Ensure For Dogs: Can Dogs Drink Ensure? (We Asked A Vet)

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Like most dog owners, you probably want to ensure that your pup is getting the best possible nutrition. This means ensuring that they eat a well-balanced diet and get all the necessary nutrients.

But what if your dog isn’t eating as much as they should? Or if they have a health condition that requires them to eat a special diet?

In cases like these, many people question whether supplements like Ensure can help their dogs get the necessary nourishment.

But can dogs drink Ensure?

In short, dogs can drink Ensure but only in a small amount. Ensure is a supplement, not a complete meal replacement. This means that it should only be given to dogs in addition to their regular food and not as a sole source of nourishment. In addition, certain flavors of Ensure (such as chocolate) can be toxic to dogs, so it’s important to give them only the safe flavors. 

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • What Ensure is and it’s nutritional information
  • The risk and benefits of dogs drinking Ensure
  • If dogs should drink Ensure for weight gain
  • Some healthier Ensure alternatives on the market
  • And much more

Let’s dive in.

Ensure For Dogs: Can Dogs Drink Ensure? (We Asked A Vet)

What Is Ensure?

Ensure is a nutritional shake designed for people who need to gain or maintain weight. It’s a high-calorie supplement that’s often used by people who are ill, have trouble eating, or are recovering from surgery.

It’s important to note that this product is specifically designed for human consumption, not canine. So it immediately poses some risk for dogs to drink ensure.

However, to know the dangers of Ensure for dogs, we need to break down the ingredients.

Ensure Original Powder – Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving:

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: <5mg
  • Sodium: 190mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 34g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Total Sugars: 13g (All Added Sugars)
  • Protein: 9g

Ingredients:

Corn SyrupCorn MaltodextrinSugar, Corn Oil, Sodium Caseinate, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Artificial Flavor. Less than 1% of: Vitamins & Minerals (Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Chloride, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Choline Chloride, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, Zinc Sulfate, Niacinamide, Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12), and Soy Lecithin. Contains milk and soy ingredients.

As you can see from the nutritional information and ingredient list, Ensure is high in calories, sugar, and fat. It also contains relatively high sodium for a dog. However, on the flip side, it does contain many beneficial vitamins and minerals.

So, what does this mean for dogs?

Can Dogs Drink Ensure?

ensure for dogs

While a dog can technically drink Ensure, it’s not the best option.

Ensure is high in calories, salt, sugar, and fat which can lead to weight gain and other health problems in dogs. However, not all Ensure products are created equal. They have a variety of flavors, like dark chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. They even have low-fat, sugar, and calorie options.

Flavors, including chocolate or any other toxic ingredients, should not be given to dogs. Dogs that consume these products may suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.

Cocoa powder is especially dangerous for dogs because it contains theobromine. This substance can cause an irregular heartbeat, seizures, and in some cases, death.

If you do decide to give your dog Ensure, make sure you get approval from your vet and make sure to select the low fat, sugar, and calorie options. In addition, you also want to make sure to only give them Ensure periodically, not as a meal replacement used daily.

Should Dogs Drink Ensure For Weight Gains?

can dogs drink ensure for weight gain

Aside from the chocolate flavors of Ensure, it’s non-toxic and does contain some beneficial ingredients for dogs. However, this product was specifically designed for humans, not dogs.

Dogs that are underweight or have a poor appetite may benefit from Ensure to help them gain weight.

However, you should always consult with your veterinarian first as there may be underlying health conditions causing the weight loss. 

Ensure is made with modified ingredients and artificial flavors that may not agree with your dog’s stomach. So while a dog can drink Ensure for weight gain, it’s not the best option.

In addition, it’s much healthier for a dog to gain weight with high-quality food specifically for dogs. There are also better liquid options for dogs who need to gain weight.

How Should Dogs Gain Weight?

If your dog needs to gain weight, there are better options than Ensure.

Many high-quality dog foods on the market will help your dog gain weight in a healthy way. You can also find liquid diet options for dogs specifically made to help them gain weight.

In addition, trying to help your dog gain weight using human foods is not recommended. 

If you’re unsure of what food to feed your dog to help with their weight gain, consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend a diet plan that’s right for your dog based on their

If you do not have access to a vet, here are some better alternatives to help a dog gain weight.

Ensure Alternatives For Canine Weight Gain

Many types of dog-specific foods and supplements can help a dog gain weight.

Here are two of the best options for helping a dog gain weight:

Rebound Recuperation Formula For Canines

Rebound Recuperation Formula For Canines is a complete fluid therapy designed specifically for dogs in recovery.

However, it can be a great option to help dogs gain weight.

It contains all the essential nutrients, antioxidants, and omega-fatty acids your dog needs to support their health and promotes hydration, nutrition, and immunity. 

Plus, it’s formulated to promote eating and drinking during recovery, so your dog can return to their healthy self as soon as possible.

Rebound Recuperation Formula For Canines is easy to feed with or without food and is a much better option than Ensure.

Bully Max High-Performance Premium Dog Food

Bully Max dog food uses real meat as the #1 ingredient, unlike other plant-based brands.

You will also be able to feed your dog up to 50% less food because it is packed with MORE CALORIES than any other formula in its class.

This high-performance dog food is suitable for adult dogs and puppies (ages 4 weeks and older). It has never been recalled due to the triple-check system.

It’s a great high-calorie option to help dogs gain weight.

Miracle Vet High-Calorie Weight Gain Dog Food

This calorie-dense food is ideal for adding healthy weight to your dog fast. It’s packed with 8-in-1 weight, growth, and health benefits.

It includes prebiotics and probiotics to improve digestion, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health, added antioxidants for immune system support, and glucosamine and chondroitin to support joints.

Are There Any Health Benefits Of Ensure For Dogs?

can dogs drink ensure for weight gain

There are definitely some health benefits that come from Ensure.

For instance, Ensure has the following vitamins:

  • B vitamins that assist in energy metabolism and cell function.
  • Vitamin A helps with skin, bones, teeth, and eyes.
  • Vitamin K helps with protein synthesis and blood clotting.
  • Vitamin C and E benefit a dog’s immune system and fight against harmful cells.
  • Vitamin D3 helps with bone health.

It even contains minerals like zinc, manganese, potassium, and copper. The issue with all these benefits is that Ensure also has bad ingredients.

So when you factor in the negative ingredients, there are much better options for dogs. 

So is ensure really good for dogs?

It seems like in small amounts, it might be beneficial. However, the risks seem to outweigh the benefits.

It’s better to find a dog-specific food or supplement to help your furry friend gain weight.

5 Dangers Of Dogs Drinking Ensure

Now that we know the answer to “can dogs drink Ensure,” it’s important to understand the dangers of it.

Here are some risks you need to be aware of when giving your dog Ensure:

#1 Flavors

The flavors and sweeteners in Ensure are not good for dogs. In fact, they can be toxic.

Flavors such as Chocolate contain toxic compounds that can be harmful to dogs.

So always be sure to check the label and make sure the flavor you are giving your dog is safe.

#2 Lactose

While Ensure says their product is okay for lactose intolerant people, the same may not apply to dogs.

Dogs that Drink Ensure could experience vomiting and diarrhea due to the lactose in the product.

#3 Overeating

Another danger of Ensure is that it can lead to overeating. And as we all know, eating too much can lead to obesity and other health problems down the road.

A dog’s biggest issue with overeating is Pancreatitis and bloat, both of which are life-threatening if left untreated.

Since Ensure is high in fat and sugar, both of these conditions could become a reality if your dog has too much.

Bloat can happen when a dog eats too fast or drinks too much water after eating. As a result, the stomach expands and puts pressure on other organs. This can be life-threatening and needs to be treated immediately by a vet. 

Pancreatitis is another serious issue caused by overeating. It’s an inflammation of the pancreas and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

#4 Sugar

Ensure contains added sugar that has harmful effects on both people and dogs. The more sugar a dog is exposed to, the greater its health risks are.

Here are a few repercussions of feeding dogs too much sugar:

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Weight gain & obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease 
  • Joint problems

Sugar can also lead to hyperglycemia, which is a medical condition characterized by too much sugar in the blood. This can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious health problems.

Dogs’ systems cannot process sugar as well as humans, so even small amounts of sugar have a greater impact on them than on us.

#5 Allergies

Ensure also contains soy, which is a common allergen in dogs. If your dog is allergic to soy, drinking Ensure could cause itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

What Happens If Dogs Drink Ensure?

danger of ensure for dogs

Now that we know the dangers of giving dogs Ensure, what actually happens if they drink it?

This depends on how much they eat, how often, and how big they are. If a dog drinks a small amount of Ensure once in a while, they will probably be fine.

But if they drink large amounts or have it regularly, they could start to experience serious health problems. These include:

  • Weight gain & obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease 
  • Joint problems

If your dog does not respond well to Ensure or overeats it, the most common symptom you will see are vomiting and diarrhea.

Other symptoms include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight gain
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog after giving them Ensure, it’s important to contact your vet.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Dog Liquid Meal Replacement

ensure for dogs

There are two liquid meal replacements you can give to dogs to help them eat and gain weight.

The first is Rebound Recuperation Formula For Canines. This high-calorie liquid formula helps dogs recover from illness or injury. In addition, this can act as a meal replacement for dogs unable to eat proper meals.

Another option is bone broth. This is a nutrient-rich broth made from simmering bones and can help sick dogs, recovering from surgery, or having a poor appetite.

There are other options as well that can help your dog gain weight and stay healthy. Be sure to talk to your vet about what is best for your dog’s specific needs.

Can I Give My Dog Vanilla Ensure?

Yes, you can give your dog vanilla Ensure in moderation. However, it’s not the best option for dogs and should only be given as a last resort.

Vanilla Ensure is high in sugar and calories, leading to health problems in dogs when given too often.

If you decide to give your dog vanilla Ensure, make sure it is plain. It’s better to choose the low-fat and sugar version to reduce the risks.

Can Dogs Drink Pediasure?

While a small amount of Pediasure won’t harm a dog, it’s better to avoid giving them any.

Pediasure is a liquid nutritional supplement that is designed for children and infants. However, it contains high levels of sugar, salt, and calories, which can harm dogs.

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