Ever thought about what’s in the water you give your dog?

If not, maybe it’s time to start!

There are many types of water out there that we can refresh our dogs with, tap water of course being the traditional choice.

But now you can choose from filtered water, bottled water, and pet fountains too. Our dogs have never had such choice!

But are all these types of water the same?

More importantly are they safe?

In recent years, the water we drink has been become a big issue across the world. Worries over the safety of tap water have led to a huge growth in the popularity of bottled water, spring water and even the collection of rainwater.

But surely it doesn’t matter what water we give our dogs, after all their favourite tipple is a good mouthful of toilet water!

In actual fact there is a growing consensus that we have to pay attention to the quality of the water that we give our dogs as their health can be at stake too.

H2O The Miracle of Life

You cannot underestimate the importance of the water we give our dogs. However in the past it has often been treated as an afterthought. It shouldn’t be!

Water is the main component of healthy living cells, a body cannot function without it. This is especially true with dogs as they are very quick to dehydrate without water. Water keeps our dogs cool, and contains vital nutrients needed in their body. So we can’t let our furry friends drink any old muck!

What IS coming out of our Taps?

Among some vets, tap water is only marginally accepted as good enough for our dogs. It has been recommended (if you can find this out) that if your tap water has less than 5000 dissolved solids parts per million then you can let your dog enjoy it. Anything more than this can put your dog at risk, especially if the water is high in iron, magnesium and nitrates, all of which can cause trouble for your dog’s immune system.

There is a lot of scary reports out there about what is flowing through the pipes in our homes.

Chlorine is of course the most well-known issue, but there have been documented cases of pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, mood stabilizers and even sex hormones in tap water in the United States! Fluoride in our tap water has also been linked, by some, to cancer in dogs.

But don’t panic. Not all tap water is a ticking time bomb!

If you feel your tap water is good enough for you, then there should be no problem with your dog drinking it too!

However these potential risks alone are enough to understand why some concerned dog owners have started to look to alternative sources for their canine’s water.

Give your dog a bottle?

dog drinking water

Bottled water for dogs? Sounds crazy? But once again, if it’s good enough for us, then why not for our dogs!

It doesn’t even stop there, as there is actually bottled water branded especially for dogs!

The main reason that bottled water is gaining in popularity with dog owners is simply that ‘we know what is in it’, and while bottled water should contain all the necessary minerals needed in water, it should have far less fluoride and chlorine content than tap water.

So for areas where tap water is considered a no-no, bottled water could be a better choice for your dog’s health.

But is bottled water the miracle cure to save our dogs from the perils of tap water? Maybe not.

While we may know what is in the water, what about the bottle? There have been concerns about toxins leaching out of the plastic, as well as the environmental issue of all those plastic bottles that don’t get recycled.

The best advice when giving your dog water from plastic bottles, is to avoid reusing them and make sure they go into your recycling box.

Save your dog and save the planet!

The same is true with plastic dog bowls, if in doubt, stainless steel bowls are considered the safest option for your dog.

But worst of all, some bottled water is not always what it seems, many brands are simply ‘purified’ tap water, with new minerals added for taste, with no real added health benefits. So make sure, if you want to give your dog bottled water, that you are getting the best kind you can for them.

How about distilled water? Another alternative, but one which has no particular benefit to our dogs, in fact, potentially, the reverse. It is essentially tap water heated until all trace elements have been removed, even the important minerals and nutrients vital to a dog’s health. Sadly there has been examples of dogs that have been regularly given distilled water suffering from heart problems.

Do It Yourself!

How to make the best of the water we have at home.

Filter It or Fountain It

If you don’t want to spend all your coins on filtered bottle water there is always the option to get a portable water filter for your home, to help get rid of all those unhealthy bits in our tap water.

There is no doubting the fact that filtered water is cleaner water, and with less sediment in it you can help keep your dog’s immune system fighting fit.

Ever heard of a Pet Water Fountain?

Effectively it is a fancy water bowl, with a fountain incorporated into it to keep the water flowing.

Moving water is the freshest water, and fresh water will encourage your dog to drink more, which is good for their health. These too can have filters attached to keep all the unnecessary bits out of your dog’s water.

thirsty dog

Fountains don’t have to be just for outdoors, how about on your dog bowl too!

Coming full circle back to our tap water, there is an argument that worries over it have been overblown, and that, in some areas at least, tap water is better regulated than bottled water. Some people even argue that the fluoride in tap water is good for our dog’s teeth. Add to this the fact that when you give your dog tap water, it sits in a bowl, and over time any troublesome chemicals should evaporate out of the water.

It Really is up to You

The water we give our dogs is our own personal choice, and it is down to your best judgement as an owner to decide what to give your dog. Worries about tap water continue, and if you feel your tap water isn’t suitable for you pup then there are several other options available to you, whether bottled, filtered or fountain water, any of which could be of benefit to your canine.

As simple rule to follow, whatever the water you drink - ‘if it’s good enough for me, it’s good enough for my dog!’

But remember whatever water you give your dog, make sure they have plenty available all the time. Water really is a dog’s best friend!