Pedialyte is a liquid formulation that is often prescribed as treatment for dehydration for babies and young children. Containing electrolytes such as sodium chloride, potassium, and magnesium, Pedialyte greatly aids in re-hydrating the body after it loses vast amounts of water and electrolytes, due to situations such as vomiting and diarrhea.
But, that’s for human beings. What about dogs? Can Pedialyte be given to dogs who suffer from dehydration?
Can You Give Dogs Pedialyte? Is Pedialyte Safe For Dogs?
The answer is YES, you can give your dog Pedialyte, as it does not contain any ingredients that pose any danger to your dog’s health.
Even though Pedialyte was made for humans in mind, you can safely give your dog Pedialyte to help them recover from dehydration and get the healthy balance of electrolytes back in their body.
How To Tell If Your Dog Needs Pedialyte
The most common causes of dehydration in dogs, which leads to the need for Pedialyte due to the large loss in fluid and electrolyte levels, are:
- Refusal to drink enough water (because when your dog is sick, good luck getting them to drink the amount of water they need due to the high nausea levels they experience!)
Moreover, here are some of the most common symptoms that should raise a red flag and often times mean that your dog is dehydrated and needs Pedialyte:
- Excessive panting
- Lethargic and sluggish movement
- Hollowed eyes
- Dry areas of skin, especially around the eyes, mouth and nose areas
- Vomiting (which usually means a moderate-serious case of dehydration)
- Refusal to eat and drink properly (if this happens for more than 24 hours, you also have a case of severe dehydration on your hands)
If you see any of these symptoms in your dog, you have to immediately call your veterinarian and tell them about the situation.
Your veterinarian might tell you that giving your dog some Pedialyte would be just fine, or they might tell you that your dog needs a more serious course of treatment, so you should always consult with them first and follow their directions.
How Can You Give Dogs Pedialyte?
Pedialyte is usually given to dogs orally, by means of:
- In a bottle
- Mixed in with their drinking bowl
- Syringe (used in situations where your dog is giving you a hard time and won’t take it on their own very easily)
There are two types of Pedialyte, flavored and unflavored. And, since the flavored Pedialyte contains many coloring agents that could give your dog allergies, it’s safest if you only give your dog unflavored Pedialyte.
In general, for every 1 part of Pedialyte, you should mix it with 1 part of water to for dilution purposes.
Dosage Of Pedialyte For Dogs
To be as safe as possible when giving your dog Pedialyte, you have to make sure you do two things:
- Follow the dosage amount and directions mentioned on the bottle
- Talk to your veterinarian and ask them about the dosage you should give your dog, as they will be able to tell you the exact dosage that your dog requires, depending on the severity of their dehydration
Usually, dogs are given at least 15 ml for every pound of their body weight per day in order to maintain proper hydration levels.
You can feel free to divide the dosage into 3-4 equally split amounts every day, on condition that you follow this set schedule for the remainder of the course of treatment so you don’t cause inconsistencies in your dog’s system.
A good rule of thumb to follow is that small dogs should be taking 1/8 cups every hour, while larger dogs should be taking 1/4 cups every hour.
Again, these are only ballpark figures and the required amount for your dog may be very different (depending on many factors such as your dog’s weight and the severity of dehydration they are suffering from), which is why you should always ask your veterinarian about it first and follow their directions.
When Is Pedialyte Bad For Dogs?
The most common situation where you should NOT give your dog Pedialyte is when they’re not really sick.
This might seem like common sense, but this rule has been broken one too many times.
If your dog isn’t sick, many dog owners make this mistake and still give their dog Pedialyte thinking it’s a healthy practice to do.
It’s not, it’s actually a very bad practice, because you’re giving your dog this large extra flood of electrolytes which their body does not need.
Moreover, if you give your dog Pedialyte and they’re not sick, this can raise the sodium levels in their blood to very dangerous levels.