Your pet may not be nearly as finicky as we are about where water comes from, but it’s just as important to ensure that the water your furry loved ones drink is as safe as what we would expect for ourselves.

As with humans, every cell, tissue and organ in an animal’s body requires two very vital components – at the least – meaning water and oxygen. In general, a dog will drink roughly one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight every day – or more. As with humans, water is essential in the transportation of vital nutrients to every cell in the body, and it also lubricates and cushions joints. Without water, your dog, like a human, can become dehydrated. Lack of water for long periods of time can lead to damaged organ function.

Is tap water for my dog okay?

In many geographical areas throughout the country, tap water is perfectly safe and adequate for both humans and animals. However, this is not always the case. Flint, Michigan has made news recently due to high levels of contaminants in the water. One key thing to remember: if you wouldn’t want to drink the tap water coming out of your faucet, don’t give it to your animals.

Doe all minerals or other small particulates and contaminants found in hard water or tap water in your home prove a danger to your pet? No, but it depends on the water quality.

Even so, if water is contaminated with high levels of nitrates, iron, or magnesium, it can cause health issues. So too can some parasites. One of the most serious is Giardia, which takes up residence in the mucosal lining of the intestines. Potentially high levels of contaminants or even carcinogens in your home water supply are just as dangerous to your pets as they are to you.

Pet owners around the country deal with hard water by installing reverse osmosis water filtration systems. Some of these utilize carbon, permeable membranes, sediment filters, and granular carbon. Reverse Osmosis water will provide your pet with the best in drinking water.

If you’re a pet owner concerned about the quality of water in your home, contact your local water utility with questions about water quality or your local water softener dealer.