Hot weather, illness and stress are just three reasons your dog may become dehydrated. To combat it, keep a few ingredients on hand to make your own electrolyte formula. An electrolyte solution will replace cell salts and minerals that are important for proper hydration, blood pH and nerve conduction.
Electrolyte formulas combine salts and sugars to replace potassium, phosphorus, bicarbonate, chloride, sodium and calcium. You can use any natural sugar you have on hand, such as honey, agave syrup, fructose or table sugar. Sea salt and baking soda are the two most common salts called for in electrolyte recipes.
Electrolyte recipes for dogs contain higher sugar-to-sodium ratios than electrolyte solutions for people, as dogs do not lose sodium as quickly.
Country vet Kaetheryn Walker recommends a solution of:
• 1 quart of purified water
• 1 tablespoon of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of salt.
The following alternate recipe is recommended by K911.biz:
• 8 teaspoons of sugar
• 1 teaspoon of salt per liter of water.
Do not use alternative sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose or stevia, as they will not supply the sugars needed to balance canine electrolytes. Commercial products designed for humans may contain the sweetener xylitol, which can cause poisoning, seizures and death in dogs.
By J.T. O'Connell
VCA Animal Hospitals: Serum Electrolytes
K911: Dehydration Can Be Deadly! Keep Your Dog Properly Hydrated
Cats and Dogs Naturally: Electrolyte Solution
Dr. Janet Starr Hull Alternative Health and Nutrition: Health Alerts -- Xylitol and Pedialyte
About the Author
A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.