Is Distilled Water Good for Dogs?

In the past two decades, humans have been drinking filtered water more frequently. These trends often extend to pets as well, since we are more aware of health issues.

Some pet owners advocate giving their dog bottled water or distilled water as an alternative to water from the tap.

A friend of mine asked me if the distilled water was good for dogs. Since I didn’t know the answer, I decided to investigate, if dogs can safely drink distilled water.

I examined both sides of this argument. I started with those who advocate holistic canine diets and then looked at veterinary professionals. Here’s what I found.

Can dogs consume distilled water? Yes, but allow small amounts in a couple of times a week.

There are serious side effects, including low mineral intake or low blood levels.

Is Distilled Water Good for Dogs

Will distill water harm my dog?

In a moment, I’ll be discussing the responses of the advocates to this question. But first, I think the honest and trustworthy quote was from a known veterinarian referenced on PetMD.com.

The Doctor Jennifer Hennessey, owner of Animal ER of NW Houston. It was her opinion that distilled water is not good for your dogs and potentially causing injury to dogs.

Water can lose its essential minerals after the distilled process, which can cause low blood levels.

This water can also absorb into tissues more than water with mineral content, leading to swelling and over-hydration.

PetMD.com explained the signs of water toxicity in detail and included fatigue, neurologic changes, and irregular heartbeats.

The researchers concluded that distilled water is good for dogs with moderation and your pets shouldn’t have distilled water as their only source of drinking water.

Is filtered water good for dogs?

Filtered water, as the name suggests that has been passed through a filter to remove contaminants.

Carafe, faucet-mounted, countertop, reverse-osmosis, whole-house, and whole-house filters are the most popular filter.

Different filters can remove various contaminants, so it is most important to identify what’s in your tap water.

To determine that, do an online trip to the EWG’s National Drinking Water Database. Enter your zip code and select your utility to get your water quality report from your area’s water officials.

For a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) from your water utility, you can call them. This annual report has all details of contaminants in your water supply.

Once you have a good understanding of the situation, then you can search for the best filtration method to meet your needs.

The Best water filter 2021 buying guide will walk you through this process based on your filtration goals and budget.

You’ll soon have a plentiful supply of affordable, clean water.

The bottom line: A water filter is a good way to make tap water more affordable and healthy for your family and dog.

Is tap water safe for dogs and cats?

People are indeed more aware than ever of the risks of drinking chlorinated and fluoridated tap water. 

Although there is a growing trend to drink bottled and filtered water, how many people are concerned about the health of their pets?

Many water experts have expressed concern over hard water and its effects on health, includes arthritis, digestive issue, heart disease, fertility, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Hard water can be tap water, well water, or groundwater, even some filtered water may still contain ‘hard’ minerals.

These human diseases can be translated to pets. Could drinking water also be causing health problems in pets?

The United States of America has about a 70% chance that your pets get both hard water and chlorinated water with fluoride every day.

It is commonly safe for your pets the same we drink, including tap water.

What is the harm of distilled water for dogs?

Before knowing this, you need to think about how distilled water comes to be.

Distillation involves boiling water to remove all impurities. This process is beneficial in that it removes any contaminants from standard water.

Distilled water could harm dogs. The water has low minerals, which can lead to the loss of essential minerals for dogs.

Dogs need minerals and electrolytes, which many dog foods lack. Instead, they get them from water.

These minerals and electrolytes get removed during the distillation process.

According to Wikipedia:

For health reasons, it has been both encouraged and discouraged to drink distilled water instead of drinking water. 

Distilled water contains low ions and minerals such as calcium that are most important for biological functions. These minerals are usually found in potable waters.

Some concerns have been raised about the lack of naturally occurring minerals found in distilled water.

Is it possible to do the same thing with dogs?

It seems safe to assume that dogs can drink distilled water but only occasionally and in moderation.

Before you go and pour all that distilled water into your dog’s drink, I want to offer my opinions.

Dogster Magazine is a great source of information. In 2017 the following quote was published.

Studies in animals have shown that drinking distilled water can cause adverse health effects such as decreased sodium and chloride levels, decreased red blood cell volume, and increased cortisol secretion.

It can also lead to adverse kidney changes, including atrophy of the renal glomeruli. These changes did not occur despite being fed a nutritious diet. 

Additionally, distilled water may be less thirst-quenching and could cause dogs to drink and urinate excessively.

Diana Laverdure Dunetz made the above statement regarding dogs drinking distilled water. Diana Laverdure-Dunetz is a well-known canine nutritionist and has published many books.

According to other sources, there is not a good effect on those dogs who only drink distilled water that might become potassium deficient.

It could lead to heart problems. Also, it is not proven to be any healthier than regular drinking water.

Distilled water is for dogs suffering from kidney disease or bladder stones.

Some people are talking about how distilled water is good for dogs suffering from bladder stones and kidney disease. 

However, I cannot find any scientific or medical documentation supporting this. You can talk to your vet for getting further information.

I found some information about humans with kidney or bladder stones drinking water. Please have a look.

It might lead you to believe that distilled water is not beneficial for dogs suffering from kidney disease or bladder stones.

Is Distilled water good to treat the dog’s eyes?

Some believe that the use of distilled water is good for dog’s tear staining to reduce. It’s the non-distilled minerals that cause the stains, according to some people.

My view is that dogs get the same minerals from their food. I’m not sure how scientifically or truthful this would be.

7 Types of water can make dogs sick.

Is Distilled Water Good for Dogs

If you use filtered water for your dog, it doesn’t mean that’s his only drinking source throughout the day.

When the pup sees water in any form, then he naturally wants to take a sip.

Mostly, it is harmless, but occasionally, this type of water can lead to many sorts of health problems for your dog.

As we described below…..

1. Stagnant Ponds and Lakes

Lake or Ponds are particularly susceptible to the growth of blue-green algae that can harbor large numbers of viruses, fungi, algae, bacteria, and parasites like Coccidia and Giardia.

Toxicity Symptoms: Blue-green algae-contaminated water can result in diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty walking, general weakness.

According to Gillespie:- The signs of leptospirosis are malaise, fever, lethargy can be subtle at first, diarrhea, increased thirst, and urination.

Prevention Tips: If your dog shows any of these signs after swimming or drinking in contaminated water, then contact your veterinarian instantly.

Avoiding these types of standing bodies of water is the best way to keep your dog safe, especially if you see algae growth.

To prevent your dog from being affected, keep him away from these types of algae contained water.

2. Toilet Water

To maintain hygiene toilets are often treated with cleaners, toilet bowl disks, or bleach additives. And these products can seep into the toilet water.

These compounds are often diluted, but it doesn’t indicate that they are reliable.

If your dog drinks toilet water regularly, then it can ingest harmful toxins that can wreak havoc on its inner fragile systems.

Toxicity Symptoms: Vomiting and stomach irritation.

Prevention Tips: Always keep the toilet door closed to your pet.

3. Park Puddles

When your dog finds a stagnant puddle of water in dog parks, it is no different for those who like drinking from a bowl of freshwater.

According to Jennifer Hennessey, owner of Animal ER of NW Houston “Water in a stagnant puddle dog park where pets wander or socialize. Your pets have more risk of infection from bacteria and virus exposure”.

That may have contained animal feces, different types of bacteria, viruses, and intestinal parasites.

Infection Symptoms: Your pet may face vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain.

Prevention Tips: Keep your pet well hydrated with fresh water and use a travel bowl outside. Keep your pet on leashes when you are in a stagnant and tempting water area.

4. Pool Water

Pool water can be dangerous for your dog if he consumes regularly or a large amount of water. It is treated with chlorine or salt additives that can make your pet sick.

Toxicity Symptoms: Your dog can feel extra thirst, Excessive urination, dehydration, and weakness.

Prevention Tips: Always keep a bowl of clean water outside as an option to the pool water. Give him some praise and reward with a treat when you see him drinking from a bowl instead of the pool. Assured the limit of your dog’s access to the pool water.

5. Distilled Water

Drinking a small quantity of distilled water is good and safe for your dog, but as a regular source of water, nobody doesn’t recommends it.

Hennessey says, “distilled process lacks minerals that can cause to free important electrolytes through the kidneys, starting to low blood pressure.”

Toxicity Symptoms: Your pet can face irregular heartbeat, toxicity, and neurologic changes.

Prevention Tips: Avoid giving distilled water regularly or as a sole drinking source.

6. Home/Yard Puddles

Weber says, “Keep in mind that water can cause dangerous effects on the body even near to home.”

Water that accumulates in the yard or garage may have the risk of fertilizers, cleaners, run-off yard chemicals, pesticides, and antifreeze.

Toxicity Symptoms: There are many symptoms like dehydration, tremors, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, semi-comatose state, agitation, and seizures.

Prevention Tips: Keep your pet dog away from puddles that form around the yard or garage.

7. Ocean Water

There are extreme amounts of sodium (about 100 times more sodium than tap water) in ocean water.

When your dog consumes ocean water, the sodium causes several issues, including dehydration and diarrhea.

Toxicity symptoms: Your pet may feel weak, vomiting, or diarrhea. Hennessey states that over-ingestion can lead to more severe problems, such as high sodium levels and excessive thirst.

Prevention Tips: When you play with your dog on the beach, take regular breaks and offer fresh water and rest.

There are better alternatives

Tap water is best. It does contain chlorine and other minerals that you may consider harmful, but it is safe for dogs.

You can choose to give your dog bottled spring water if you don’t have access to tap water. 

Although spring water is still rich in minerals and traces of chlorine, it is not as potent as tap water. 

You can give your dog as much water as you need without any adverse effects.

Although bottled spring water can be more expensive, your dog will not suffer from potassium deficiencies or heart disease.

Hydration of water and dogs

Water is most important for bodily function.

  • It regulates body temperature
  • Maintains skin’s elasticity
  • Lubricate the joints
  • Maintains moisture in the eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Protects organs and nervous system
  • Get rid of all waste products
  • Hydrolysis aids in the digestion of protein, fat, and carbohydrate
  • Transports and dissolves nutrients into the cells

Conclusion

Most vets will tell you that tap water is good for your dog to drink compared to distilled water.

Tap water is treated, and I think that unless you’re sure your dog is getting all the minerals they need. You should avoid giving them distilled water.

But, as with anything, small amounts of distilled water are good for dogs and not going to harm.

It is safe to allow a pet dog to drink vaporized water a couple of times a week.

We do not advise you to provide a dog with distilled water at least daily.

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