Reviewed By Joana Garrido DVM
Can dogs drink soda? No, keep soda to yourself rather than share it with your dog. This beverage largely consists of ingredients that can undermine his health and may even put him in a life-threatening situation.
4 Harmful Ingredients of Soda to Dogs
Why is soda bad for dogs? Soda is a human food but is deemed very unhealthy for us. The same issue stands if you offer this beverage to your pooch.
Soda contains several ingredients that can harm his health in various ways. Some of these ingredients include:
Ingesting it can overstimulate your pooch, causing him to become hyperactive and agitated. Heart functions often get affected too, which results in elevated heart rate. Other clinical signs to watch out for are:
- Excessive urination
- Increased thirst
Caffeine poisoning symptoms in dogs usually manifest within 1–2 hours after consumption. Failure to provide immediate vet care increases the risk of various organ damage, including the heart, liver, and kidneys. In severe cases, it can even lead to fatal results.
Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly used as an artificial sweetener in some soda brands. It is highly toxic to dogs when ingested in even small amounts. This ingredient can be found in sugar-free sodas, not just in regular sodas.
A canine that has ingested xylitol will likely experience vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. Other clinical signs that may take place are:
- Lack of coordination
Severe cases of xylitol poisoning in dogs can be life-threatening. It can cause serious health complications like extremely low blood sugar and liver failure. The prognosis is poor if there are delays in treatment.
Large quantities of sugar are used to achieve the addictive sweetness of soda. It is one of the biggest reasons why soda is bad for dogs.
According to a study, a 12-ounce can of soda contains around 29–42 grams of sugar. This is equivalent to 7–10 teaspoons of sugar.
If dogs drink soda in copious amounts, it can lead them to gain weight and become obese. The sugary drink may also cause stomach upset and periodontal problems such as tooth decay.
Can dogs drink soda if they are diabetic? By simply looking at the soda’s sugar content, you can come up with a clear conclusion. The answer is no. Allowing a diabetic dog to drink soda is disastrous to his health.
The added sugar of the beverage will abnormally elevate his blood sugar levels. Consequently, this could result in complications like liver enlargement, pancreatitis, diabetes, nerve damage, and slow wound healing.
4. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Drinks with carbon dioxide (CO2) are not safe for dogs. Carbonated beverages, such as soda, can lead to bloating, gas, and discomfort in dogs.
Due to these side effects, some vets are worried that carbonation in sodas can lead to a condition known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or bloat, which is a serious and life-threatening condition. However, no studies have confirmed if this can be a possibility.
Dangerous Soda Intake Amount for Dogs
What happens if your dog drinks a little soda? A small amount of soda is not life-threatening to dogs. However, if the sugary drink contains toxic ingredients, especially xylitol, it is a cause for concern.
How much soda is toxic to dogs? It is unclear how much caffeinated soda or xylitol-laced soda can cause toxicity in dogs. Generally, pooches that consume a significant amount of it are at high risk of poisoning.
If your furry pal is found guilty of doing such a thing, monitor him closely for any signs of toxicity. Take him to the vet if the symptoms do manifest.
Bring along the soda, as it can help determine the amount ingested and the type of poisonous substance consumed by your pooch.
What Types of Soda Are Dangerous to Dogs?
Can dogs drink diet soda?
No, diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, flavorings, and color dyes, which are unhealthy for dogs. Some brands use xylitol as a sugar substitute.
Others prefer aspartame, which is nontoxic to most canines but presents a different danger. It has a compound called phenylalanine, which can cause mild digestive upsets in dogs.
However, dogs with phenylketonuria (PKU) do not properly metabolize phenylalanine. It may cause toxins to build up in alarming amounts in their bodies.
Can dogs drink Sprite?
Sprite is not toxic to dogs because it is caffeine- and xylitol-free. Ingesting small quantities of this soda is fine. That being said, we discourage dog owners from offering Sprite to their furry friends.
Although nonpoisonous, this fizzy drink is loaded with sugar. Excessive doses can cause gastric symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea. Frequent consumption may set off long-term ailments like diabetes.
Can dogs drink Pepsi?
No, Pepsi uses caffeine as flavoring, which is poisonous to dogs. The product also contains phosphoric acid, a controversial ingredient linked to some human health issues like kidney stone formation and reduction of bone density. Its effects on dogs are not widely studied, so err on the side of caution.
Can dogs drink Coca-Cola Zero?
Never offer your dog Coca-Cola Zero because it contains caffeine and phosphoric acid. The high sugar concentrations of this sugary drink also make it more unhealthy and dangerous to your furry pal.
Can dogs drink Fanta?
Caution. Regular Fanta does not contain toxic ingredients for dogs. But due to its sugar content, this drink is not ideal for your pooch.
Grape-flavored Fanta should never be shared with canines. It has grape juice, which can cause poisoning.
Can dogs drink soda water?
Soda water will not harm dogs as long as it is free from caffeine and xylitol. Sharing it with them is not a good idea since they often contain added sugars.
Moreover, some brands contain sodium to improve their soda taste. Excessive salt intake can lead to many health issues, from kidney issues to poisoning.
Can dogs drink club soda?
Unflavored and unsweetened club soda is the least dangerous type of human soda for dogs. Avoid varieties that contain sodium since they add to your pooch’s salt intake.
With that being said, allowing dogs to drink club soda is not the best idea, as its carbonation can still cause problems.
Can dogs drink caffeine-free soda?
Consuming caffeine-free soda will not endanger your dog’s life, provided it does not contain xylitol. Since the drink still has loads of sugar, we do not recommend sharing it with him.
Safer and Healthier Soda Alternatives for Dogs
Allowing your dog to drink soda is unnecessary and nonbeneficial to his health. Fresh water is the only hydrating liquid dogs need to function properly. They need around an ounce of water for every pound of body weight daily.
However, in certain cases, water must be supplemented with other types of liquid for special reasons. For instance, you want to entice your pooch to drink more water, or he is ill.
Hence, the question: “What can dogs drink besides water?” We can provide a few recommendations, such as plain, unsalted chicken stock, Pedialyte, and all-natural fresh vegetable or fruit juice.
Unsalted Chicken Stock
Unsalted chicken stock is enriched with the essential fatty acids and nutrients of the protein. It is great for sick dogs that cannot handle eating solid food. Chicken broth can be mixed in water, too to encourage dogs to hydrate more.
Juiced Vegetables and Fruits
Supplementing your dog’s diet with healthy fruits and vegetables provides him with extra nutrients. But if he is a picky eater, juicing fruits and veggies makes them easier to consume.
Do note that using a fast juicer generates heat, which removes heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C. Thus, opt for a slow juicer since it can retain more vitamins and minerals.
Pedialyte is a rehydration drink for kids containing electrolytes, zinc, and sodium to replenish fluids.
It is commonly used to prevent dogs with diarrhea or vomiting from getting dehydrated. Opt for the unflavored variety to avoid upsetting your pet’s stomach.
These recommendations only serve as supplementary fluids to water. They are never meant to be used as a water substitute for dogs. Always ensure that fresh water is available to your dog daily, especially during hot weather.