If your best friend has four legs and a tail, you’re not alone. Dogs are among the most common household pets, and for good reason. These companions steal your heart from the very first day. Plus, your unconditional love only grows throughout the years, which is why you want to ensure they get only the best of the best of care.
When it comes to pampering your pooch, most people focus on food. However, the water you give your dog is equally as important. While some sources are safe, others pose potential dangers — such as bacteria and disease — you’ll want to steer clear of. By knowing the difference, you can provide your pup with the best water quality.
Water sources that are safe to drink
A good rule of thumb to follow is, if you wouldn’t drink it, you shouldn’t give it to your dog. While some sources of water seem clean, they may not be in reality. Luckily, there are a few guaranteed options you can stick with.
Bottled water is typically safe for dogs. Different brands use various purification processes, so research each to determine which you’d prefer. For example, the majority of bottlers use reverse osmosis to remove contaminants. During this process, manufacturers force water through a semipermeable membrane, which strains out impurities such as lead, pesticides, heavy metals and more.
Both a filtered tap and refrigerator dispenser are also safe sources you can use. Rest knowing this water quality is okay for your dog to consume.
Water sources you should avoid
Unfortunately, there are more harmful sources of water than safe ones. Since dogs are curious creatures, you’ll want to keep your four-legged friends out of harm’s way.
If your pool has saltwater instead of fresh, you’ll still want to keep your dogs from drinking from it. Saltwater in general dehydrates, and dogs, like us, need to keep fluid levels up.
Natural freshwater sources are also unsafe. Puddles, ponds, and rivers can all house harmful bacteria, parasites or viruses.
During winter, you may find your dog licking some snow or ice outside. While it’s safe to an extent, both can pick up different bacteria and germs. Chemicals or salt could be lurking under the surface, so it’s best to be cautious.
Toilets are a big no. Though sometimes a popular joke in movies, try to keep your pooch away from the bathroom. Talk about picking up germs!
What to keep in mind
Unclean water can lead to upset tummies, transfer bacteria or worse. Providing your pup with the cleanest water is the best way to go. For optimum health, invest in a filtration system that offers clean water.
Some other things to keep in mind include:
- Diet: Dogs can increase water consumption through food, too. Wet dog food has more water in it than dry varieties. If you avoid wet food, be sure to keep the water dish full!
- Bowls: Be sure to sanitize your pet’s food and water bowls often. Bacteria can build quickly, which can lead to illness.
- Temperature: Giving your dog cold water in the summer and warm temperature water in the winter can help your pup maintain hydration.
Regardless of which water option you choose, your pup will thank you for caring. Plus, with clean water quality comes a happy, healthy best friend!
Emily Folk is a pet blogger and avid dog lover. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.