Bad Water for Dogs: 6 Sources to Avoid

Water for dogs should not include ice water, salt water, questionable tap water or pool water. Dog owners should also avoid stagnant water and any other water that may be contaminated. Water is a vital part of the canine diet. In addition to moist food, fresh water should be the primary source of hydration for a dog.

Pool Water

Do not let your dog drink from chlorinated pools. Pool water contains a high level of a variety of chemicals such as chlorine. When a dog drinks pool water, he or she ingests more chlorine than is healthy and might also be ingesting other chemicals. There also might be algae, insects, bacteria growth, and other harmful substances in the pool. A small sip of pool water will not put your dog in the emergency vet's office. Try to keep your pet from drinking pool water whenever possible.

Ice Water Or Snow

Ice water or snow are not suitable types of water for dogs. Water for dogs can be slightly cool in the summer and room temperature in the winter. Ice water and snow, however, have a different effect on dogs than on humans. Don't give a dog ice water or let him eat snow.

Salt Water

Salt water should be avoided as a source of water for dogs. The salt content is harmful for dogs. Salt water also does not provide the proper hydration for a dog and can actually lead to greater thirst. Excessive salt in a dog's diet, which can result from drinking salt water, can cause other canine health problems.

Questionable Tap Water

Tap water is marginally accepted as a source of water for dogs but is generally not recommended. If you know the exact number of total dissolved solids in your tap water, you may choose to use it. Water containing less than 5000 parts per million of total dissolved solids is considered acceptable for pets. Tap water may pose other risks if it is high in iron, magnesium, or nitrates. All untreated water can harbor parasites, viruses, and bacteria.

Stagnant or Moldy Water

Water from puddles and ponds can contain bacteria, parasites, and viruses that form from the lack of the water's movement. A fungal infection can grow due to pathogens that are present in still water molds and fungi. An organism called Pythium insidiosum thrives and reproduces in stagnant water or in grass that has been exposed to stagnant water. The organism is present in the water molds and can cause a relatively uncommon yet serious illness in dogs.

Water From a Dirty Dish or Toilet

Even the cleanest bottled or boiled water will become unsafe as a source of water for dogs if placed in a dirty dish. Unwashed water bowls and toilet bowls can contain many harmful types of organisms and bacteria. A toilet bowl may also contain chemicals used for cleaning which can be harmful to dogs. A dog's bowl should be discarded if worn or scratched because bacteria can breed in the scratches. The best choice is a stainless steel water bowl. It should be cleaned daily and disinfected every month.