Whats in your dogs water

It’s in the water. Your dog’s, that is. Water is an important part of your dog’s health, so important in fact, that a loss of 10 percent of body water can cause serious illness for your pet.

Since water is the staple to a healthy lifestyle, pet owners need to be aware of the quality of their drinking water.  There have been reports of fluoride and chlorine in tap water and many pets are infected with Giardia due to drinking from standing puddles; not to mention the numerous chemicals and salts in rivers and ponds.

Whether owners are consciously aware of it or not, there are many different types of water: tap water, filtered water, various bottled waters, natural waters (such as streams, ponds, lakes, etc.) and standing water (puddles on our sidewalks, walkways, etc.) But is all water really created equally? The answer is no.

There are many different types of water and the origin in which they are created makes them very different in content and taste.
Mineral water is just as the name says — it contains minerals and usually comes from a natural well or a spring.  “Natural mineral water” means the minerals are present in the water as it comes from the ground however, “mineral water” could have minerals that were added or removed.

Distilled water contains little to no minerals and is essentially sodium free. It is considered the “purest” of all waters however it lacks any necessary nutrients.

Purified water has gone through a treatment process where specific minerals and/or contaminants have been removed. Purified water usually comes from tap water which has undergone reverse osmosis, charcoal filtering and/or has been treated with ultraviolet light. This water might have needed minerals removed as well.

Spring water has naturally risen to the surface of the earth. Bottles labeled “natural spring water” may not have been processed prior to being bottled; this can become an issue if the water comes from contaminated ground.

Municipal/Tap Water is the water piped right into your home. Tap water isn’t regulated by the FDA but it must meet the strict standards of the Environmental Protection Agency. Municipal tap water is generally of excellent quality and its testing standards are stricter than the FDA regulations on bottled water.

According to The Associated Press, a vast array of pharmaceuticals­ –including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones – have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. There have been reports linking fluoride to cancer in pets, as well.  Some plastic food and water bowls may also contaminate your dog’s food and water with harmful chemicals. Unfiltered and untreated water can have contaminants in it such as parasites, bacteria and even viruses.

What is a concerned dog owner to do? These tips are partially provided by raiseagreendog.com.

-  Consider installing filters on faucets in your home to keep the microbial organisms that can make you or your dog sick out of your drinking water.

-  Diligently read the labels on the various types of bottled water so you know exactly what you and your dog are drinking.

-  Avoid distilled water or water treated with reverse osmosis (ex. purified water, distilled water) because these waters lack essential nutrients found in water.

-  Provide your dog with running water (ex. a pet water fountain which will encourage the drinking of fresh, filtered water.)

-  Clean dog bowls at least once a day with hot water and vinegar (rinse well.)

-  Don’t allow your dog to drink out of potentially harmful ponds, streams, rivers, or puddles.

Remember, not all water is created equal, by following some of these tips, you can start paving the way toward a healthier, longer life for you and your dog.