Is Tap Water Safe for Pets?

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We all know that water is good for our wellbeing—our bodies are made of about 60% water and staying hydrated helps us flush toxins, cushion our joints, and maintain a healthy weight. The same goes for our pets. Just like us two-legged people, dogs and cats are roughly 60% water. They want to drink the cleanest water possible, and they don’t do well with tap water contaminants.

Pet Water Problems

The same pollutants that harm humans can affect a pet’s body too. A recent NBC article reported that two dogs tested positive for lead poisoning in the Flint area. If drinking the tap water was dangerous for people in that area, it’s no wonder that the toxin levels were also caused trouble for their pets!

Pets rely on their owners for drinking water, but they’ll take matters into their own hands (err—paws?) if they don’t have good water readily available. To pets, tap water’s chlorine odor is especially offensive. It sounds strange, but one of the main reasons why pets drink from the toilet is because that water is usually cooler and less smelly (from their perspective).

Because their sense of smell is a lot stronger than ours, pets can easily notice the smell of the chemical disinfectants that are added to our water at the treatment plant. That’s one of the reasons why pets often go for water “a la commode.” Tap water tends to have less chlorine in it when it sits out long enough. And if enough chlorine has dissipated from the toilet bowl water, it might actually be more appealing to them than a fresh cup of chlorinated tap water.

Home Water Filtration

Rather than let their pets continue drinking toilet water, a lot of pet owners choose to offer filtered water to their furry friends. This is especially common if they’re already drinking filtered or reverse osmosis water at home themselves. With concerns about tap water safety on the rise, it’s only natural that more families are opting for in-home filtration. The health risks associated with high lead levels, excess nitrate, and even fluoride and chlorine in tap water are just as true for dogs and cats as they are for people.

The great thing about reverse osmosis (RO) filtration is that its multi-stage process can remove even the toughest of contaminants. The filter will take out any pollutants that leached into your tap water as it traveled from the treatment plant. It also removes any contaminants that the city treatment might have missed. Because some water impurities—including lead and nitrate—are tasteless and odorless, it’s crucial to have a home filter that can take them out. It’s difficult for even our pets’ finicky noses to detect those dangerous toxins.

Fortunately, RO filters can deal with all these issues head-on. They even polish your home’s drinking water to eliminate the taste and odor of chlorine. That’s why pets like RO water so much!

The Water Test

If you’re considering getting a home filter, a simple taste test is a fun way to get the whole family involved. We like bringing RO water samples to new clients and letting the pets decide what tastes best. When put next to tap water, the filtered water always wins. Try it for yourself! Tap doesn’t stand a chance against cool, filtered water. And when you can get great quality water right from your faucet—instead of disposable plastic bottles—what’s not to love?

Of course, no matter how clean your drinking water is, it won’t taste good in a grimy container. Just as you clean your dishes, make sure to give your pet’s water bowl a scrub every now and then. A clean water glass—or pet bowl—will help your home’s filtered drinking water taste extra-delicious.

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