- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Many of us find it hard to survive without refreshing sparkling beverages like LaCroix, Pellegrino, and seltzer, but how does your pet feel about them? And more importantly, is bubbly water really safe for your dog? We’ve done a little research on the topic to help you decide whether giving your dog a sip of your sparkling water is a good idea.
Fresh, clean water is always going to be the best drinking option for your pet. Water is essential for the health of your dog, and according to canine nutritionist Diana Laverdure-Dunetz, MS writing for Dogster, it’s imperative when it comes to:
- Regulating body temperature
- Lubricating joints
- Flushing out waste products from their bodies
- Helping with digestion
- Keeping the skin elastic
Additionally, dogs don’t need the added sugar or sodium in other types of beverages. Dr. Gary Richter, DVM, member of Rover’s Dog People Panel and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, says, “my recommendation would always be to take ‘regular’ water for the dog.”
Most people know to avoid offering liquids like milk, Gatorade, pool water and fruit juice to dogs, but when it comes to sparkling water, things are a little fuzzier…or should we say fizzier?
Dr. Richter acknowledges that there’s not a lot of research into this issue. He says, “while carbonated water is OK in a pinch, it’s not something I would recommend.” Why is that? Well, there’s a rare, outside chance that if your dog guzzles sparkling water, too much gas buildup would occur. “My biggest concern would be gas buildup,” Dr. Richter explains. “I doubt anyone has actually studied if this could lead to bloat, but it would be a concern in large dogs.”
Bloat is a potentially life-threatening condition in dogs, and larger breeds are more susceptible to it. So, while there’s no conclusive evidence about fizzy water causing bloat in dogs, we’d still suggest that your dog stay away from the bubbles.
What’s more, some sparkling drinks, like diet sodas, also include xylitol, which according to the American Animal Hospital Association, can dangerously lower your pet’s blood sugar levels, cause liver disease, and interfere with the blood’s ability to clot. Scary stuff! Xylitol is also found in sugar-free versions of peanut butter and other foods.
Another reason not to give your dog a sip of Coke? Well, it’s not a good idea to give dogs anything that contains sugar or caffeine. Pet Poison Helpline points out that dogs are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine, and when they ingest it, can suffer from vomiting, elevated heart rate, hyperactivity, hypertension, seizures, and more.
The answer is pretty clear: don’t take any chances! Plan on sticking to fresh water for your thirsty pet. Whether you decide to give your dog unfiltered, filtered, cold or bottled H2O, it makes little sense to shell out the extra cash for sparkling or carbonated beverages when the best thing for them is flowing freely from your faucet.
And since water is so important for your dog’s well-being, it’s great to make sure they’re drinking enough every day (especially during these hot stretches of sunny days). A good rule of thumb is to provide about an ounce of water per pound of body weight, per day. To ensure that your pet is properly hydrated:
- Make sure you have a bowl of water readily available wherever your dog spends time, including outside
- Take water with you to the dog park, so they won’t get overheated while they’re exercising
- Take along a special water bottle or portable water dish for your dog on outings
Want to know if your dog is currently drinking enough water? Make sure they’re drinking from their water bowl several times a day, and that the level of water in the bowl is always going down. Your furry friend should also be peeing multiple times a day, and their skin and coat should be smooth and elastic rather than flaky or dry.
Of course, every dog is different, so make sure to consult with your veterinarian if you notice something strange about your pet’s drinking habits. And remember, just because you’re forgoing the bubbles for your pet, and providing them with plenty of fresh water this summer, doesn’t mean that you have to put that favorite sparkling beverage down. Sit back, relax, and enjoy that LaCroix.