It's important for dogs to have free access to fresh, clean and cool water at all times because they need to stay hydrated. However, many dog owners share their coffee, tea, milk and even beer with their pets and wonder if it is safe to do so. Which begs the question, what is safe for our canine friends to drink?
Our canine friends check the world out using their mouths, tongues and noses. They will and like to try out new tastes especially if an owner puts something down in front of them and this includes all sorts of drinks! But are these "human" drinks really good for our canine friends or would it mean they end up being sick with an upset tummy or in a worst case scenario, down at the vets being treated as matter of urgency?
Naturally when puppies are first born they drink their mother's milk which contains all the nutrients and goodness they need to grow during the first few weeks of their lives. Their mother's milk also passes on all the valuable antibodies her offspring need to stay healthy. With this said, once a puppy is weaned and on solid food, their need to drink milk is no longer necessary and in fact, as they grow and mature, most dogs become lactose intolerant. All the calcium together with protein a dog needs throughout their lives can be found in good quality pet food.
The question many owners ask is whether because their dog is lactose intolerant, it means they cannot drink milk at all and the answer is that it really does depend on how much they are given and whether or not their systems would be able to process the amount they drink. In a worst case scenario, your dog might suffer a tummy upset which results in you having to clean up after them. In short, a dog can drink a small amount of milk on the odd occasion, but never too much at any one time or it will upset their digestive systems.
Although many people allow their dogs to drink tea and coffee, it is actual fact really bad for them. Both tea and coffee contain caffeine which can result in a dog suffering from caffeine poisoning. The fact our canine friends are so much smaller than us and therefore have far less body weight, it only takes very little amount of caffeine to have a really adverse effect on their systems.
With this said, there are lots of other drinks that contain caffeine other than tea and coffee. This includes energy drinks and other nutritional supplements. A dog could suffer from higher blood pressure, they may become hyperactive and their heart rates will increase considerably if they drink anything with caffeine in it so it's never a good idea to let them drink anything that contains caffeine.
The problem is that most store bought fruit juices are made from concentrates and therefore not good for our canine friends to drink. They contain far too many preservatives and chemicals which could end up giving your dog a seriously upset stomach. This is because fruit juices put a lot of strain on your pet's digestive system. In short, it's not a good idea to let your dog drink any shop bought fruit juices.
Dogs should never be given any sort of alcoholic drink at any time because they could end up suffering from alcohol poisoning and may even die. It only takes very little alcohol to seriously impact a dog's health which includes negatively affecting their heart function as well as their lungs. No matter what the alcoholic drink is, whether it's beer, wine or anything stronger, you should never give any to your dog, not even a drop because it could end up killing them!
It's really important for dogs to have access to fresh, clean water at all times and ideally it needs to be nice and cool too. One of the reasons why dogs like to drink out of toilets is because the water is cooler than the water found in the bowls. Fresh water is essential whether the temperature is extremely hot or very cold because our canine companions can only sweat through their paws and through panting which tends to use up a massive amount of their internal moisture. Having access to water means they can regulate their body heat more effectively which is essential even when it is freezing outside.
If you are unsure whether your dog can have a sip of anything you are drinking other than water, it's best to err on the side of caution and not give them any of it. Dogs need to have access to fresh, clean and cool water at all times in order to remain hydrated. However, offering your dog things like coffee, tea, alcohol or any sort of energy drink could make them seriously ill which could even put their lives in danger!