How Water Quality Affects The Health Of Your Pets

Humans spend a fair amount of time thinking about the water quality we drink, hence all those handy reusable water bottles we tote around town. But what about the water we give to our pets?

It turns out that the water we choose to give to our pets could be helping them or harming them, depending on where it comes from and what microscopic contaminants that water potentially contains.

How dangerous is hard water?

Hard water absorbs magnesium and other minerals, like calcium, from the soil or stony outcrops near the water’s source. Tap water high in minerals can cause wear and tear on your appliances, but it can also contribute to dry hair and skin, giving pets a severe case of itchy skin.

One study conducted in 2016 also found a correlation between cats’ exposure to hard water and increased urinary issues.

How water quality affects the health of pets graphic

What about chlorine?

Chlorine is a bit of a hot topic amongst health experts concerned with water quality, largely because chlorine is purposely added to water as part of the treatment process. While chlorine does kill pathogens, the more chlorine added to our water supply the greater the potential risk of side effects. This is especially true for pets who can experience gastrointestinal issues, itchy skin, and red eyes due to chlorine exposure.

Pesticides and fertilizers

Pesticides and fertilizers are toxic to pets. Many people have switched to non-toxic alternatives that care for pest problems and weeds without harming the environment or putting people and animals at risk. However, dangerous products are still making their way into the soil and our water supply. This might be especially true in rural areas where water is drawn from an untested well or other unprocessed sources.

Other potential contaminants to keep on your radar

In addition to keeping an eye on chlorine, pesticides and fertilizers, and mineral levels in your water supply, read up on these other contaminants and what they could mean for your pet:

  • Nitrates: Water with a high nitrate concentration usually runs through nitrate-rich soil. For your pets, that could mean mild abdominal pain, diarrhea, frequent urination, or more severe symptoms like tremors, convulsions, or even a coma.
  • Iron: You can often taste iron’s tell-tale metallic flavor, but this might not stop your pet. Excessive iron in drinking water may have many adverse health effects. Early symptoms could include fatigue, weight loss, and joint pain.
  • Dirt: Dirt seems harmless, but what’s in the soil might not be. Letting your pet drink from puddles could expose them to many risky substances.
  • Chemicals: Yes, water is a chemical, but unsafe chemicals like PFAS are what we’re discussing here. Regular filtration systems don’t necessarily get rid of these toxins, either.
  • Bacteria, viruses, and yeast: Bacteria and viruses in water are as dangerous to dogs as to humans. Yeast is safe for people but not pets — it’s highly toxic for dogs and cats and can cause life-threatening stomach bloat.

Bottom line:

If you wouldn’t drink the water, you shouldn’t give it to your pet. Adding a Stonybrook Water cooler to your home or business gives customers unlimited access to clean, fresh water. Check out Stonybrook’s top-selling products today to take you and your pets’ lifestyle to the next level.


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