K9 Corner

Published 10:23 am Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Quality of water matters to pets, too


At the time of this writing, it is raining. I was talking to a new friend who has moved here from another state; she mentioned that we seem to have a lot of rain. I explained from my experience that if we don’t have rain in February or March, we often have a drought in the summer. That conversation progressed to the need of fresh, ciean water for our pets (and for us too).

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How does this affect our canine pals? 

Checking the internet (www.gracelinks.org) for the importance of clean water, Grace Communications Foundation states that polluted water is devastating to not only the environment, but to animals’ and humans’ health.

The United States relies on 44 billon gallons of clean water per day. Much of this comes from rivers, lakes and other surface water sources. Seventy percent of this clean water is used by agriculture.

Most waste water goes through a sewer system to a treatment plant where solid wastes and other contaminants are removed before the treated water is released into the environment. 

Currently, the American Water Works Association reports that repairs and replacement of our current water infrastructure is severely under funded.

In checking the literature, I found an article titled “The 411 on H20” by Denise Flaim published in the fall 2011 issue of Dog Fancy’s Natural Dog. In it, Flaim commented on a dog whose health was not the best; its coat was dull and poor quality. 

The owners analyzed the food and had the veterinarian check him out and could find nothing that would cause a poor coat. Then the owners thought about the water; they were not happy with the quality of water from their tap, so they were using bottled water, whereas the dog was drinking tap water. Changing the dog’s water to their source corrected the coat condition.

Flaim states that most localities have drinkable water, but think about the water source if the dog is not doing well and all tests are OK. She also comments on dogs drinking from swimming pools, that these dogs are ingesting far too much chlorine. 

Fish ponds in yards can become contaminated with algae and some strains of this organism can kill dogs that swim or play in them. She quotes Christina Chambreau, D.V.M. as saying that bottled water is bad for the environment, that “The better choice is tap water that has been filtered.”

As winter slides into summer, it is important to provide enough water each day for each animal. Flaim quotes Nancy Kay D.V.M. as recommending one ounce per pound of body weight, but the weather and the dog’s activity should also be factored in. Dogs eating canned or home-prepared foods will drink less water than those that eat dry kibble. Dr. Kay says that if your dog starts drinking more water than normal, you should check with your veterinarian since there are several diseases that increase a dog’s thirst.

Amazing what a simple conversation on rain will turn into, isn’t it?