Are your dogs underweight or are you looking for ways to improve your dog’s health? As dog owners, we naturally want to find ways to help our precious pooch when they are sick or not feeling well. You may be wondering, “Can I give my sick dog Ensure?” Before you do, here’s the short answer first.
Can dogs drink Ensure? Yes, dogs can drink Ensure in small or reasonable quantities, but you need to know a few things about this drink first. For starters, it’s not designed for your dog so there are some possible side effects. Ensure is a nutritional supplement meant for those who have difficulty eating and digesting food on their own. When mixed with water, it can provide enough nutrients to equal standard dog food.
If you want to give Ensure to your dog, it is important to note that they should not eat or drink anything else for a couple of hours afterward because their stomach will need time to digest the liquid. Never give your canine friend a full serving of Ensure as it is very high in calories and fat.
Can dogs have Ensure?
Yes, dogs can have Ensure, however, you should only feed dogs the amount that your veterinarian recommends to keep their calorie intake low and their overall diet balanced.
Avoid mixing Ensure with other milk or dairy products as most dogs are commonly lactose intolerant. Instead, simply mix it with plain water.
Can I Give My Dog Ensure?
It turns out that many people who have sick or elderly dogs give them Ensure so they can still get some nutrients and calories into their diet. Some vets even recommend giving an older dog Ensure as one of the best ways to provide them with enough energy and fluids.
A key point of concern with feeding your dog any type of liquid food is that they might not be able to tell when they’re full and will continue drinking until the bottle is empty. This can lead to them over-eating which could make them sick or cause bloating and diarrhea.
Other people disagree and say no to the idea of feeding a dog Ensure and claim that any extra sugar could cause dental problems and weight gain which could lead to other more serious long-term side effects.
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The sugar content in Ensure can cause serious health problems if ingested too quickly. Instead, you should mix the amount suggested by your veterinarian with a 12-ounce cup of water and then let your furry friend drink it over the course of 20 minutes or so.
There are many reasons why your dog can and should drink Ensure. The key is knowing the right type of Ensure to buy for your canine pals. A veterinarian will be able to tell you which type is best for your four-legged friends. If your pooch is lactose-intolerant, there are plant-based Ensure options that are lactose-free.
You also need to be aware of what kind of Ensure you’re buying because some types have too much protein, fat, or sugar in them which can cause digestive problems in dogs.
Some types of Ensure are flavored such that there are strawberry and chocolate flavors. They can have harmful additives in them which can also be found in other processed beverages that are not intended for canine consumption.
The rebound formula is designed to help your dog bounce back after an illness or surgery, it also promotes eating and drinking while boosting immune function.
We highly recommend the above Rebound Recuperation Formula for canines.
After my 10-year-old Labrador (senior dog) had her surgery last year, she lost her appetite. My Lab wasn’t eating and we were worried since we know how important it was for her to receive the necessary nutrients she needed from her food to help her have a speedy and successful recovery.
After speaking with the vet, he recommended the Rebound Recuperation Formula for canines and the rest was history. My senior Lab dog loved the flavor and willingly took it from a syringe. Next, I added a few drops of it to her food and this motivated her to eat again!
Avoid Chocolate and Other Ensure Flavors
When it comes to Ensure, not all brands of Ensure are created equal. Some generic brands can contain additives that are very dangerous for your dog. Even the brand-name product contains cocoa in the chocolate version which is toxic to dogs.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs because it contains a chemical called theobromine which is something our canine friends are not able to metabolize properly. Chocolate also has caffeine which our dogs can’t metabolize as well. Since our pups can’t properly metabolize both theobromine and caffeine, they are extremely sensitive to the effects of these chemicals.
Signs and symptoms of chocolate poisoning include:
- Very thirsty leading to frequent urination.
- Increase heart rate.
- Upset stomach leads to either diarrhea or vomiting.
- Heavy panting.
- Whole-body shaking.
In severe cases, chocolate poisoning can cause:
- Heart failure.
- Muscle tremors.
Therefore, a good rule of thumb is to only buy the original vanilla version of Ensure and stay away from the chocolate, strawberry, and caramel flavored varieties as they contain ingredients harmful to dogs as well as added sugar.
Consult with your veterinarian before giving Ensure to your pooch, also consider giving your dog specially formulated drinks designed for dogs.
Handy Hint: When dogs vomit, they can develop complications such as aspiration pneumonia in which the vomit enters the lungs or airways leading into the lungs instead of going down to the stomach. If your precious pooch is vomiting, be sure to check out our Dog Vomit Color Guide to understand what caused the vomiting and call your vet right away.
When To Consider Giving a Dog Ensure To Drink
Ensure is a medical food product that has about 20 calories per 8 ounces and contains 10 essential vitamins and minerals.
For instance, Ensure contains the following vitamins:
- B vitamins (Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Biotin, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacinamide, and Calcium Pantothenate to name a few) that assist in energy metabolism and cell function.
- Vitamin A helps to promote healthy skin, bones, teeth, and eyes.
- Vitamin K helps stimulate protein synthesis and encourages normal blood clotting.
- Vitamin C and E act as antioxidants to provide a strong and healthy immune system and fight against free radicals.
- Vitamin D3 ensures that your dog has strong bones and good bone health.
In addition, Ensure also has the following minerals that are beneficial to our canine friends because it helps with key cellular functions:
- Zinc sulfate.
- Manganese sulfate.
- Copper sulfate.
- Potassium chloride.
It’s typically used as a meal replacement or supplement for dogs that are recovering from surgery or illness. It’s a good idea to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog anything not designed specifically for dogs.
Ensure can be used to add calories to an underweight dog’s diet. Adding Ensure with moderation can help underweight dogs gain some pounds and make sure they are getting the proper balance of vitamins and nutrients in their diet. Your veterinarian may recommend this in order to help your dog put on some pounds and get some added nutrients into their diet.
Alternatively, if your dog is able to eat solids you could try high-calorie dog food which is specially designed to give your dog that extra bit of bulk.
Can dogs drink Ensure to gain weight?
Before you allow your dogs to drink Ensure to gain weight, we highly recommend that you consult your vet first. Every dog is different so their health requirement is also different. What is a reasonable and appropriate quantity for one dog may be different for another dog.
Your vet can help you decide how much of the Ensure your furry friends can drink based on your dog’s size and health history. This way, your pooch is able to gain the necessary weight safely.
Helping Underweight Dogs Gain Weight
If your dog is underweight, there are a few ways to help them gain weight. The first way is to feed more calories. Try adding some canned pumpkin puree to their food and feeding one can per day for every ten pounds of body weight they need to gain.
Another approach is to try changing the type of food you’re feeding them or switching up what they eat throughout the day so that they get an even distribution of protein and carbs. Lastly, you can also use supplements like high-calorie dog treats or Ensure if recommended by your veterinarian.
Designed to help your dog put on the pounds, this specially formulated food has the most calories per serving on the market!
Can a sick dog drink Ensure?
Ideally, dog owners should not resort to giving their dogs Ensure if their furry friends are sick. If your dog is sick or not feeling well, you’ll want to feed her food like chicken and white rice, bone broth, tasty wet food, and sweet potatoes to name a few.
Want more information? Check out How to Get Your Dog to Eat When Sick to find a list of the top 10 best food to give a dog with no appetite. They’re easy to make and your furry friend will thank you!
If she lost her appetite from being sick (which happens often), you can add a few drops of the Rebound Recuperation Formula we mentioned above. The Rebound formula will help add some flavor to the food which will motivate and encourage your sick dog to eat again.
Some sick dogs may refuse to drink water when they’re feeling under the weather which is also common. This can lead to dehydration and a host of other health issues. Luckily, there are plenty of hydration options available besides water such as coconut water, fruit juices, and vegetable juices to name a few.
Check out: What Can Dogs Drink Besides Water? to find out what else can dogs drink besides water. You may find some of them in your refrigerator right now, which will give your pooch a boost of hydration. We’ll also go over a list of drinks besides water that you should never feed your dog.
Avoid adding Ensure to your sick dog’s diet unless you have already consulted with your dog’s vet and confirmed that your canine friend can have a small or reasonable amount of Ensure.
Ensure and Lactose
Dogs are carnivores and as such, most cannot digest lactose. This is a natural process that allows humans to drink milk without any adverse effects. When dogs eat dairy products, it causes bloating, gas, and stomach cramps because their bodies are not equipped to break down the sugar in the milk product.
Most dogs will experience symptoms after consuming milk products. Milk contains an enzyme called “lactase” which breaks down the sugar in dairy foods into smaller sugars that can not be easily digested by animals with lactase deficiency (which includes most dogs).
Dogs don’t produce this enzyme naturally so you need to be extra mindful when giving them anything that contains dairy products. Practice moderation and if you notice your dog is experiencing side effects, give them plenty of cool fresh plain water or safe dog-friendly drinks to keep them from being dehydrated until they recover.
Ensure contains 500mg of lactose per serving which is considered clinically insignificant in lactose-intolerant humans. For some comparison, milk contains between 10,000mg and 15,000mg of lactose per serving which is 20 to 30 times as much.
There is still a risk of some side effects even with this small amount of lactose since most dogs are lactose intolerant. Your dog may experience some diarrhea or even get an upset stomach and bloating as a result of consuming Ensure. The body’s inability to break down milk sugars can cause an imbalance in the natural bacteria levels in the gut which then leads to gastrointestinal distress.
Can dogs drink Pediasure?
Pediasure is generally safe for dogs, however, it does contain a high amount of sugar and salt in this drink. Specifically, there are 130mg of sodium and 12g of sugar in Pediasure.
High amounts of salt and sugar aren’t considered beneficial for a dog’s health. Instead, too much sugar consumption can lead to diabetes, weight gain, obesity, and other health issues.
Ingesting too much salt can cause dehydration, diarrhea, and salt poisoning in dogs. So Pediasure for dogs really depends. If you’re unsure, we highly recommend that you consult with your dog’s vet.
Ensure is a nutritional supplement that is designed to help people with low-calorie diets get all the nutrients they need. While Ensure has many benefits, can dogs drink ensure? The answer is yes! The most important thing you should know about ensuring your dog is whether or not it’s formulated for pets.
There are some nutrient-dense Ensure-like drinks designed specifically for dogs, but there are also other versions of Ensure that aren’t safe for pets. Most importantly, make sure the food you’re giving is safe for them to consume and free of harmful additives. If you are unsure about what to feed your dog, be sure to contact your veterinarian for professional advice.
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The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.
Ensure is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories, Dogleashpro does not claim any ownership of the Ensure name, logo, or any identifying mark in any way. This article is for educational purposes only.
With over five years of specialized experience as an animal writer, my expertise lies in dog nutrition, health, behavior, grooming, and training. I am dedicated to delivering helpful and informative content that caters to the well-being of our furry friends. My primary goal is to empower pet owners with knowledge and ensure our canine companions thrive in health and happiness. In my free time, I love volunteering at local dog rescue centers.