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Can I give my dog Gatorade?

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

My dog has been sick – vomiting and had diarrhea. My vet told me to give him some Gatorade. Is that really okay?

Donald H.


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your dog had vomiting and diarrhea and your vet recommended Gatorade and want to know if it is okay to give Gatorade. The answer is yes, you can give Gatorade to your dog.

I'm not sure what instructions your vet gave but this is generally what I recommend to a client that calls me:

If a dog has just had a few episodes of vomiting and diarrhea at home and is otherwise acting okay – I recommend holding water (not give water) for a few hours then reintroduce only small amounts of water at a time. Encourage your dog to drink but don't allow him to over drink. I don't want him drinking a whole bowl then vomiting it back up. Give him maybe ¼ of a cup – see if he drinks it and keeps it down. If he does keep it down– offer a little more 10 to 15 minutes later. Do this until he no longer wants water. You can offer Gatorade in place of water as an alterative.

If there is no vomiting after several hours of water drinking, then introduce a bland diet. Create a bland diet by making boiled rice and mix with boiled cooked hamburger (boil in water and drain). Mix the hamburger and rice to a 50/50 mix. Offer a small meatball sized portion. Again you don't want him to overeat. If he eats this small amount and keeps it down then offer a little more about an hour later. Go gradually. Gradually increase the amount and decrease the frequency. The next day – start mixing in his regular food and wean back to his normal diet over 2 days.

If your dog continues vomiting, acts lethargic or you have any other concerns, call your vet again or your local emergency clinic.

An article that might be helpful to you is Vomiting and Diarrhea in Dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Jon




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