Can dogs drink bottled water?
Most of us go to great lengths to ensure the water we drink is free from contaminants and safe for drinking. On the other hand, we don't take as much care when considering our dogs' water sources. We tend to think that because they are only animals, it won't matter.
But it does! Several endoparasites are water-borne; their intermediate stages pass through impure water to the hosts. Once in the dog, they cause all kinds of illnesses. Read on to discover why safe drinking benefits dogs and whether bottled water is safe for them.
Demerits of other water types
In most parts of the world, tap water is the common water source for most dogs. Treated water plants are abundant in most cities to create better access to safe drinking water. Unfortunately, tap water is not 100% fit for drinking as it is often touted to be.
Tap water often contains many contaminants, and most are harmful to dogs. Some of them include bits of industrial waste, pesticide and herbicide residues from run-off, and even sewage. That's not to mention the numerous pathogens and parasites that escape the chlorine treatment.
Apart from the contaminants, tap water contains a lot of chlorine. Since dogs have a keener sense of smell than humans, they might be upset by the heavy chlorine smell and would only drink if thirsty.
Spring water is a more natural source of water. It is best for dogs as it contains several beneficial dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium salts. Despite the benefits, several helminthic parasites thrive in running water and could cause infections in your dog.
To make water from compromised sources drinkable, some people boil them before giving them to their dogs. Boiling water rids it of the dissolved minerals that could benefit the dog. While it destroys the disease-causing pathogens, it removes any extra benefits the water might have.
Is bottled water safe for my dog?
Yes, bottled water is safe for dogs. Companies that supply bottled water often carry out several water purification processes to ensure the water produced is fit for human consumption. And if it's healthy for you, it's safe for your pup.
However, many plastic bottle-producing companies use Bisphenol A (BPA) to improve their product's quality. BPA can seep from the plastic container into the water. It is harmful to humans and pets, although humans can tolerate trace amounts. On the other hand, BPA is quite toxic to dogs.
BPA alters the microbes in dogs' anal regions, causing several ailments. It is linked to some conditions, including decreased fertility, cardiovascular disorders, and obesity.
How do I recognize BPA-containing bottles?
Companies that don't use BPA in plastic production use polyethylene terephthalate(PET or PETE-1) to make plastic materials. Hence, bottles labeled 'PET' or 'PETE-1' do not contain BPA. Therefore, the water is safe for your dogs.
It would help if you also looked for pet plastic plates and bowls containing BPA. Once heated, these containers can release BPA into your dog's food and water.
What benefit does bottled water offer?
Bottled water has several advantages over other water sources. Some of them are listed below:
Bottled water guarantees a safer drinking option for your dog than some other water sources. The plastic container prevents bacteria from developing within. It also retains the dissolved minerals since most bottled water comes from springs.
Bottled water is a more convenient option for your dog's drinking water. Whether in the house, traveling, or taking a walk or hiking, you can pack a few bottles to keep you and your pet hydrated.
Dogs easily accept bottled water relative to other types of drinkable water. Tap water could irritate them because of the smell and taste of chlorine. Also, it could encourage algal growth, making the water unpalatable for your dog.
Is bottled water the best drinking water option for dogs?
While bottled water has several points over the other water types, it's not the best option. Filtering water gives the purest water for your dogs.
For the record, tap water is not so much worse than bottled water for dogs. If you filter tap water, you will remove the impurities and pathogens while the dissolved minerals remain. The result is purer water, richer in minerals than the average bottled water.
However, if your dog has pre-existing kidney conditions, you must supply it with only filtered water. Many veterinary experts agree that dogs with renal illnesses might have issues clearing contaminants in unfiltered water, like aluminum, silt, and chemical waste residues. Accumulation of these substances would lead to complications in such dogs.
How about spring water?
If you can't get bottled water or you can't filter your tap water, it's OK to use spring water. As stated above, spring water also has some dissolved minerals, which will be good for your dog.
Although spring water might contain a few pathogens, they are often insufficient to cause a fulls scale infection. Many times, your dog's immune system can handle such parasites.
The American Kennel Club and University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine support the claim that spring water is as safe for drinking as bottled and filtered water.
Why must my dog stay hydrated–and how often should it take water?
Taking sufficient water daily is vital for your dog's well-being. Water has several functions in your dog's system, some of which include:
- Water aids digestion by breaking up large food particles and hydrolyzing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
- It forms a significant portion of most body fluids which help cushion internal organs.
- Water is essential for thermoregulation. It also helps provide a neutral(isotonic) environment around body cells, so their metabolites don't damage them.
- It keeps most body surfaces moist, for instance, nostrils, oral cavities, and eyelids.
- It also dissolves digested nutrients, making them available for cellular absorption and assimilation.
In conclusion, it is safe to give your dog bottled water. It provides a convenient and easily adaptable option for your dog's drinking water. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not the best choice for your dog. If you can access it, filtered water is the safest drinkable water for dogs, as it provides a balance between mineral-rich and pathogen-free water.