Here's Why You Should Skip Giving Your Dog Sparkling Water

Even though a small amount of sparkling water is unlikely to harm your pup, there are better - and tastier - alternatives for them.

Published April 12, 2023
Dog drinking from bottle of water

Carbonated water isn't really a good beverage for your dog to drink. If they took a quick drink, you probably don't need to worry. It may be tempting to offer our dogs a taste, especially since we like to have a little extra flavor and sensation in our own drinks. However, it's best to avoid giving carbonated drinks to your dog, including sparkling water. Unfortunately, the carbonation isn't the only concern. Often, carbonated beverages have additives that aren't the best for your dog.

Is Carbonated Water Safe for Dogs?

If your dog accidentally takes a few sips from your sparkling water, the carbonation isn't likely to harm them. Although sparkling water that's free of flavoring or sugar is considered generally safe for dogs in small amounts, it is still best to avoid letting them drink it, because it can cause unpleasant side effects for your dog.

If they take more than a few sips, the carbonation could upset their stomach. There are no health benefits for your dog - and many dogs don't like the sensation of carbonation on their nose - so there's no reason to let your dog drink sparkling water.

What to Avoid

If your sparkling water is flavored, it's probably not good for your pup. There are several ingredients to avoid giving to your dog entirely.

Artificial Sweeteners

While we may enjoy our drinks being a little on the sweeter side, the sweeteners used aren't typically good for our dogs. Xylitol, a sweetener added to some sparkling water, can reduce your dog's blood sugar levels. For the sake of your dog's health, don't give them anything with xylitol in it. Some carbonated water drinks might also contain caffeine, which could cause seizures, high blood pressure, or increased heart rate.

Artificial Flavoring

The flavoring and dyes that are found in some sparkling water beverages aren't good for us and certainly aren't good for our dogs. Coloring agents like red 40 have been found to cause neurological damage in some animals, such as impaired memory and learning difficulties. Researchers have also discovered that red 3 has a link to thyroid cancer in animals overall. And it doesn't end there. Most of the synthetic dyes are associated with harmful effects.

Negative Side Effects

In addition to artificial flavors, dyes, and sweeteners, there are a couple of other concerns. These include:

Excess Gas Buildup

Sparkling water is infused with carbon dioxide, which is why flatulence and even bloat are a concern if your dog drinks carbonated beverages, including sparkling water. There isn't any research connecting bloat with sparkling water, or carbonated beverages, but it is thought to be a possibility due to the amount of carbon dioxide in the beverages. Although bloat is less likely, it's not worth taking even the small chance it could happen.

Sodium Content

The sodium content of some sparkling waters, and carbonated beverages in general, is high. Yes, the amount of sodium varies depending on the brand, but it's not worth taking the chance. Too much sodium can lead to dehydration, vomiting, tremors, or seizures in dogs.

Need to Know

Sparkling water can contain more than 10 times as much sodium than regular fresh water, and your dog just doesn't need it.

Fresh Water is Best

Some dogs can be a little picky when it comes to their drinking water, but fresh water is best to keep your dog hydrated. Keeping the water bowl full of fresh, clean water is necessary even if your dog isn't picky. However, you can make your job easier by grabbing a dog water fountain. Dog drinking fountains continue to keep water flowing, preventing it from getting stale or stagnant.

Dogs drinking from fountain

Delicious Alternatives

If you want to add something flavorful to your dog's water, consider the following:

  • Bone broth: Bone broth is a flavorful, nutritious addition to your dog's diet that can help with hydration. It's packed with vitamins and minerals to give your dog an immunity boost, which can be particularly helpful to puppies and senior dogs, or those with health conditions.
  • Ice cubes: Some dogs enjoy ice cubes added to their water. It provides added stimulation and keeps the water cool. If you want to go a step further, you can make low-sodium chicken broth ice cubes for added flavor.
  • Fruit-infused water: If your dog enjoys fruit, such as apples, adding some slices in their water dish can help encourage them to drink more water. Other fruits that are healthy for dogs include peaches, pears, and strawberries.
Quick Tip

Additives should be used in moderation, especially if you are using fruits. Too much fruit can lead to your dog consuming too much sugar. Offer these alternatives as an occasional treat.

No Carbonated Beverages

Keeping your dog hydrated is important. However, fresh, regular water is the best choice. If your dog does happen to take a few laps of your carbonated water though, it's likely not anything to worry about aside from it meaning they're thirsty. Grab your dog a bowl of fresh water to ensure they remain hydrated. If your dog isn't drinking enough water, add some safe flavors to make it more appealing.

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Here's Why You Should Skip Giving Your Dog Sparkling Water