Upland Dog Hydration
Many long-time hunting dog owners will take a sport drink, such as Gatorade, along to the field for their dogs.
The thinking is to reduce dehydration effects and keep their dogs running in good condition for a long day of hunting pheasants and quail. Typically, gun dog owners will dump a little sport drink in the water bowl so it is a reduced mixture, even much weaker than the “G2” blend of Gatorade.
On the other hand, some dog experts disagree on how to hydrate our canine friends. When nursing a pup back from a stomach illness, Dr. Jon Rappaport at PetPlace.com has no qualms with giving a little sport drink to encourage the ill dog to drink some fluids.
Many dog owners, veterinarians and breeders recognize, however, that human sport drinks are not necessarily suited for dogs. In fact, the folks at birddoglife.com suggest water, protein and maltodextrin (a sugar compound) are more important than the electrolytes found in human sports drinks.
Our Kansas Hunting Dogs do not sweat or lose electrolytes the same way humans do, so are we wasting money on giving them sport drinks in the field? Probably.
But, a very small amount of sport drink mixed in with the water is not likely to cause harm to a hunting dog. After all, many gun dog owners offer some to their dogs every fall and have been doing so for years.
If wanting to err on the side of caution, just give your upland dog water. And as Chad Love from Field & Stream recommends, take water from home that your pup is used to drinking since water can vary so much from place to place.
We can’t go wrong with water. Where have we heard that before?