Picture this – you and your canine companion, sitting on a patio sipping cappuccinos. It’s lovely to think about sharing one’s favorite past times with our dogs but the reality is, most human drinks are not suitable for animal consumption. Sure, your furry friend might want to drink a cold beer on a hot day but you know alcoholic beverages are off limits just like the caffeine in cappuccinos. There are some dog drinks that pet parents can give their pups, and most have nutritional benefits as well.
5 Dog Drinks That Your Pooch Will Love
Here are the best drinks to give your dog:
1. A Bowl of Water with Ice Cubes
The best thing you can do for your pooch is to give them clean water. It doesn’t matter if you have an older dog, a small dog, an active dog, or something cute and furry with really short legs – fresh water is the way to go! Filling your dog’s water bowl with water and adding ice cubes is just icing on the cake, so to speak. A good rule of thumb for the average dog’s water intake should be about one ounce of water for every pound of body weight. If you have a 70 pound Golden Retriever, they should drink 70 ounces of water, or just under a half gallon. Ice cubes are a good idea for dogs who don’t drink enough water but like to play with their food or toys. Having a fresh water source such as a water fountain is another way to get your pup excited about water.
One reason it is important for dogs to get enough water is to avoid dehydration. According to renowned dog expert, Dr. Karen Becker, dehydration is more than excessive thirst. It occurs when a dog’s body is losing more fluid than it is taking in, and it can be life-threatening. Dehydration can reduce the amount of blood and fluids running through the body, and will start to affect organs and other systems. Certain illnesses will cause dehydration but even vomiting and diarrhea can contribute to it (Source). To avoid health issues like dehydration, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the water consumption of active dogs during hot days and check your dog’s water bowl outside in the winter to make sure it isn’t frozen.
2. Fruit & Vegetable Juices
If your furry friend doesn’t head to her water dish as much as you’d like, you might try different fruit or vegetable juices. Vegetables offer much-needed nutrients for your dog’s diet. While it’s healthiest to juice your own, if you are going to buy juice already processed, make sure to look for no artificial flavors or sweeteners (xylitol is toxic to dogs) and no added sugar. Find or make juice as pure as you can in canine-friendly produce such as carrot, cucumber, kale, celery, spinach, pure pumpkin, apple, mango, or blueberry. Know in advance which fruits and veggies are not good for dogs such as grapes, stone fruits, rhubarb, onion, or mushroom.
On her Facebook page, Dr. Karen Becker posts about a great way to rehydrate your dog with cucumbers. They are already 95% water and contain a lot of nutrients like vitamins C and K, and important electrolytes like magnesium and potassium. She recommends soaking cucumbers in water overnight and then giving the water to your pooch – an electrolyte-infused drink that will help rehydrate after a hot day in the sun or strenuous exercise.
3. Unsalted Bone Broth
Pet parents have begun singing the praises of adding bone broth to their dog’s diet. Feeding solid bones to your dog can be dangerous but slowly cooking down bones in water captures the flavor and nutrients. You can use poultry or beef bones, and if your dog has food allergies, there are even lamb, duck or venison bones. Add in some of the vegetables above and simmer on low for up to 24 hours. Be careful not to salt it, or look for low/no-salt versions if purchasing pre-made stock, as salt is not good for a dog’s health. If you have an older dog who has lost interest in eating, you can stir the broth in with her dry food or sprinkle on top of raw or wet food for a tasty incentive.
Bone broth isn’t just a flavorful alternative to water though. It contains amino acids that help remove toxins from the body and fight inflammation. Bones have collagen, which promotes a healthy skin and coat. Joints can be strengthened and repaired by nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin that occur naturally in bone broth. All of these health properties give a boost to immune support and improve your dog’s digestive health (Bone broth benefits listed from the American Kennel Club).
4. Caffeine-Free Herbal Tea
Like coffee, most tea is not good for dogs because it contains caffeine, but some herbal teas do not. A tea like rooibos, for example, does not contain caffeine or tannins, but has vitamin C and antioxidants, including quercetin, a natural antihistamine. An article in Animal Wellness magazine talked about the nutritious benefits of brewing rooibos tea to not only add in to your dog’s food but also to rub on itchy, irritated skin that is bothered by allergies or hot spots.
5. An Alcohol-Free Dog Beer & Energy Brew
What if dog owners could give their furry friends a dog drink that combines nutrition-rich bone broth with healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables, that is tasty and good for your dog’s health? Crafty Beasts Brewing Company did just that with two dog beers – Fetch, a canine pale ale, and Unleashed, a hydrating energy brew. Both brews use a base of water, beef, carrots, and spices such as ginger and turmeric; Fetch has apples while Unleashed has blueberries – all Canadian sourced ingredients. They might be called dog beers but they are not alcoholic beverages nor do they contain any preservatives. Chill a can in the fridge and pour some in your dog’s water bowl after a day of hiking, or mix it in with her food for an added nutritional boost. Pet parents can also treat their pups while at their local pubs because these dog brews are being served on patios and in taprooms across Canada.