The topic of the best drinking water seems to be hotly debated among humans. Yet, many of us don’t fret as much about the water we give our pets. After all, who hasn’t seen a dog take a few sips of toilet water? We’ve all seen animals stop to lap up a drink from a puddle on a hot day. So does it really matter what water you are giving your pets as long as they have plenty of fresh water? The short answer is if you wouldn’t drink the water, neither should your pets. Let’s take a look at the five different kinds of water for pets. Should you give your pet spring water, well water, city water, filtered water, bottled water, or distilled water?
Spring water is available in bottles at your local grocery store, but if you and your animal companion hit the trails, you may just find yourself looking at a crystal clear spring and wondering if it is safe to drink. Commercially sold spring water is filtered and tested for safety which means that it is a safe water for pets. However, if you are out in nature, no matter how clear the water looks, you can’t know for sure that it’s safe to drink. It is best to either pack-in your drinking water or bring along a water testing kit or water purifier.
Well water is from the earth’s aquifer and has a natural filter. If your drinking water comes from a private well, you know that it is your job to make sure the quality of the water is safe for drinking. There are no regulations for private wells. Therefore, it is recommended that you test your well water at least once a year. This isn’t just for the safety of your pets, but also for your own safety. You may want to test the water more often if there are problems with wells in your area or if there has been any flooding or land disturbances near your well.
City water is the water that is provided by the municipality in which you live. This water is tested and treated with fluoride and other chemicals before it makes its way to your tap. There was a time when people trusted public water to be safe for drinking. Today, though, a quick glance at the news headlines and you’ll see that you can’t take safe water for granted anymore. While this may be one of the most economical sources of water for pets, you should still take steps to make sure there are no harmful impurities in your tap water.
One of the easiest things you can do to make sure that you have safe water for your pets is to filter your water. Whether you have well water or city water, a water filter can provide you with the extra piece of mind that your water is safe for drinking. Water filters can reduce the chlorine taste and smell that is common in municipal water and they can remove common impurities found in well water such as zinc, copper, mercury, and others.
Bottled water may be the most expensive option for water for pets. Depending on what brand you buy, it may be filtered or chemically treated to remove impurities. Some waters even add some minerals back in to improve the taste.
Distillation is a simple process where water is boiled. This produces steam that is then cooled and condensed back into water. Contaminants and minerals are not affected by the temperature it takes to boil water. Because of this, they are left behind during the distillation process. What you are left with is water in one of it’s purest states, without minerals and electrolytes. Typically, pets should get these nutrients as part of a balanced diet. However, most veterinarians do not recommend distilled water for pets, especially if your pet is a picky eater.
Pets Need Plenty of Water
No matter what kind of water you choose for your pet, having access to fresh, safe drinking water is important to keep your pet hydrated. A good rule of thumb is that pets need about an ounce of water per pound of body weight. Whatever water you decide is best for your pet, remember, if you wouldn’t drink it neither should your pet.