Guide to Electrolytes for Dogs
In some cases, dogs need electrolytes in their diet to avoid dehydration and muscle cramps, but not all supplements are created equal.
I'm sure that you have had trouble finding an answer because there's misinformation online about whether you need supplements or can rely on real food.
This is a guide designed specifically for dog owners who want to find out which foods and products are best for their dogs!
Whether you're trying to make sure that your dog doesn't get dehydrated on hot days or you're trying to keep them happy as they recover from illness or injury, I have you covered.
If you want the quick answer, find a high quality chicken bone broth to rehydrate them asap. Bluebird Provisions is the best option with 300 mg potassium, along with phosphorous and magnesium.
Before we begin, a quick note: this website is reader-supported. I spend a lot of time personally evaluating, testing and reviewing each product on this list with my two dogs. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. This helps to keep Atlas and Nitotem happy as well.
Best for Recovery
Electrolytes For Dogs Intro
Electrolytes are important for dogs because they help to rehydrate and balance the dog's hydration levels. They are crucial for overall health and stable energy levels throughout the day.
But what are they? Basically they are salts found in foods and pet's bodies that regulate water balance. The most well known ones are sodium, potassium magnesium and calcium.
Best Electrolytes for Dogs
There is no single best electrolytes for dogs. They work together in harmony to ensure that their metabolism, nervous system and muscles work properly. I'll walk you through different sources that have them in the right amounts below.
They are especially important for dogs who are ill because they help to maintain fluids that can be lost from bouts of vomiting and diarrhea or endocrine disorders.
Health Benefits of Electrolytes to Dogs
Health benefits include maintaining water balance, proper muscle function, heart health, blood pressure and bone health. The cool thing is that each play a slightly different role in your dog's health.
Water Balance: Sodium is crucial to help maintain fluid balance and ensuring that their cells are firing on all cylinders. When imbalances occur, health issues happen.
Muscle Function: Potassium is needed for muscle contracts and proper heart or cardiac function. Chloride helps out in these areas as well. In fact, hypokalemia (low blood potassium condition) can happen due to poor appetite or under eating. This can lead to poor coordination, weakness and a loss of muscle function.
Blood Pressure: Chloride helps maintain proper blood pressure.
Bone Health: Magnesium along with potassium are integral to keeping their bones strong, particular senior dogs.
Looking for a healthy meal addition? Read my guide to the 9 best meal toppers for dogs.
The research that has been done on electrolyte use in dogs is comparing the effects of electrolyte content in drinking water versus other methods of hydration.
The tests show few benefits when offering an electrolyte drink versus regular drinking water.
How do I rehydrate my dog?
In most cases, you do not need fancy supplements to rehydrate your dog. In fact, the research that has been done comparing the effects of electrolytes in drinking water versus supplements shows little difference.
Unless under extreme circumstances, you probably do not need anything expensive. Try making a chicken broth as home.
What can I give my dog for electrolytes?
For the most part, you can simply give your dog water for electrolytes instead supplements. If you think water isn't cutting it, give them a high quality chicken bone broth like the one made by Bluebird Provisions.
Giving them electrolyte drinks, even occasionally, can lead to a buildup of excess sodium or other unnecessary elements.
They can also lead to signs of water retention, swelling, blood pressure and heart issues. So use them sparingly and check with your vet first. They can cause health issues all over the body and are not a cure all.
What is a Hydration Drink for Dogs
A hydration drink for dogs is a product that has been specifically made to keep your dog hydrated. It comes in different flavors and can be added to their food or used as a daily drink.
These products are controversial because they are potentially harmful to dogs in large doses. Many experts think that pets do not need hydration drinks or anything other than food and regular water.
What is an Electrolyte Supplement For Dogs
An electrolyte supplement for dogs is a product that replenishes lost salts and minerals to help maintain hydration and fluid balance.
These are particularly used in extreme heat / weather conditions, recovery / support from major illness / surgery and during vigorous exercise like hiking and running.
Makers of these products claim that they help maintain hydration levels in dogs and cats and encourage them to drink more.
In my opinion, these drinks are good for certain occasions and for senior or sick and weak dogs. However, most pet owners do not need them as they are expensive and the risks outweigh the benefits.
7 Best Electrolyte Replacement Solutions for Dogs
The best electrolyte replacement solutions for dogs are chicken bone broth, pet-a-lyte, Revive, Nupro, Pawlific and Bullyade.
You might be shocked a chicken broth ahead of the others. This is for two reasons
- I believe whole food sources are the best option for most situations.
- 99% of electrolyte supplements for dogs list sugar (aka maltodextrin, fructose, brown rice syrup) as the first ingredient. These are basically sugar water with some added electrolytes. Not great for your canine friend.
Let's get on with the list.
Chicken Bone Broth by Bluebird Provisions
Chicken bone broth is a type hydrating broth made from chicken bones, skin, connective tissue and meat. Because of the long simmer time and different animal parts, it is the absolute best whole food source of hydration.
It's great for dogs because it is high in potassium (300 mg) and calcium and other nutrients like glycine, glucosamine and chondroitin.
Plus it's a seamless way to add flavor and moisture to their regular meals. Simply mix 1 tsp to 1 tbsp powder into their regular kibble with some water.
I realize this product is not marketed towards dogs. But I included it because most of the chicken broths for dogs do not have any real electrolytes.
It's a convenient powder that you can store in the pantry. Made for humans but that's what we look for in any dog food.
It mixes into hot water for an anytime hydration beverage. Make sure you allow the temperature to cool before serving them.
Nupro Custom Electrolyte Formula for Dogs
Nupro Custom Electrolyte Formula for Dogs fits into what I call the 'no frills' category of dog supplements. This is a great product that doesn't have the fanciest website, product images or description.
That being said, it is an excellent electrolyte supplement for dogs that uses a proprietary blend of electrolytes and other essential nutrients that are formulated by a team of veterinarians.
After doing a lot of digging, I found out the exact formula they use: calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride and magnesium. Check the image below for exact values.
I also love that Nupro is made in the USA (some others are made overseas) with ingredients you can trust.
I keep it on hand for the hot, humid days and diarrhea episodes. My two dogs (Atlas and Nitotem) love the taste and I haven't had any dehydration issues since we started using it.
Nupro is a great cost effective option at $21.99 per 1 lb tub or you can buy in bulk and get a 5 lb tub for $52.99.
Pawlific Electrolyte Chews for Dogs
I was thrilled to find Pawlific Electrolyte Chews for Dogs because it is the first and only electrolyte chew I found. Unlike other electrolyte supplements, these chews come in a chewable form, making it easy for food obsessed dogs to consume.
Trust me, I know this from experience with a 60 lb husky who eats everything but doesn't drink much. His appetite for water is low, so I give him some of these in the summer to make sure he's getting enough hydration.
He really likes these little treats and it’s calms our nerves knowing that he’s well hydrated.
The chews also have stomach and intestinal benefits, muscle, heart, and vision benefits, and metabolic and immune system benefits. You can use these chews as a food topper or mix them with water to provide instant nutritional benefits to your furry friend.
If you struggle with your four legger drinking, then give these a go!
Revive - Natural, Electrolyte, Odorless Pet Supplement
Revive can be used in food and water. It comes in two convenient formats: either a dropper or spray bottle. You simply add some to your pet's meals and water for extra hydration.
The thing I like is that it is just electrolytes with no added sugar or flavorings. It is also marketed toward older dogs who need some xtra hydration support. So it may not be the best choice for puppies.
The cost is $23.99 per spray bottle and you get around 200 sprays per bottle. As my dogs get older, I'll be using this one as it is just simple ingredients and has fantastic feedback on Amazon and Chewy.
Ingredients: Water, Alkaline Minerals (Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, Zinc, Iron, Other Trace Minerals), and Electrolytes (Oxygen, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D).
Vet Classics Pet-A-Lyte Oral Electrolyte Solution for Dogs and Cats
Pet-A-Lyte for dogs is a fantastic all in one rehydration supplement for dogs. It also has added energy boosting vitamins and minerals like zinc, niacin and B12.
I should note that Pet-A-Lyte is recommended for post operation recovery. Not for everyday or active use.
You can find this for $16.99 for a 32 oz bottle. The recommended serving size is 3-4 oz for 3-4 times per day or as needed. This works out to around $1.6 per serving. I'll also note it has a 30 day shelf life once opened.
My dog Atlas tried this when he had severe diarrhea and it seemed to help him rehydrate after a couple of days and get back to his old self.
There's also great reviews with 450+ on Amazon.
Bullyade Natural Dog Supplement
Bullyade has 18 vitamins and minerals to replenish dogs faster. It is recommended for recovery from parvo, illness and dehydration.
Bullyade is a powder protein that you can mix it into their water bowl or with food. It comes in a meaty chicken or beef flavor.
One 4.2 ounce bottle costs $24.99 and includes 45 servings. The cost per serving is $0.55. This is hands down the best one for recovery from serious conditions.
I also like how Bullyade has 3rd party certifications from the FDA and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practises).
Breeder's Edge Puppy Lyte
Breeder's Edge Puppy Lyte is a great effective supplement for sick dogs to rehydrate them. That is because it has a blend of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals that are essential for the growth and development of puppies
I like that it can be used as a food topper or mixed with water to provide instant hydration to puppies. It is also suitable for puppies recovering from surgery, vomiting or illness.
I'll typically add a bit of this to the water bowl for my two dogs in the hot summer months (yes they share the same bowl).
They love the flavor and it’s so easy to prepare that we find ourselves using it a lot. Although it comes in a small jar, it has plenty of servings to last a while.
If you're looking digestion, hip and joint support then read my review of the 6 best bone broth's for dogs.
What are the symptoms of low electrolytes in dogs?
Symptoms of low electrolytes in dogs are a loss of appetite, weight loss, low energy, illness, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures.
If your pup experiences any of these symptoms, take them to your vet right away. It is important to quickly diagnose and treat low electrolytes in dogs to avoid serious health complications.
How often should you give electrolytes to dogs?
Under most circumstances, dogs thrive on water, not electrolyte drinks. Salts and minerals in electrolyte drinks can be harmful to dogs if given regularly. Giving these beverages to dogs occasionally is okay, but regular use can lead to problems.
There are many options available when it comes to electrolytes for dogs. However, not all of them are necessary. Supplements are overkill unless you're under extreme circumstances.
When choosing a food-based solution for your dog, be sure to pick one that is gentle on their digestive system and contains all of the necessary nutrients.
I personally recommend Bluebird Provisions chicken broth because of the limited ingredients and natural source of hydration.
You can find them on Amazon Prime as well for free shipping.
Have you tried any of these foods or supplements to hydrate your fury friend? Leave a comment and let me know how it went.
K9 Athlete - Hydrate & Recover Nutritional Dog Hydration
K9 Athlete hydrate and recover formula is a powder without a ton of added ingredients. Although there is still the dreaded natural flavors which do not belong.
I just checked and this product is not available on Amazon at time of this edit. If it comes back online I will let you know.
Regardless, it has less nasty fillers, sugar and additives than other options. The price is reasonable at $34.95 per canister which holds 120 servings.
This brings the cost per serving to a cost effective $0.29.
Ingredients: Potassium, sodium chloride, natural flavors, l-glutamine, l-leucine, silicon dioxide, dextrose, l-glutathione.
Bluebird Provisions is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used to treat or supplement any pet's diet. Consult your veterinarian or animal health specialist if you have questions about anything related to their food, consumption or health. The statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, USDA or CFIA.
Hi Robert, I am not an expert in racing greyhounds, so i don’t have any specific advise for you unfortunately.
which of your recommondations are best suited for a racing greyhound ?