Dogs can eat a lot of different foods (although, they should steer clear of many unsafe snacks, as well), but you may not ever have considered giving your dog anything other than water to drink. Even if you have thought of it, you may not know what drinks are OK for dogs to enjoy and which may be unsafe. We're here to tell you. With our guide to what dogs can and can't drink, you'll be confident letting your dog lap up something with a little more flavor.
CAN DOGS DRINK MILK?
No, dogs probably should not drink milk. The ASPCA recommends not feeding dairy products to dogs in general, as dogs tend to experience problems with lactose intolerance. Soy milk, on the other hand, shouldn’t cause any distress to your dogs system. However, if you are bottle-feeding puppies, soy milk is certainly no substitute for mother’s milk or formula.
CAN DOGS DRINK TEA?
Dogs shouldn’t drink tea. Both tea and coffee are unsafe for dogs because of the caffeine they contain. A dog would have to drink about five cups of tea before the caffeine levels would be life-threatening, but even small amounts could overstimulate and agitate. Look into Woof and Brew, a line of caffeine-free herbal teas designed specifically for dogs.
CAN DOGS DRINK BROTH?
Yes, dogs can drink chicken broth safely under certain circumstances. If your dog isn’t drinking water for some reason, he may be enticed to drink chicken-flavored broth instead. It can also be used to make kibble more moist and palatable, and provides a small protein boost. Be aware that commercial broths are usually loaded with way more sodium than your dog needs, so make your own broth at home instead.
CAN DOGS DRINK CARROT JUICE?
Yes, dogs can drink carrot juice! After all, carrots are a great snack for dogs, packed with vitamins, fiber and potassium. Carrots are safe for dogs in juice form, too, although feeding your dog whole carrots is a healthier option than giving it carrot juice to drink. But if your dog has difficulty eating or chewing, carrot juice makes a fine substitute for whole, crunchy carrots.
CAN DOGS DRINK FRUIT JUICE?
Dogs can usually drink *most* fruit juices safely, but they probably shouldn’t. Although fruit juice (aside from grape juice, see more on that below) won’t harm your dog outright, it’s almost never as good as eating whole fruits, and an overwhelming number of commercially available fruit drinks have loads of added sugar, color and preservatives that aren’t good for your dog. If you insist on giving your dog fruit juice for some reason, use strict moderation.
All that said, grapes are toxic to dogs, so grape juice should be avoided. Like most juices, however, grape juice is mostly sugar and water. Your pup will probably only get a stomach ache at worst, but why risk it?
CAN DOGS DRINK SPORTS DRINKS?
No, it’s not OK for dogs to drink sports drinks. Aside from the loads of added sugar in sports drinks, they tend to contain vitamins and minerals in amounts that are formulated for humans, but may be unsafe for dogs. That’s not to mention the artificial colors and flavors.
CAN DOGS DRINK COCONUT WATER?
Yes, dogs can drink coconut water! Not only is coconut water safe for dogs, but it has many potential health benefits, too. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. When coconut water is fed to dogs, it has been shown to clear skin conditions, sweeten dog breath, condition their fur and even ease arthritis.
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We’ve answered a lot of questions about what dogs can and can’t drink, but of course there’s only one fluid dogs should and must drink: clean water. Your dog can go through its whole life drinking only water and be very healthy, and you don’t have to worry about him getting “bored” with water. Tap water is probably fine, but make sure your dog isn’t drinking from the toilet (which is full of bacteria) or other sources.