dogs.
We react very differently to some ingested compounds.
And dogs, cannot even sweat for instance.
So, once they are ingested – your dog will struggle to remove them from its body.
And besides, being smaller means that the dose is naturally higher too.
The same amount of a compound ingested by a human is a very different amount from that ingested by a dog.
But what in flavored water could be so problematic?
Take Xylitol for example.
A ‘natural’ sweetener that can be fatal for dogs if ingested.
Now, of course, not all flavored water will contain this specific sweetener, but they are likely to contain others like sucralose or aspartame.
And just looking at this helpful article by the AKC; most can result in adverse side effects – notably gastrointestinal symptoms and diarrhea.
This quote was pretty striking regarding Aspartame:
“It is in no way a healthy product for dogs to consume”
So for the most part, any flavored water product with sweeteners or additives should be avoided.
And that naturally raises the question; what about flavored waters that have ‘no chemicals’.
Just a small amount of fruit juice or perhaps just a small amount of sugar?
Well, these may be okay in very small quantities.
But, even these drinks can cause issues – ranging from upset stomach to cavities to weight gain and metabolic changes. At least according to PetMD.
So these are best avoided too.
Of course, there are a few caveats here.
Perhaps the only one being water that you flavor yourself with wet dog food.
This is an excellent, vet-approved way to support a dog’s hydration; as it provides the nutrients from the wet food.
Now, your dog may not want to drink it, and you will need to change it more often than regular water.
But it is something to try, particularly if your dog is suffering from kidney issues.
But other than that pretty much all flavored water is out.
Unless you purchase one particular type of product.
And we will now get into this in the next section.
What Drinks Can Dogs Have Besides Water?
Very little should be given to dogs to drink besides water. For the most part, fresh, clean water is the only drink that dogs should consume. The few exceptions include those drinks designed specifically for dogs, that have been trialed, tested and vet-approved.
And most of these drinks are designed for a particular purpose; not to replace regular, clean fresh water in the diet.
For instance, there are hydration products that have been purposefully designed for dogs. Here is an excellent example, and best seller on Amazon.
- Essential Nutrients - Daily servings contain necessary nutrients to help keep your active dog safe and hydrated
- Total Hydration Drink - Boosts hydration and provides a clean source of short-burst and long-range energy fuel
- Energy Blend - Protein and carbohydrates provide energy, while electrolytes help maintain hydration, protecting against overheating and dehydration
- Real Ingredients - Each product is made with 100% human-grade ingredients for exceptional nutritional value and quality. Save more with our larger bulk sizes!
- Convenient Scoop - For serving your dog the most accurate dose based on their weight. Perfect to mix with water before and during any exercise or activity
These kinds of products are ideal during warmer weather, during/following a health issue, or during/after a period of increased exercise.
These are carefully formulated, but they are not required for every dog to remain hydrated nor something every owner needs to buy and have to hand all the time.
Instead, dogs do best, and pretty much only need fresh, clean water.
So that means changing it frequently, ensuring it is always available, and actually making sure your dog drinks it.
If they don’t, then be sure to contact a vet.
It could indicate something is wrong.
Dogs should not be drinking flavored water. Other than a few minor exceptions as I have called out here today.
I know you want the best for your dog, otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.
But just remember, dogs do not want, or need, anything other than plain fresh water.
That should suffice in keeping them well-hydrated.
For the most part that is.
Health issues and conditions are potential exceptions here and in this instance, they may need something a little more specific.
But that’s for your vet to tell you and prescribe.
Stick with plain water.
It’s for the best.
Wondering what else dogs can and cannot drink? Then you may want to check out my guides below:
- Can Dogs Drink Capri Sun?
- Can Dogs Drink Kombucha?
- Can Dogs Drink Chamomile Tea?
- Can Dogs Drink Coke?
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.