Whether Rover laps up water from a mud puddle or the toilet bowl, from his perspective any type of water works just fine in quenching his thirst. Fortunately, you can help him make better choices. For starters, it wouldn't hurt if you remembered to keep that toilet lid down. While it's true that you probably don't need to purchase any premium H2O for your pampered pooch, consider that bottled water can turn out helpful in many cases.
Know Your Tap
While water is the most important nutrient Rover needs, not all water is created equal. While tap water containing less than 5000 parts per million of total dissolved solids is considered acceptable for your pooch, consider that depending on where you live, tap water may contain harmful chemicals such as fluoride, arsenic, nitrates and traces of heavy metals. Also, high levels of minerals found in tap water may affect dogs especially those who have a compromised immune system or an underlying medical condition.
If your dog, is prone to developing bladder stones, you might want to stop giving tap water from your sink and switch to bottled water instead. The high content of minerals found in certain types of tap water can play a role in the development of crystals and stones. Providing bottled water is a good idea in this case as this precaution adds a little safety factor.
Rover Don't Cry
If you own a poodle, Bichon or Maltese, you may be interested in learning that the water your pooch drinks may be playing a role in the development of those unsightly tear stains these breeds are prone to. In this case, you may want to blame the high content of minerals and iron found in your tap water. You may prefer using a filter to create cleaner water, or providing your pooch with bottled water.
Rover's behavior may at times leave you baffled especially when he refuses to drink water from his bowl, but then readily drinks water from questionable sources such as the toilet bowls, muddy puddles or gutters. In this case, you may want to blame the chlorine content of your tap water which can be quite noxious-smelling and tasting from your pal's prospective. If your dog is not drinking adequate amounts of water, but readily drinks non-chlorinated bottled water, then it's not a bad idea to give it him.
If you don't feel safe drinking tap water, you're right to be concerned about having Rover drink it. While you may think about using a filter, consider that common charcoal filters do not remove fluoride. A better option may be looking for bottled water that is not chlorinated or fluoridated; however, keep in mind that bottled water doesn't necessarily translate into safe. In an estimated 25 percent or more cases, bottled water is simply tap water in a bottle according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Water On the Go
Bottled water is also a good choice for when you travel and Rover comes along for the ride. Don't just assume that just because he's a strong dog that wolfs down anything he'll be perfectly fine drinking the local tap water. Because you don't know what's in the water of your destination, and water varies from place to place, bringing along several gallons of bottled water for you and your dog can help avoid bacterial contamination while traveling.
- International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork: Is Flouride Safe for You and your Dog?
- Pet Peeves: Water, Water Everywhere
- Leo's Pet Care: A Veterinary Guide to Tear Stains
- The Everything Natural Health for Dogs Book; Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz
- Paw Rescue: Dog Tip: Travel with Pets -- Packing, Preparation and Other Trip Tips
- Dogs: The Ultimate Care Guide; Matthew Hoffman
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.