Can dogs drink sparkling water, carbonated water, club soda or seltzer?
If you’re considering offering a sip of your favorite bubbly beverage to your beloved pup, you’re in the right place.
The good news is that it is okay to give sparkling water to dogs in very small quantities. Plain, carbonated water without additives is unlikely to harm a dog’s health. However, regular water is always the safer choice, and there are risks associated with giving sparkling water to dogs.
Here are some important things you should know before pouring an ice cold bowl of LaCroix, Bubly, or Perrier for your dogs:
- Avoid giving your dog carbonated water frequently or in large quantities. It is possible that carbonated water could contribute to a life-threatening condition called bloat. Sparkling water may be appropriate as a rare treat in small quantities, or in an emergency situation.
- Never give your dog sparkling water that contains artificial sweeteners or flavors (natural or artificial). These added ingredients can have unpredictable effects and may negatively impact your dog’s health.
Speak with a Vet Before Introducing New Human Foods to Dogs
Your veterinarian may tell you to avoid offering your dog human foods or drinks. This is because some foods we enjoy — like chocolate, avocados, and dairy products — are dangerous for dogs to eat. Other human foods like chicken, turkey, or lean beef are perfectly healthy for dogs to consume.
Carbonated water is a gray area because ingredients can vary drastically. Some brands contain artificial sweeteners or flavoring of unknown origin. These ingredients are generally not healthy for dogs. For this reason, your vet may tell you to avoid offering it to your pet in any quantity.
It is important to heed the advice of veterinary professionals, especially when it comes to your pet’s diet. Things become more complicated when you start considering processed foods and beverages with confusing ingredient labels. If your vet tells you not to give a certain food to your dog, cat, bird or other pet, you should listen to them.
Is Carbonated Water Good for Dogs?
The bottom line is that clean, fresh flat water is always the best option for dogs. It’s more affordable than carbonated water, and it’s the best beverage for your dog’s health.
You should only offer small quantities of sparkling water to your dogs on rare occasions or in emergency situations when no other water is available. Little research has been performed on carbonated water as a beverage for dogs, and there is some risk.
It is possible that consuming too much carbonated water could lead to bloat – a potentially life-threatening condition in dogs. When a dog has bloat, its stomach has filled with gas. This can put pressure on other organs and lead to breathing difficulty. Untreated, bloat can spell death in a matter of hours.
But there’s no reason to fret over a sip or two of sparkling water now and then.
In small quantities, plain carbonated water is unlikely to have health consequences if you give it to your dog infrequently. So while carbonated water isn’t necessarily ‘good’ for dogs, it’s not inherently ‘bad’ for them either.
How to Safely Give Sparkling Water to Dogs
There are a few important guidelines you should follow when giving dogs sparkling water. Failing to adhere to these tips when giving carbonated water to a dog could negatively impact its health:
- Do not give sparkling water to your dog frequently. A sip or two every once in a while is not likely to cause any harm.
- Avoid giving your dog too much sparkling water. Unless you find yourself in an emergency situation, don’t give your dog more than a couple tablespoons of sparkling water.
- Flavored or sweetened sparkling water is not okay for dogs. Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, erythritol or aspartame can cause gastrointestinal issues or even be fatal for dogs. Flavors – natural or artificial – are ambiguously labeled and can have unpredictable effects.
What Will Happen if My Dogs Drink Sparkling Water?
Your dog should be perfectly fine if it comes a small amount of unflavored and unsweetened sparkling water. A few sips now and then should cause no problems at all, and your dog may even enjoy the bubbles.
However, larger quantities may contribute to more serious health complications such as bloat in dogs.
If your dog has consumed a large amount of sparkling water and you are concerned for its health, be on the lookout for the following symptoms of bloat:
- swollen abdomen
- overall look of distress
- rapid breathing
- attempts to vomit
- excessive drooling
- inability to stand
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog is experiencing these symptoms. The earlier it is caught, the greater your dog’s chance of survival.
Tips to Help Your Dog Drink More Water
You may be considering letting your dogs drink sparkling water because you think it may help them consume more water overall. Dogs need water to maintain adequate hydration to avoid the risk of serious diseases.
Sparkling water is not an appropriate replacement for your dog’s regular water, but there are other ways to encourage your dog to stay hydrated:
- Keep a bowl of water where your dog spends most of its time. It may even be a good idea to have multiple bowls around the house.
- Replace your dog’s water with fresh, cool water daily
- Clean your dog’s water bowl frequently to avoid bacteria buildup and keep the water tasting fresh
- Take water with you on walks, hikes and dog park visits. There are even special portable water bowls made for this purpose.
Should You Give Dogs Sparkling Water?
When you consider the risks of giving carbonated water to dogs, you may come to the conclusion that it is not worth doing. You should speak with your vet if you are unsure what foods and beverages are okay to give your dog.
However, you can safely give carbonated water to dogs by being mindful of the beverage’s ingredients and keeping the amount very small. In emergency situations or as a rare treat, a sip or two should do no harm.