What Can Dogs Drink Beside Water? (Safe Drinks Apart from Water)

What Can Dogs Drink Beside Water

Dogs will often drink things that they shouldn’t. Occasionally an owner might have to offer them something else to drink apart from water due to circumstance.

Whatever your reason for wanting to know what else can dogs drink besides from water, I’ve got the full lowdown for you. Here’s the short answer first, followed by some drinks that are safe or dangerous… or somewhere in-between.

What can dogs drink beside water? Apart from water, dogs can drink whole fruit juice with no added sugars in very small amounts. They don’t need to though and dogs should only really drink clean, fresh water, and nothing apart from that.

However, sometimes you might not have a choice. There are also novelty and specialty products such as dog beer or dog wine has been formulated especially for dogs. If your dog is suffering from dehydration you can give him electrolytes such as Pedialyte.

I’ll be honest and say I was surprised to hear you can buy non-alcoholic drinks for your dog! But rest assured they contain no harmful substances and if your idea of a wine includes organic salmon oil, well, who am I to comment?

What my research also highlighted for me was that the things dogs can drink apart from water need to be carefully monitored. There really are some drinks aside from water your dog should never drink.

Read on as I share some of the ways you can keep your dog hydrated with drinks besides water. I’ll also talk about how to keep your dog healthy by not drinking the wrong stuff.

Should dogs only drink water?

The best and only drink you should be giving your dog is clean and fresh water. I know some doggie owners go as far as only giving their dogs filtered water (be wary of distilled though). This can only be good for them, so I won’t moot that point.

what can dogs drink apart from water
Dogs should not really drink anything else apart from water (Image licensed from Storyblocks.com)

As long as you’re changing your dog’s water every day and keeping it away from birds (you don’t want their droppings contaminating the water), then water is the only drink your dog needs to stay hydrated.

Of course, your dog won’t object to the odd sip of your whole fruit juice. They’ll even slurp up the fresh orange juice dripping from the segments you’re munching.

But oranges do contain high levels of natural sugars and are acidic, so too much could become a health issue for your dog. You should think carefully about letting dogs drink too much OJ beside water… it’s not a good long-term drink.

Why is water important for dogs?

All mammals, which includes us human beings, rely on water to keep their bodies functioning optimally. Water keeps your dog’s joints nicely lubricated and cushions their internal organs. Water also aids in regulating your doggie’s body temperature and is vital for a healthy digestive system.

Water is essential for cells in your dog’s body to absorb all the nutrients he needs from his food. That means that whilst there are things besides water dogs can drink, they still need to have water, lots of water.

Dogs need to have about an ounce of fluids for every pound they weigh, daily. So, if your Alsatian weighs a healthy 88 pounds. you need to make sure he has 88 ounces of water every day. This is the equivalent of 11 cups of water.

If your dog is a particularly active dog, then make sure he has more water available to drink – leave water bowls out all day, and filled with clean water.

What can I give my dog if he is dehydrated?

When us humans get dehydrated, it’s always advisable to take some electrolytes drink. Can we do the same with our fur-baby who has become dehydrated?

Dehydration happens when your dog (and us) loses too much water and don’t replace it with more fluids. This can happen as a result of severe diarrhea or vomiting and even getting heat stroke.

Your dog can become dehydrated if he doesn’t have access to enough clean, fresh water.

Signs of dehydration include:

  • No skin elasticity
  • Lethargy
  • Panting or heavy breathing
  • Sunken-in eyes
  • Dry nose and gums
  • Thick saliva
  • Loss of appetite

When your dog is dehydrated, he’s lacking in electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. Which is why giving your dog more water when their dehydrated won’t help to replace the depleted electrolytes.

In the case of dehydration, you can give your dog an electrolytes-based fluid such as Pedialyte. However, I always recommend you get your vet’s advice first before you give your dog any treatment.

In cases of severe dehydration, your vet may need to give your dog intravenous fluids to replace the loss of fluids in your dog’s body.

Handy Hint: Does you dog keep trying to drink the blue toilet water from the bowl? Here’s what can happen when dog’s drink toilet bowl water.

What drinks beside water should my dog never drink?

Coffee may be your favorite kick-start for the day, but your dog should not be given coffee to get his day going. Tea is a no-no too as well as some other human drinks we tend to enjoy.

Here’s a list of drinks you shouldn’t be giving your dog even if they plead with those begging eyes!

Caffeinated drinks

I’ve already mentioned coffee and tea is not a drink to be shared with your dog. This is because caffeine can create a negative reaction in the dog’s body similar to poisoning. So, rule out energy drinks, sodas, cocoa and any other drink that contains caffeine.

By the way, this includes decaffeinated coffee. You may not know this, but it does contain between 3 mg and 12 mg of caffeine, enough to be a hazard to your dog.

Lemonade and lime juice

Freshly made lemonade and lime juice may not contain any caffeine but they both have high levels of citric acid. This acid is known to cause a range of gastrointestinal upsets in dogs such as diarrhea and even bloating.

These drinks can also contain high quantities of sugar which is unhealthy for any dog. Too much sugar in their diet leads to weight issues and problems managing their sugar levels.

Milk (of all kinds)

I say milk of all kinds and I’m right in saying that, but puppies’ first drink is their mother’s milk and that is absolutely fine. However, when your puppy is weaned off mom’s milk, they start to develop an intolerance of lactose. This develops as they grow into adult dogs.

Handy Hint: Here’s when you can expect puppies to start drinking water instead of their mother’s milk.

Adult dogs aren’t able to digest lactose and if they do happen to get into your cup of milk, they’re going to experience some serious tummy upsets. This can even happen when a dog drinks dairy-free almond milk.

Not only will they have a case of the smelly runs, but they could also start vomiting and have bad bouts of the farts.

Alcoholic drinks

Your dog is your BBF. I get that, after all my dog is my soul mate. But this doesn’t mean he gets to join in for happy hour with all your other mates and gets to drink the beer. Or, to share your beer while you’re having a BBQ on a lazy weekend’s afternoon.

Wine is also an absolute no-go zone so stop letting him sip on your red wine!

Alcohol is highly toxic to dogs and they will start vomiting, having diarrhea, lose concentration, experience central nervous system suppression and more.

They may start experience difficulty in breathing, develop tremors and even slip into a coma. Your dog can die from drinking alcohol.If there was one drink I would say dogs can’t drink besides water… it’s alcohol. Avoid at all costs!

I mentioned earlier you can get non-alcoholic beers and wines for your dogs. I’m still shaking my head in amazement with this one but if you want to treat your dog, you can go with these drinks.

They contain no added fats or sugars, are carbonated-free and obviously, contain no hops or alcohol.

Water from swimming pools and hot tubs

The water will have been treated with chlorine, so you should not let your dog go near a hot tub or pool.

Salt water from the sea

Salt water is bad for dogs. It can lead to poisoning, and will require an immediate trip to the vets, rather than something you can try to treat at home.


Who would have thought dogs can drink anything else besides water?

I certainly didn’t know until I heard some dog owners in the park talking about it the other day. Of course, my ears always tune in when I hear people talking about dogs and this particular discussion was fascinating!

It appears the owner with the cute poodle was asking the owner with the Fox terrier if it was safe to share her fruit juice with her dog. The response was quite short – “No!”. So, the poodle didn’t get to sip on his owner’s fruit juice, but I guess that’s a good thing.

Bottom line is that whilst there are things that dogs can drink apart from water, it’s best just to keep things simple with clean, fresh, daily water bowls.

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Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/dog-helping-dog-thirsty-dog-animal-2982426/

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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