A crucial part of taking care of your doggo is watching what it puts in its mouth. Besides dog food, your canine needs water, which you should adequately provide, as it is essential for several physiological processes.
Can my dog drink tap water? The tap water subject is polarizing, with some people against it and others in favor of it. But the bottom line is you should give your dog water that you can drink. If you take tap water, then your dog can have it too. Keep reading to find out more about tap water for dogs
How Safe Is Tap Water for My Dog?
Safety depends on various factors. Treated water is safe for your entire household, including your furry buddy. In case of any complications from tap water, you should cease using it. Otherwise, you or your dog risk falling sick.
Tap water typically comes from water sources controlled by your municipality, meaning it is safe most of the time. However, there are situations where you may want to pass up this water for your safety, as we will see.
Risks Associated With Tap Water
You should keep tap water away from your dog if you suspect contamination. You may detect contaminants through the presence of particles or other foreign items in the water. Other signs of bad water are an abnormal color, taste, and scent. Below are some risks your dog faces after drinking tainted tap water.
Transmission Of Pathogens
Your dog may contract various waterborne diseases by taking contaminated tap water. E. coli is the most common pathogen that your dog may get. It causes digestive system upsets, presenting symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and loss of appetite.
Other diseases include pythiosis, giardiasis, and leptospirosis. The good thing is that most of these diseases are hard to catch via tap water unless there are broken pipes.
Tap water is rich in minerals like fluoride, calcium, and potassium. Your dog needs these minerals in moderation for various bodily functions. Nevertheless, the minerals become problematic in higher concentrations and may lead to mineral toxicity.
Synthetic fluoride in tap water helps prevent dental issues like cavities. It is toxic to dogs in large amounts, plus its absorption into the system is fast, taking roughly 90-minutes. Signs of fluoride toxicity include diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and stomach pains. Most of the time, tap water has little of this mineral to cause a reaction, but be careful, just in case.
Lead toxicity is another problem your dog may encounter from taking contaminated tap water, as evident from the Flint water crisis. It is a serious condition that can cause gastrointestinal issues in your dog. Long-term lead exposure may result in seizures, mood changes, and blindness.
How To Handle Tap Water For Dogs
You don’t want your dog falling ill due to poor handling of its water. As mentioned earlier, your doggo should have the same water you are having. Serve the water in a clean bowl.
It may be hard to know when your dog needs water, especially if you are a new owner. The best move is to have the bowl full for most of the day. Change the water regularly, especially if it gets dirty.
Let us look at things to keep in mind about dogs drinking tap water.
Boil The Water
If you suspect tap water is unsafe, you can boil it to kill germs. Allow the water to cool after boiling before transferring it to the preferred containers. You should sieve the water if it has debris. Never serve hot water to your dog to avoid injuries.
Treat The Water
Alternatively, you can make tap water safe for your household by using water treatment solutions. It is an effective way of killing germs, though the water may taste or smell differently. Let the treatment settle in before you take it, to eliminate the strange scent and taste.
On treating water, please use the recommended dose. Too much of it may be problematic to you or your doggo. Other than boiling and treatment, you can make your water safe by investing in a filtration system.
Get A Fountain Drinking Bowl For Dogs
Some pet experts recommend fountain drinking bowls for canines. These bowls look like fountains, with water being pushed from the base, appearing like a tiny waterfall. The appeal of these watering bowls is that water is constantly moving; thus, a low chance of being invaded by microorganisms compared to still water. The constant water flow can encourage your pup to drink more.
Test Your Water Supply
It won’t hurt to test your water supply, as you will know what is ailing it and possible solutions for the problem. You can call a professional to test your water or buy a water testing kit and do it yourself.
If your water supply is bad, you can inspect the entire system to know what is wrong. Broken pipes are among the main culprits behind water contamination.
Best Alternative To Tap Water For Dogs
Bottled water is an excellent choice for your household if you lack faith in your tap water. It is safe, with a balanced mineral composition, and has no strange scent or taste.
You should get bottled water from credible vendors, as counterfeit bottled water may be the tap water you are trying to avoid.
Furthermore, go for safe bottles, the BPA-free type. This type of water bottle won’t risk your canine’s health. The main downside of bottled water is its steep cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much water should my dog have?
Your dog’s water needs depend on various factors, like environment, health, and, most importantly, body mass. Canines should take an ounce of water per pound of their body weight daily. In this vein, a 10-pound dog must have at least a cup of water daily. Lactating and active dogs may need more water.
Is there another way of rehydrating dogs apart from water?
There are several ways your doggo can rehydrate, like eating fruits and taking soup. While they can help with the body’s fluid needs, they should not replace water.
Related: What Can Dogs Drink Besides Water
How bad is tap water for dogs?
Tap water is not as bad as many paints it, especially if you have a clean and reliable water supply. It is bad for dogs only when contaminated, as it may expose them to waterborne diseases and various forms of toxicity.
You can test the water to check if it is safe. If safe, your entire household can drink it. If you suspect the water is bad, you can make it safe via boiling, treating, and filtration.
Can dogs drink tap water? Yes, tap water is okay for dogs, provided it is clean. A simple way to check for anomalies in your water is by smelling, tasting, and looking at the color. Anything out of the ordinary that you cannot explain is a sign that you must keep off.
Test the water, if possible, to know what is wrong. Boiling and treating are some of the go-to ways to ensure clean water. Always fill your doggo’s water bowl to keep it hydrated.