Can Dogs Drink Sparkling Water? (Is It Safe?)

Bottle of sparkling water

Many dog owners are tempted to share almost anything they eat with their furry friends; understandably, it’s hard to resist their big brown eyes sometimes. But what about that bottle of sparkling water in your hand? Is it safe to pour some in your dog’s water bowl?

Dogs can drink sparkling water. However, there’s a risk of bloat and other health issues when they drink it, so it’s best to avoid giving it to them. If you must give your dog some sparkling water, do it in very small amounts. But don’t fill up their bowl as it’s not a replacement for regular water.

In the rest of this article, we’ll explain in great detail everything you need to know about dogs and sparkling water and why it may be harmful to them.

What Happens if You Give Your Dog Sparkling Water?

Sparkling water is water that has been injected with dissolved carbon dioxide gas under pressure. So, if your dog consumes it, especially in large amounts, the carbon dioxide gas may cause bloating in them. 

Although dogs can burp to release excess air out of their stomach, they’re at risk of bloating when carbon dioxide or any other gas builds up in their gastrointestinal tract.

When a dog’s stomach fills up with gas, it expands, and pressure builds up on other organs. It can cause serious problems like decreased blood flow to the heart, difficulty breathing, and tears in the stomach lining.

If that isn’t scary enough, bloating can cause the dog’s stomach to twist or rotate as it gets bigger. This condition is an advanced stage of bloating and is called gastric dilation volvulus (GDV). 

As the stomach twists, it drags the pancreas along with it, obstructing blood flow and sending the dog into shock. If not treated immediately, GDV can lead to a dog’s death.

Different dogs may have varying reactions to sparkling water. Deep-chested and large dogs like German Shepherds, Great Danes, Boxers, Akitas, Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, and Boxers are more at risk of bloat. 

Bloating is a medical and surgical emergency, which is why you shouldn’t give your dog sparkling water in the first place. 

If you notice any unusual signs like retching, restlessness, or salivation after giving your dog sparkling water, seek emergency veterinary help immediately. 

Can Sparkling Water Kill a Dog?

Plain sparkling water doesn’t contain any additives or toxins that can directly kill your dog. However, it can cause bloating, gas, or diarrhea when consumed in large amounts. 

Since bloating is a serious medical condition in dogs, it’s best to avoid giving them sparkling water. However, if that’s the only fluid you have in the house, pour only a very small amount in their bowl, and if you notice any unusual reactions, call the vet.

Other Potential Health Issues

Some sparkling waters contain additions like xylitol to enhance the taste of the water. While xylitol is generally safe for human consumption, it’s highly toxic to dogs. 

According to VCA Hospital, when a dog consumes xylitol, it gets absorbed into their bloodstream very fast and causes a potent and rapid insulin release from the pancreas. The rapid insulin release causes a massive decrease in blood sugar level. Even a small amount of xylitol (as low as 50 mg) can cause liver failure, seizures, low blood sugar, or even death in dogs if left untreated. 

Within 15 to 30 minutes of consuming xylitol, your dog may develop symptoms such as vomiting, weakness, tremors, difficulty walking, or coma. The best way to avoid all these problems is not to give your dog anything that contains xylitol. 

Is Sparkling Water Better Than Regular Water?

Sparkling water isn’t better than regular water. Plain sparkling water has minimal nutritional value and hydrates the body no better than regular water.

So, why do some people prefer it over plain water?

Here’s why. Plain carbonated water, which contains no added sugars, artificial flavorings, or sweeteners, hydrates better than soda or diet soda and is a healthier alternative as it has no calories. 

It has also been shown to improve digestion and help relieve stomach aches and constipation. Other claims have been made about the benefits of sparkling water, but many of them have no substantial evidence to back them up.

In most cases, the carbonation of water is accompanied by the addition of minerals such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, or sodium citrate. Except for seltzer water, salt is usually added to carbonated waters to improve their taste.

What Type of Water Should Your Dog Drink and How Much?

In the end, clean, fresh water is the best way for your dog to stay hydrated. There’s no point spending a few extras on a can of sparkling water when regular water is a safer, readily accessible, and cost-effective option.

You can give your dog tap, spring, filtered, or bottled water as long as you know it’s clean and safe. In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to give your dog the same water you drink.

Tap water may contain fewer toxic chemicals than bottled water. However, if you live in an area where the tap water has contaminants, look for filtered, bottled, or pure spring water. 

The amount of water to give your dog depends on their age, size, activity level, and other factors. A good general guideline for how much water a dog needs is an ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. 

On a hot day, the amount of water they’ll drink will increase. So, you don’t necessarily need to measure out the exact 1/8 of a cup of water for your dog. Just make sure you provide them with plenty of fresh, clean water.

What if Your Dog Doesn’t Like Plain Water?

Typically, a dog doesn’t need any encouragement to drink water and rehydrate. However, sometimes, the taste may not appeal to them, or they may prefer another fluid. 

So, before you grab a can or bottle of sparkling water and pour it into their bowl, here are a few things you can try.

  • Change the position of their water bowl. Some dogs have preferences on where they want their water bowls placed. Trying a different location may help.
  • Place two or more water bowls around the house. Doing this makes water easily accessible to your dog, so they don’t need to go too far to have a drink.
  • Ensure your dog’s water bowl is clean. It may not sound like much, but a clean bowl may help your dog drink more and is vital for their health.
  • Try a different water bowl material. Dogs, like humans, also have preferences for their food and water bowls. So, if you’re using a stainless-steel bowl, switch to a different material or size to see what they like.
  • Change the water source. If your dog doesn’t like the taste of tap water, changing to bottled or filtered water may help them drink more.

Final Thoughts

While it may sound fun to give your dog some sparkling water as a bit of a summer treat, it’s not the best idea. It contains dissolved carbon dioxide gas and can cause bloating in dogs. The risks outweigh the benefits, which are almost non-existent anyway.

The best way to help your dog stay hydrated is to regularly provide them with plain old water. If the tap water in your area is unsafe, make filtered or bottled water available for them. If you want to give your dog sparkling water, pour only a very small amount in their bowl. 

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Andrew

My name is Andrew, and I've been around dogs my entire life. Look at my profile picture and, you see me as a little kid with my family's two German Shepherds. That's how my life with dogs started, and ever since, I've been both living and working with dogs.

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