Can Dogs Drink Soda?

Read this before sharing your soda with your dog 🙅‍♀️

can dogs drink soda

If you’re relaxing at home drinking some of your favorite soda, you might feel inclined to share some with your dog.

But you really shouldn’t.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Antonio DeMarco, a veterinarian and president of medical operations at GoodVets in Kansas City, Missouri, to find out the deal with dogs and soda.

Can dogs have soda?

The bottom line is dogs should never have soda.

“I highly recommend to only allow dogs access to water,” Dr. DeMarco told The Dodo. “Dogs, like wild animals, do not need anything else other than water for drinking.”

The sugar in soda can make your dog sick, but certain sweeteners can cause serious issues or even be fatal.

“Drinking soda can certainly result in a medical emergency,” Dr. DeMarco said.

How is soda bad for dogs?

There are a few things that make soda bad for dogs.

Too much sugar

The amount of sugar in soda is way too high for dogs and could make your pup sick if he drinks it.

“The excess sugar can make your dog ill,” Dr. DeMarco said.

According to a 2014 study, excessive amounts of sugar can cause diabetes in dogs.

Plus, dogs are used to natural sugar found in fruits, not the refined sugar in your soda. So if your dog consumes refined sugar, it can cause gastrointestinal issues (more on that later).

Not to mention, the extra calories from added sugar could cause weight gain or even contribute to obesity.

Xylitol poisoning in dogs

But even worse than sugar is xylitol, which is a naturally occurring alcohol that’s used as a sugar substitute in a lot of things (including some sodas, often diet sodas).

Xylitol is also toxic to dogs, so if your pup drinks soda with xylitol in it, it’s a medical emergency.

For a dog to get xylitol poisoning, it would depend on how much he weighs and how much he consumes.

“All toxicities are dose dependent — if enough [is] consumed, death can follow,” Dr. DeMarco said.

Xylitol can cause low blood sugar in dogs, and if your pup ingests enough of it, he’s going to need to get to the hospital ASAP.

“If caught soon enough, we can induce emesis (vomiting) to get toxins out to prevent signs of toxicity,” Dr. DeMarco said. “If it has been over one to two hours, generally that patient will need treatment based on [the] amount consumed.”

Caffeine toxicity in dogs

Artificial sweeteners like xylitol aren't the only things in soda that are toxic to your dog — a lot of sodas are caffeinated, and caffeine is poisonous for pups.

The amount of caffeine that’ll cause full-blown toxicity will vary depending on how much your dog weighs, but the official toxic dose is 140 milligrams for every kilogram your dog weighs (aka 63 milligrams for every pound).

Signs of caffeine toxicity in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Panting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Death

So if your dog drinks soda with caffeine in it, call your vet ASAP.

What happens if a dog drinks soda?

Since the sugar content is so high in soda, even sodas without xylitol or caffeine can cause issues for your dog, like:

  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetence

What to do if your dog drinks soda?

If your dog only manages to sneak a small amount of soda, like a sip or two, you most likely don’t have to book it to the vet, since it shouldn’t be enough to make him super sick.

But if you notice any symptoms — or think your pup lapped up a more significant amount of soda — bring him to the vet ASAP, since it might result in a medical emergency.

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