Chances are that your Labrador will jump at the opportunity to drink anything that you offer it, but are the options you are presenting your dog with actually safe and healthy for it? Unfortunately, dogs do not know what they can and cannot drink, so it is up to you to make wise choices for your pet and limit the options presented to it.
What can Labradors drink apart from water? Dogs should only drink fresh filtered, bottled, or boiled water in a clean bowl. However, it is also safe for dogs to drink whole fruit juice in small quantities. Many liquids contain chemicals that are harmful & cannot be digested by dogs.
While it is true that your Labrador will lap up anything that you put in front of it you really do need to be a bit mindful about what your dog is drinking. Below we take a look at common liquids that people allow their dogs to drink and why they are bad or good for your family dog.
Can Labradors Drink Milk?
Some dogs seem to be able to drink milk and some tend to get sore tummies and gas from it. Some Labradors simply do not have the enzymes required to break down lactose (which is a form of sugar in milk) in cow’s milk. When this happens, it can ferment in the intestine instead of being digested. The result is an upset stomach.
That being said, a bit of milk every now and then can be a nice treat for a dog, but you should look for lactose-free milk as an option. Also, do not treat your dog to milk on a regular basis.
Of course, cow’s milk is not the only type of milk on the market that people consider spoiling their Labrador with. Let’s take a look at a few other milk products that may or may not be good for your dog…
Goat milk is extremely easy to digest (the fat molecules in goat milk are one-fifth of the size of those in cow milk). It is highly nutritious for dogs as it contains minerals, electrolytes, vitamins, protein, fatty acids, enzymes, and trace elements that can assist in fighting diseases including heavy metal poisoning, liver disease, kidney disease, kidney stones, diabetes, GI disease, and digestive issues.
Almonds are an allergen, so they are not safe for certain dogs. A very small amount of unsweetened almond milk once in a while will not do too much harm. Keep in mind that dogs can’t really digest almond milk, so too much can lead to sore tummies, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Almond milk may taste nice, but it has no real nutritive value for your dog. As a result, it could end up being a very expensive, useless treat for your pet. It’s best just to avoid almond milk.
Cashews are non-toxic to dogs, even though some dogs may be sensitive to them. Cashew milk does contain some nutritive value, but it is not easy for dogs to digest. It can be a nice treat but do not overdo it or your dog could end up with a sore tummy.
If your dog appears to have no allergy to milk, you can give it some fat-free milk from time to time. Some dogs have the same reaction to fat-free milk as they do regular milk. If your dog struggles to digest the milk (sometimes they get gassy), try to avoid using milk as a treat.
Chocolate contains a toxic component called theobromine. Humans can metabolize it easily while the substance tends to build up in dogs systems and becomes toxic. Chocolate of any type, even chocolate milk, should be a no-no for your pet.
Can Labradors Drink Tea?
If you have ever had a situation where you turn your back on your cup of tea and your dog sneaks a few sips (or the entire cup, which is often the case), you might wonder if tea is safe for your pet to drink. When it comes to caffeinated tea, it is the caffeine that can be toxic to dogs.
Do not panic if your dog has a cup here and there though. A small dog would need around 5 cups of caffeinated tea in a day in order for it to be toxic. It stands to reason, therefore, that your Labrador can ingest quite a bit more, with no negative side effects except for maybe a sore tummy. Decaffeinated tea is quite a different story. In small doses, it is absolutely safe and is sometimes used as a treatment for several health ailments in dogs.
Can Labradors Drink Beer?
A dog’s liver is not designed to process the alcohol and sugars found in a beer. Even a small amount of beer can prove toxic to your dog and while smaller dogs are at greater risk, Labradors are just as susceptible to alcohol poisoning, which could even lead to death.
It takes far less alcohol to intoxicate a dog than it does a human. Alcohol ingestion can immediately result in confusion, weakened motor functions, disorientation, upset tummy, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty urinating, and then later heart disease or kidney disease.
Can Labradors Drink Wine?
Alcohol is never good for dogs, regardless of their size. Unfortunately, some people still allow their dog to have a few laps of wine from time to time – this is certainly ill-advised. Wine has fairly high alcohol content when compared to other types of drinks and is, therefore, an absolute no-no for your Labrador.
It might seem harmless enough and people may laugh when your dog has a drink, but you will not find it funny when your dog is in pain or suffering kidney, liver and heart disease. Wine consumption can even lead to seizures in dogs.
Can Labradors Drink Coffee?
No, Labradors cannot drink coffee. It is not so much the coffee that is dangerous to dogs, but rather the caffeine that can be detrimental to their health. Caffeine can be toxic to dogs over time. If you choose to treat your dog to decaffeinated coffee, the negative effects will be less, but just make sure that there is no sugar included in your cuppa!
Can Labradors Drink Soda?
Feeding a little soda to your dog can seem harmless, but it can also end up doing more harm than good in the end. Sugar-sodas can lead to your dog putting on weight and developing diabetes. They are jam-packed with caffeine and sugar which both negatively impact on your dog’s lifespan, mood, and behavior (just like with kids).
Soda can lead to gas, vomiting, diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues.
Diet soda can be particularly dangerous for dogs as they do not contain sugar, but very often contain xylitol. Xylitol is toxic to dogs. It can lead to a rapid drop in blood sugar. It can cause your Labrador to collapse and even have a seizure. It is best to avoid all types and kinds of soda, just to be safe.
Can Labradors Drink Gatorade?
Gatorade is not good for dogs. This particular drink contains sugar, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial to humans, but not for dogs. Gatorade also includes additives and artificial coloring which interferes with a healthy urinary tract in dogs. When it comes to your Labrador, Gatorade is best to be avoided.
Can Labradors Drink Lemon Water?
If your Labrador seems to like lemon juice, you are onto a good thing. Small quantities of diluted lemon water can have positive health benefits for your dog.
Firstly, it is a refreshing drink. Secondly, it can help counteract bad breath and even repels fleas from the inside and out (you can wash your dog in a bit of lemon water for added flea-repelling benefits).
Do not over-do it though, as too much acid from the lemon juice can give your dog a sore tummy. A small squeeze of lemon into your dog’s water bowl should be enough.
Can Labradors Drink Apple Juice?
Unadulterated apple juice can be just fine for your Labrador if you dilute it with a bit of water and only provide it as a treat infrequently. The apple juice must be natural with absolutely no other additives except water.
Store-bought apple juice usually contains sugar which is a big no-no for Labradors. Make sure that if you make your own apple juice, none of the seeds make it into the juice. Apple seeds are particularly bad for dogs.
Can Labradors Drink Coconut Water?
Many humans drink coconut water for its undeniable health benefits. While coconut water should not replace your dog’s regular water, it can occasionally be a healthy treat for your pet. It is non-toxic and is packed with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, which are great for hydration.
Make sure that you do not introduce coconut water too quickly as some dogs can get diarrhea from it. It also has high carbohydrate content, so it should not be a daily treat as it could lead to quick weight gain. Make sure that the coconut water you serve has no sugars and additives as these will be bad for your dog’s health.
Can Labradors Drink Buttermilk?
Is buttermilk the same as regular cow’s milk? Not really. Most Labradors are lactose-intolerant which means that regular milk gives them gas and sore tummies. Buttermilk has much lower lactose content than regular milk and it also contains bacteria that can aid in digestion.
It is best to introduce your dog to buttermilk slowly to see how he/she reacts to it first. Also, keep in mind that buttermilk is high in fat, so it should not be given to your Lab on a regular basis.
Can Labradors Drink Cranberry Juice?
Yes, dogs can drink cranberry juice on occasion, but it should not be provided as a daily liquid to drink. Cranberry juice can be especially good for dogs with urinary tract infections. The cranberry juice should be whole fruit juice with no sugar or other additives; otherwise, it will negatively impact on your dog’s health.
Can Labradors Drink Chicken Broth?
Your Labrador can safely drink chicken broth. It is often used to entice dogs to eat their meals when they are recovering from malnutrition or an accident/illness. Bone-based broths, such as chicken broth, have a healthy collagen content which is beneficial to joint health.
It also contains an amino acid called glycine which can help detox a dog’s liver and kidneys. If you choose to make your own chicken broth, do not include onions and garlic as these are bad for dogs.
Can Labradors Drink Celery Juice?
Labradors can drink celery juice, but only in moderation. Too much celery juice can lead to diarrhea and gas, as it is a very good source of fiber. Celery contains vitamins C, A, B as well as iron, potassium, and sodium.
Too much celery water can lead to excess urination, so only allow small amounts at a time, very infrequently. If you do this, drinking celery juice can actually be beneficial to your dog’s health.
Can Labradors Drink Carbonated Water?
You might think that a little bit of fizzy water presents no potential harm to your pet. But you would be wrong. Unfortunately, your Labrador should not be allowed to drink carbonated water.
Larger dog breeds, such as Labradors, are susceptible to gas and bloat, and this can actually be life-threatening. If carbonated water is gulped, it could lead to a bad case of bloat and possibly result in the death of your pet.
Can Labradors Drink Ensure?
If you are drinking Ensure regularly, you might be tempted to share some with your pet or even feed them some of their own. Can your dog safely enjoy some Ensure?
Yes, Labradors can drink Ensure, but only in moderation. It is jam-packed with nutrients to help humans gain weight, so you can expect your dog to put on a bit of extra weight too.
If you are specifically interested in allowing your dog to drink Ensure because you want it to gain healthy weight, there is a similar product on the market that is actually designed for dogs, called DogSure.
Can Labradors Drink Eggnog?
No, your Labrador should definitely not drink eggnog. It should be avoided at all costs. For starters, eggnog contains nutmeg which can be lethal to dogs. It also has a high content of sugar, fat, and milk. Raw egg can also lead to food poisoning. There is nothing really good about eggnog for your Labrador.
Can Labradors Drink Energy Drinks?
Are you knocking back energy drinks, and want to include your dog? Many people are undecided about just how safe energy drinks are for their dog. The simple answer is that no, your Labrador should never drink energy drinks. When you consider that dogs can be sensitive to the caffeine and sugar content in a cup of coffee, you will realize that an energy drink can be particularly bad for your dog. The sugar and caffeine can lead to upset tummy, diarrhea, vomiting, and in some cases of serious overdose, death.
Can Labradors Drink Distilled Water?
Yes, your Labrador can drink distilled water, but only if no other water supply is available. Your dog should not be fed distilled water on a consistent basis as it lacks the nutrients they require from water. Distilled water is made by boiling regular water until all contaminants are no longer present.
The steam is condensed and bottled into “distilled water”. Unfortunately, all minerals are also destroyed in the process which leads to the flat taste that many people report distilled water to have. A flat taste is not the only negative to your dog drinking distilled water. If your dog drinks it regularly, it can lead to poor health.
Distilled water can lead to sodium and chloride imbalance in the blood, lower red blood cell count, increased cortisol secretion, and kidney damage. It is also apparently less thirst-quenching, which is not good for your pet. This can lead to overdrinking and may cause your Lab to urinate too frequently as a result.
Can Labradors Drink Toilet Water?
Toilet water seems to be a regular favorite among most dogs – your Labrador included. But should you really let your Labrador indulge in it? Probably not!
If you find that your dog regularly dips his head into the toilet bowl for a drink, it is best to keep the toilet lid closed. Regardless of how clean you keep it, you cannot realistically keep your toilet free from chemicals, contaminants, and bacteria. While a drink every now and then will probably not kill your dog, it can be the cause for a dog to suffer from coliform bacterial contamination, such as E. coli.
As you can see there are many foods that can be harmful to your Lab. For more in-depth information on this, you’ll want to read our article, 19 People-Foods You Had No Idea Could Harm Your Dog.
While there are many liquids that your Labrador can safely drink in small amounts and infrequently, it is never a good idea to try to replace your dog’s main source of hydration, water, with anything else. Always make sure that your Labrador has access to an ample supply of fresh, clean water on a daily basis and you shouldn’t really have to provide anything else to drink – except on those occasions when you would like to give him a treat.