Is Pedialyte a safe treatment for my dehydrated dog? (2024)

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If Pedialyte is safe for humans, isn’t it safe for my dog?

Currently, there is no scientific research showing that Pedialyte is any more helpful for a mildly dehydrated dog than just plain water. It’s important to know that giving your dog Pedialyte risks making them feel even worse, so always talk to a vet before giving your dog any medication or over-the-counter treatments including Pedialyte.

If your pet is sick, especially if they’re having symptoms of vomiting and/or diarrhea, less energy, weak, or difficulty standing, you should call your nearest vet to have your pet examined so that appropriate veterinary treatment can be given.

Dogs experiencing dehydration develop imbalances in their electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. Vomiting and diarrhea, for example, often cause a loss of electrolytes, while dogs with heat stroke or heat exhaustion often have higher than normal levels of these electrolytes in which Pedialyte could actually worsen their symptoms. If your dog can drink fluids and is not vomiting, plain water is recommended and is a much safer choice over Pedialyte.

What is Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is an electrolyte solution used for children or adults with symptoms of mild diarrhea or dehydration. It helps add electrolytes and fluids that are lost from diarrhea. This helps a person with mild dehydration feel better.

But remember, Pedialyte is made for humans, not for dogs. Because Pedialyte is formulated for humans, it contains higher levels of sodium than dogs need and also contains sugar - both of which can be harmful to dogs, especially if they are senior dogs, pregnant or nursing/lactating dogs, have other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or other conditions that make them more sensitive to increased sodium and sugar levels.

What causes dehydration in dogs?

If you suspect your dog is dehydrated, you should contact your vet or the nearest pet emergency hospital. Dogs become dehydrated from continued vomiting and/or diarrhea, being active in extremely hot weather, or from being sick with a fever. Dogs with diabetes can become dehydrated when they have too much sugar in their blood, causing them to urinate a lot. Increased panting, which is how dogs manage their body temperature when they get too hot, can also lead to dehydration.

Severe dehydration left untreated can lead to severe conditions including kidney failure, abnormal heart rhythms, and even death.

Dogs experiencing mild dehydration often recover quickly once they’ve taken in enough plain water.

When dogs become severely dehydrated, drinking water or Pedialyte will often not be enough to rehydrate and stabilize their condition. Often, if they have signs of vomiting or diarrhea, continuing to offer Pedialyte will stimulate them to continue to vomit which further dehydrates them, making their condition worse. Your vet will determine what’s causing the dehydration and give any necessary medication along with fluid therapy to relieve your dog’s symptoms and help them recover.

What can I do if my dog is dehydrated?

Of course, you want to help your dog and relieve their symptoms, but in some cases, home remedies (such as Pedialyte) which delay veterinary care, can actually worsen the symptoms.

Once your dog has been assessed by your vet, they will make recommendations for the best way to rehydrate. In mild cases, the vet may recommend Pedialyte or another electrolyte solution or rice water. Rice water helps especially in cases of dogs experiencing frequent diarrhea. While it doesn’t have any electrolytes, it does help firm loose stools. Always follow your vet’s recommendations regarding how much and how often to give these options to your dog.

For moderate dehydration, your vet may opt to treat the dehydration with fluid therapy under the skin, also known as subcutaneous fluids. The type of fluid used depends on your dog’s condition and diagnosis and often has a blend of sterile water, dextrose (a type of sugar), and balanced electrolytes. When given under the skin, the fluid is absorbed slowly over several hours. For dogs with chronic conditions such as chronic kidney disease, owners can learn how to give fluid therapy subcutaneously at home.

How much water is normal for my dog to drink?

In general, healthy dogs need about an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. If they are experiencing fluid losses, such as vomiting or diarrhea, their water intake should increase to keep up with these demands.

Home Remedies for Dehydration in Dogs

In some instances, you can make your own fluid replacement solution to help rehydrate your dog. Note that it’s recommended that you only give fluid replacement solutions to your dog on the advice of your vet. If your vet recommends giving your dog an electrolyte fluid replacement, you can purchase the solution at your vet’s office or make your own using the following recipe:

Recipe for electrolyte fluid replacement for dogs:

  1. Mix 4 cups of water + 1 tablespoon dextrose or honey + 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Bring the water to a low boil and add the dextrose/honey and salt. Stir until it dissolves. Remove from heat. Allow the solution to cool to room temperature before giving it to your pet.
  3. Offer small amounts of the solution, 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon depending on the size of your dog, every 20-30 minutes.

If your dog continues to vomit, has diarrhea, acts weak, or is not responsive to you, or shows other concerning symptoms, contact your vet right away. For an initial assessment, you can schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians using the FirstVet App.

Read more:

Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs

Gastrointestinal Diets for Dogs and Cats

Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding your dog’s dehydration or another condition?

Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

Is Pedialyte a safe treatment for my dehydrated dog? (2024)

FAQs

Is Pedialyte a safe treatment for my dehydrated dog? ›

In small amounts, Pedialyte is safe for most dogs, however, it's important to talk to a vet before giving your dog any treatment, including over-the-counter products such as Pedialyte. If your dog is ill or has vomiting or diarrhea, Pedialyte may not be enough to keep them hydrated.

Do vets recommend Pedialyte for dogs? ›

If your dog is low on fluids, your veterinarian may recommend giving your dog Pedialyte to help replenish their electrolytes. When used appropriately, Pedialyte is a safe and effective way to help your dog rehydrate.

What is the best thing to rehydrate a dog with? ›

If you notice signs of dehydration in your dog, slowly give him water with electrolytes to drink. If he can't hold any water down, give him some ice to lick. If he stops drinking altogether, contact your veterinarian right away.

Can dogs drink Pedialyte everyday? ›

“While Pedialyte in small amounts is likely not dangerous for dogs, the electrolytes in the drink are formulated for humans, not animals,” Dr. Mandese points out. “In larger amounts, the high concentration of additives, such as sodium and glucose, could potentially be dangerous, especially in smaller animals.”

What do vets give dogs for dehydration? ›

You may be advised to offer your pet a small amount of water on your way to your vet's office to help begin the rehydration process. Dogs suffering from extreme dehydration will typically be treated with intravenous fluids to rehydrate them.

What can I give my dog instead of Pedialyte? ›

Recipe for electrolyte fluid replacement for dogs:
  • Mix 4 cups of water + 1 tablespoon dextrose or honey + 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Bring the water to a low boil and add the dextrose/honey and salt. ...
  • Offer small amounts of the solution, 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon depending on the size of your dog, every 20-30 minutes.
Aug 23, 2021

How to hydrate a dog when they won't drink? ›

Some strategies you can try include:
  1. Changing their water source. Some dogs may prefer drinking from a specific bowl or a running water source.
  2. Adding flavor to their water. Some dogs may be more inclined to drink water if it's flavored with a small amount of chicken broth or apple juice.
  3. Offering ice cubes.

Can you treat dog dehydration at home? ›

If your pooch is mildly dehydrated provide your pet with small amounts of water to drink every few minutes or offer your dog pieces of ice to lick. To help restore your dog's electrolyte balance you could also provide your pup with Ringer's lactate (an electrolyte replacement fluid).

How long does it take for a dog to recover from dehydration? ›

A pet with severe dehydration will take longer to recover, and their recovery time will depend on the extent of their dehydration and the underlying cause. If the dehydration was caught early and your pet only requires IV fluids, they may only need to stay in hospital for a day.

How to make homemade Pedialyte for dogs? ›

Homemade Pedialyte for Dogs

Add 1 pinch of good sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan) to some sparkling water. The sparkling water helps transport the water into the cells, along with minerals from the sea salt. You can add coconut water or broth for some extra nutrients.

Can I give my dog Pedialyte if he's not eating? ›

Yes - pedialyte can be used in dogs. CriticalCareVet : It is preferred to use the unflavored type rather than the flavors, but it can be used in dogs as well as children.

Is it okay to put chicken broth on dry dog food? ›

Adding some chicken broth to the kibble, or serving the chicken broth by itself, is a great way to entice dogs to eat and get some nutrients and hydration. Plain rice is also a great food to give dogs with digestive problems and would be great served with some chicken broth!

How much water does it take to rehydrate a dog? ›

A ⅛ cup of fluid per hour is enough to rehydrate small pets while a ¼ cup of fluid per hour is good for larger canines. If your pet is showing signs of severe dehydration, call your vet right away. Monitor your dog's condition – Check to see if your pet will feel better within the next few hours after getting hydrated.

Does wet dog food help with dehydration? ›

Wet dog food, or “canned food,” sometimes provides benefits that dry food doesn't offer, such as: Higher moisture content: Wet food may be a good choice if your dog doesn't drink as much as they should, or if they have a medical condition that could benefit from proper hydration.

What kind of Pedialyte is best for dogs? ›

If your vet permits you to offer Pedialyte to your dog, the unflavored form is preferred over flavored varieties. Of the various flavors (including strawberry, mixed berry, grape, bubble gum, and coconut), no flavor is necessarily better than any other though your dog may have her own preference.

Is Pedialyte or Gatorade better for dogs? ›

But we don't recommend it. A few sips of Gatorade are perfectly safe for your dog, but water is the only fluid your dog needs to stay hydrated. It may help your dog somewhat to have a few sips of Gatorade after a bout of diarrhea, but Pedialyte is probably a better choice.

How often should I give my dog Pedialyte for Parvo? ›

Try to get at least a tablespoon of pedialyte into your pup every hour and if it stays down for 30 minutes you can try a bit more.

What helps settle a dog's stomach? ›

Vets often suggest a bland diet to treat a dog's upset stomach. Rice and chicken, or a more specific diet, removes the irritating substances from food to help your dog's digestive system rebalance itself.

How to rehydrate a dog after diarrhea? ›

For those dogs not interested in plain rice water, you can add a couple of teaspoons of low sodium chicken broth powder or dog-safe bone broth (be sure it does not contain any onions or garlic). You can even add it to their regular drinking water just to help improve hydration.

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