Dogs should rarely, if ever, drink anything other than plain, fresh water. It can be tempting to share some of life’s liquid pleasures with man’s best friend, but canine physiology makes some human drinks dangerous to our pets.
The rest of this article will go into detail about what dangers common human drinks pose for our furry companions and which drinks are safe to share as occasional treats.
Table of Contents
Can Dogs Drink Milk?
On the surface, milk seems like a safe choice for dogs. After all, puppies drink their mother’s milk, so why can’t they continue to drink milk once they’re full grown? Dogs, like many other mammals, lose their ability to digest lactose (becoming lactose intolerant) as they age. Though a taste of milk won’t typically cause harm, a dog who has drank too much milk may experience vomiting, gas, stomach pains, and diarrhea.
Can Dogs Drink Juice?
Bottled juices or juices made from concentrate often contain artificial flavors, food colorings, and added sweeteners that can be unhealthy for dogs. Grape juice in particular is highly toxic to dogs, sometimes even to the point of causing kidney failure. Similarly, the citric acid in drinks such as lemonade and orange juice can irritate a dog’s stomach. While other fruit juices might be safer in small amounts, they should only come from whole fruit sources ideally juiced at home. Always consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Drink Tea?
Yes, some teas are safe for dogs! Caffeine-free herbal teas can aid with digestion. Additionally, some black and green teas have been proven to lower cholesterol and fight cancer. However, caffeine is highly toxic to dogs, so any teas containing caffeine should be avoided. If your dog is at risk for cancer or digestive issues, talk to your vet about which teas may be helpful to incorporate into your dog’s diet.
Can Dogs Drink Coffee?
As mentioned above, caffeine is very dangerous for our canine companions. All caffeinated drinks, including most coffees, should be avoided. Sugary drinks are dangerous as well, as a dog’s blood sugar can rise much faster than a humans. Even if your coffee is sugar- and caffeine-free, it offers no health benefits and is best avoided.
Can Dogs Drink Soda?
Soda is another high-sugar, typically-caffeinated beverage dogs should avoid. Even sugar and caffeine free sodas may contain ingredients toxic for dogs and offer no health benefits. Additionally, many dogs are averse to the bubbles in carbonated beverages.
Can Dogs Drink Beer and Wine?
Alcohol in every form is extremely toxic to dogs. Unlike humans, dogs’ livers are not equipped to process and break down alcohol. Their generally smaller size also means they can be affected by much smaller amounts of alcohol than humans. Sometimes fatal, alcohol can cause difficulty breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, shakes, and comas. Beer, wine, and other forms of alcohol should never be shared with pets and should be stored in such a way that curious dogs can’t stumble upon them by accident.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Water?
According to rover.com, coconut water is packed full of electrolytes, minerals, and vitamins and is a great option for dogs! Not meant to replace plain water as the everyday go-to, coconut water can be given as a treat to eliminate bad breath, soften fur, and help with skin issues. Always check ingredient lists and avoid any coconut water with additives or preservatives. Introduce coconut water into your dog’s diet slowly, starting with a few ounces to see how your pet’s system reacts to it. Coconut water is high in carbs, so any dog with weight concerns should stick to regular water.
Can Dogs Drink Non-Dairy Milk?
Popular nut milks such as almond, oat, soy, and coconut can be safe for canine consumption. It’s important to establish that your dog has no related allergies and that the milk in question is free of artificial ingredients as well as low in added sugar. Some non-dairy milks, like soy and almond, are also high in calorie count. Non-dairy milk can help with bad breath and boost immunity.
Can Dogs Drink Broth?
Plain chicken and beef broth can be big wins for dogs that are picky eaters! Boxed broth often contains more than what the name suggests, so always check the ingredient list to make sure the broth is plain (no vegetables, added sugars, or preservatives) before giving it to your dogs. Broth can be used as a “soup” to add flavor for dogs that aren’t interesting in their kibble. It can also help ease stomach pain or boost a dog’s caloric intake if they are having trouble eating or keeping food down. Rogue Pet Science offers five ideas for how to choose and use the best dog-friendly chicken broth here!
However, you want to avoid using packaged broths that are often very high in sodium – so make sure you actually make the broth yourself if you’re going to give them for your dog.
Can Dogs Drink Energy Drinks?
Energy drinks are extraordinarily high in caffeine and, therefore, extraordinarily unsafe for dogs. Energy drinks typically have even more sugar and caffeine than coffee and often contain many artificial and toxic ingredients. Since these unhealthy and dangerous ingredients are so concentrated in energy drinks, even a small sip could prove very dangerous for a dog depending on its size. Keep your energy drinks out of reach of dogs – especially when they are open!
What if I’m uncertain if a drink is safe for my dog?
When in doubt, stick with water! We often think of our canine companions as family, wanting them to celebrate and enjoy life right alongside us. While there’s nothing wrong with this relationship we’ve developed with our dogs, it’s vital that we keep our pet’s safety at the forefront of our choices. Dogs are designed to drink water; unless there is a health concern diagnosed by a vet, nothing else is needed. Show your appreciation for your four-legged friend by playing, going on a walk, or spending quality cuddle time on the couch together!