Drinking water is just as important for our dogs as it is for us. When it comes to water, not all sources are created equal.
Water is essential for life and should always be available to your dog. However, whether your dog requires a certain type of water isn’t always clear, especially when there are many conflicting opinions on the subject.
Let’s take a look at what all this means for your furry friend and whether or not distilled water is safe for dogs.
Yes, dogs can drink distilled water, but vets warn that even though it looks clean and clear, it contains no dissolved minerals or “beneficial” elements. Using only distilled water can leave your dog with dangerously low levels of sodium, potassium, and calcium, which are important for major body functions, including nerve impulses.
Is distilled water safe for dogs?
It has been said that distilled water is safe for dogs, but just like everything in life this advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Small amounts of distilled water are not likely to cause any serious adverse effects, but as a sole source of drinking water, it is not recommended and can lead to serious side effects.
Dogs, like humans, need minerals and electrolytes to maintain proper levels and will eventually begin to lose them through urination.
What is distilled water?
Distilled water, sometimes referred to as deionized water, is any water that has been purified by distillation. Water purified through distillation contains no minerals or chemicals and is therefore considered blank.
This means that anything introduced after the distillation process will affect the taste and purity of the water.
What water is best for dogs?
Tap water contains some minerals and metals that are essential for the normal function of a dog’s body. These include sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and obviously at least a trace amount of carbon dioxide.
Tap water also has some naturally occurring ions or salts. In general, the levels of these are not high enough to cause problems.
How much water should a dog drink?
For healthy adult dogs, one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day should provide all the water required by a single dog. For example, a 70-pound dog would take around 70 ounces of water per day.
Why Water Is Good For Dogs
Water is essential for life and should always be available to your dog. Just like humans, dogs should drink plenty of water. Although you might know how important it is, there are numerous benefits of water for dogs that you may not be aware of.
They include but are not limited to:
1.) Water Helps Cleanse the Body
When dogs drink water, it helps wash away some of the toxins and wastes from their body. Water is essential for washing out bodily wastes and eliminating them through urination, defecation, and other means.
2.) Water Helps Dogs Digest Food
Water is also necessary in order for dogs to digest food properly. When muscles are tightened in preparation for digestion, they need to be properly hydrated first so as to avoid cramps and spasms.
3.) Water Keeps the Nails, Hair, and Skin Healthy
Water is also essential in keeping the nails, hair, and skin healthy. When these components are hydrated, they stay strong and don’t easily break. This is especially important for puppies who make their way to adulthood with softer nails and hair that are prone to breaking off more easily.
4.) Water Keeps the Teeth Healthy
Believe it or not, but drinking enough water for dogs can help keep their teeth healthy too. When dogs don’t drink enough water for dogs, their saliva production tends to slow down which makes their teeth more susceptible to plaque buildup and bad breath.
5.) Water Helps in the Digestion of Food
Water is also important in the digestion of food. Dogs should always be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially when their meal is on their desk.
6.) Water Makes Dogs Feel Better and Energized
Drinking water for dogs can also make them feel better and more energized. If dogs are dehydrated, their muscles will begin to weaken which means that they won’t be able to go for walks and play as much.
How to keep your dog properly hydrated
Dogs are susceptible to getting dehydrated and also having their electrolytes get out of balance if they don’t get enough water.
Sometimes they may not drink enough water because of the weather, they might not have a method to get to a water source, or there may be an obstruction preventing them from getting to the water.
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your dog has plenty of clean drinking water available to them at all times.
Here are a few tips to keep your dog properly hydrated at all times.
1.) Have a dedicated water bowl for your dog
If you are going on a long walk or playtime with your dog, make sure to bring a bowl of water that they can drink from. This will ensure that your dog is always hydrated and won’t have to worry about where they will get their next water supply.
A frequent use water bottle filled with tap or well water can do the same job as a dedicated water bowl.
2.) Change their water every day
Not only is this a good idea because there are bacteria that come from the bowl floating around, but also because it prevents the water from becoming stale and unpleasant which will most likely cause them to not want to drink it.
You may need to change the water more often at first if they are used to drinking cold tap or well water, as the temperature of tap water can change over time.
3.) Don’t give them too much at once
One of the most frequent mistakes dog owners make is giving their dogs too much water at one time. Dogs can get waterlogged and have serious issues with their balance and coordination if this happens.
Often, if a dog is given too much water they will drink less in the long run, so it has the opposite effect you want.
4.) Be mindful of the temperature
Dogs typically like their water cool, but not cold. If you live in an area with warm weather, keeping a bowl of tap water in the fridge overnight will help it to get nice and cool without getting freezing.
A dog’s natural instinct is to go toward a body of water that is colder than they are, so try to keep your dog’s watering source closer to that temperature.
In conclusion, distilled water is not recommended for dogs as their sole water source.
Distilled water, while appearing clear and clean to your dog, contains nearly no minerals and therefore can have negative effects on your pet’s health.
Many vets will recommend against using distilled water because of this, as it’s believed that it does not contain anything beneficial for your dog’s health.