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Is Pedialyte Safe for Dogs?

Although Pedialyte is a human medication, it is safe for dogs. But what is the appropriate Pedialyte dosage and can it be given to healthy dogs? This DogAppy article elaborates more on these issues.
DogAppy Staff
Did You Know?
When administering Pedialyte to your pet, do not mix it with sugary liquids as it may aggravate its condition.
Pedialyte, a liquid formulation, is often prescribed to treat as well as prevent dehydration symptoms in infants and children. The liquid formula is specifically added with electrolytes like sodium chloride, potassium, and magnesium. This helps to better hydrate the body in situations that cause heavy fluid loss due to vomiting and diarrhea. However, can this human formulation be given to dogs when they are suffering from symptoms of dehydration? The following write-up discusses the safety aspect of Pedialyte in dogs.
Can Pedialyte Be Given to Dogs?
A dehydrated dog that often pants excessively and appears overly sluggish in its movements, requires more than just water for hydration. This can always be fulfilled by giving Pedialyte. While Pedialyte has been mainly formulated for humans, there is absolutely no harm in giving this electrolyte drink to sick dogs. As aforementioned, Pedialyte is essentially an electrolyte solution, which can also help meet the dog's electrolyte requirements in times of sickness.
The dosage will vary depending upon the weight of your dog and severity of dehydration. However, in general, you should allow your pet to drink Pedialyte to its heart's content, without worrying about the dose in order to prevent and treat dehydration.
However, if the dog is not well enough to even drink the solution, you may have to force feed it. You can use a spoon or a syringe for feeding. Take the help of a vet in case you are unable to feed with a syringe. The daily dosage is generally 15 ml for every pound of your pet's weight. You can split this dose and feed it 4 to 5 times in a day. Although humans take Pedialyte without diluting it, your vet may suggest combining it with water. You will be advised to dilute Pedialyte in a 50:50 solution before administering the dosage. This diluted form of Pedialyte is given in doses of one full cup every 1 to 2 hours.
Flavored or Unflavored Pedialyte?
As a pet owner, you are unlikely to face any difficulty in giving flavored versions to your pet as they are sweet. However, flavored types are high in coloring agents that may cause an allergic reaction. So, firstly, try the unflavored type, but in case you notice that your pet looks disinterested in drinking, go for flavored Pedialyte.
Can Pedialyte be Given to Healthy Dogs?
Pedialyte is not an alternative to drinking water and should be given only when the dog is sick and vomiting or suffering from diarrhea, which increases the risk of dehydration. It has been formulated to replace electrolyte loss, which is common in sick dogs. The oral electrolyte solution is recommended when there is heavy fluid loss. In such circumstances, giving Pedialyte to healthy dogs is absolutely unnecessary.
Moreover, Pedialyte contains substantial amount of sodium and other electrolytes. For instance, a small 235 ml bottle of Pedialyte contains approximately 250 mg of sodium, which is 11% of the daily recommended intake. This high sodium electrolyte supplementation is actually necessary when there is heavy fluid loss. However, in healthy dogs where there is minimal electrolyte loss, giving Pedialyte to meet their fluid needs, can actually lead to high levels of sodium in the blood. Too much of sodium intake can actually make the dog sick and even increase the risk of seizures.
Serious cases of dehydration may require hospitalization and appropriate treatment. On a concluding note, a dog showing signs of dehydration is a cause for concern, but just giving Pedialyte may work to replenish fluids and speed up recovery from a bad case of dehydration.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.