Can You Give Pedialyte To Puppies?

Photo by Sean Freese on Flickr

When an owner buys or breeds puppies, they often stress when their pups become unwell because they are so delicate and vulnerable at this age.

Diarrhoea and severe vomiting could be fatal to a new-born as both conditions can make your pup very weak.

So, It’s important to educate yourself about easy home remedies to help your dog stay as healthy and strong as possible.

Concerned about your puppy’s health following illness and looking for a way to make them feel their best again?

This article will cover what Pedialyte actually is, if it is safe for puppies, and how to safely administer Pedialyte to your animal to keep them from feeling ill. 

What Is Pedialyte?

Pedialyte is a drink which is designed to rehydrate children. It rehydrates children because it contains electrolytes. It is the leading brand of electrolyte drinks. 

Designed originally for children in recent years it has become a popular drink for some adults- athletes and people with hangovers drink it.

It’s designed to restore an ideal level of sugar and electrolytes back into the body. 

By replenishing fluids and nutrients lost after severe dehydration , this drink will help your dog to feel better following diarrhoea, and a variety of other health conditions. 

Can I Give A New-born Puppy Pedialyte?

You should always contact your vet before giving Pedialyte to a puppy or dog of any size.

This is because if their condition is extreme enough, they could require more intense treatments other than Pedialyte.

In this case, they must be brought to the vets as soon as possible. 

This will also rule out any other conditions which your puppy may have and confirm that it is dehydration causing them to feel unwell.

Also, Pedialyte sometimes worsens vomiting in certain dogs, so it’s always best to check first to be safe. 

You can give your new-born puppy Pedialyte as long as it is in tiny amounts.

This is because it includes so many beneficial nutrients like Zinc and Potassium which will give your puppy the boost of minerals it needs to feel well again. 

Why would you give Pedialyte to a puppy?

A puppy may need Pedialyte if it is very dehydrated and can be a quick method to solve hydration issues.

Puppies can easily dehydrate because they are so small and have much lower body mass than adult dogs.

They are also more likely to play at a young age and so in hot weather can quickly become dehydrated. 

There are also several other puppy complications that Pedialyte could help with. For instance, Parvovirus is a particularly nasty condition that is contracted by puppies mostly between the ages of 6 to 12 weeks. 

Pups that haven’t been vaccinated yet are especially susceptible. This deadly virus which includes symptoms like bloody diarrhoea and severe vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration. This may warrant the use of Pedialyte with consent from a vet. 

How Much Pedialyte Should I Give A Puppy?

Generally, experts advise measuring the amount of Pedialyte you are giving based on your dog’s weight.

Although you can technically give your dog around 10-15ml per hour, it is best to adjust this based on their size.

Approximately 2-4ml of Pedialyte per pound of body weight a day is the limit. 

Obviously, puppies are very small, so you need to take this into consideration and only give them tiny amounts.

But, this will vary depending on the size and age of your puppy.  

How Should You Administer Pedialyte To Puppies?

If your vet permits you to use Pedialyte to treat your dog’s symptoms, then an unflavoured variety is better.

Pedialyte comes in flavours like strawberry, grape, and bubble gum.

These may be off-putting to some dogs although it’s best to see which one they prefer.

Considering your dog will already feel nauseous and ill, unflavoured options will be less likely to further irritate them. 

There are several ways to administer Pedialyte to dogs.

It can be diluted with water, one-part Pedialyte to one-part water.

But, it’s recommended that you only give them a few laps of Pedialyte an hour.

They can also be offered as ice cubes, but this is not recommended for puppies as they are a choking hazard at such a young age.

Plus, you can mix the solution into your puppy’s food as long as you check that they eat it. It is not recommended to force-feed a dog Pedialyte via syringe as this will only upset them. 

What Are The Signs Of Dehydration In A New-born Puppy?

Signs of dehydration in new-born puppies include weakness, panting, lethargy, dry nose, dry mouth, sticky gums, sunken eyes, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhoea. 

To check if your puppy is dehydrated, you should gently pull your dog’s skin between their shoulder blades to see if it snaps back or stays in position.

Loss of skin elasticity is a major signal of dehydration and you should give your dog water straight away if their skin does not snap back into its original position.

Another check that you can do is a Capillary Refill test.

This measures how long it takes for blood to return to the mucous membranes.

After gentle pressure is applied to your puppy’s gum it turns white but should quickly return to pink. This normally takes around 2 seconds but any longer than 4 or 5 signifies dehydration. 

Both of these are very simple tests which can be done at home and will help you to understand why your dog may be ill.

If you think your dog is severely dehydrated it may be best to contact your vet for guidance, as they may need to come into the clinic for rehydration treatments such as IV drips. 

What Other Home Remedies Are There For New-born Puppies That Are Dehydrated?

Simply, you can add water to a puppy’s food to increase their liquid intake. If this doesn’t seem to be working, then diluted chicken broth is a great way to hydrate a puppy that is refusing to drink plain water.

This is because the broth will taste so nice it will be difficult for your pup to resist. 

If you need to act fast and you don’t have Pedialyte to hand, you can also make your own electrolyte water at home.

Simply add small amounts of sugar and around 1 teaspoon of salt per litre of water and this will replenish your dog’s sodium and sugar levels in no time.

There are heaps of useful recipes online which will help to make your dog feel better. 

Can You Use Other Electrolyte Drinks With New-born Puppies?

Yes! There are a variety of electrolyte drinks on the market as well as Pedialyte.

These come in a variety of forms including powders and liquids.

K9-Power Go Dog powder is highly rated, and you must shake it vigorously with water so that the powder will dissolve properly. 

Dogzymes Fading Puppy Support is also a great option.

Suitable for both new-borns and older dogs, this brand needs a ¼ of a teaspoon of powder mixed with four teaspoons of water (1:16 ratio).

You should always read the instructions before giving your dog these electrolyte drinks as you do not want to worsen their condition. 

Apart From Dehydration (diarrhoea) What Are The Other Main Dangers For New-born Puppies?

There are so many potential complications for new-born puppies that it’s best to do your research in order to be prepared if anything goes wrong. Even the simplest thing like litter size and birth weight can hugely increase the risk of puppy death in the hours and weeks following birth because the puppy is likely to be weak. This means that they will be less likely to suckle or drink anything. 

Hypoglycaemia is also a big issue. This occurs due to low blood sugar levels hence why it’s necessary to keep up a good level of nutrients and glucose for your dogs. 

Apart From Pedialyte, What Other Items Should Be In A Breeder’s New-born Puppy Kit?

There are so many things to buy for a new-born puppy kit to ensure that they are kept safe, comfortable, and healthy. A soft puppy bed, pee pads, poo bags, food and water bowls, flea and tick repellents, a thermometer, and toys are all vital. These will all help to ensure that your pup has the best chances of survival and keep them as well as possible. 

Should you give Pedialyte to puppies?

In short, Pedialyte is fine to give to puppies as long as your vet has permitted you to use it. You must only use small amounts suitable for your puppy’s size and weight which will vary with breed and gender.

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from severe hydration it’s always best to bring them into the vet clinic so that they can be checked over by an expert.

It’s better to be safe than sorry in these situations as dehydration is a major killer of puppies and even fully-grown canines.

Let us know in the comments how you keep your dogs hydrated and what methods you’ve found to work the best!