Water is the key element to keeping your pet healthy and living a long and happy life. Without access to a full bowl of clean water at all times, your furry best friend can dehydrate and grow increasingly ill.
When you go to refill your little guy’s bowl, you probably don’t think twice about taking it to the kitchen sink to fill it from the tap. However, when you pour a glass of water for yourself, you most likely head to the filtered water dispenser found in your refrigerator.
Now think for a moment: Why are you giving your pet lower quality water than yourself? Unknown by many loving pet owners, the bacteria and dangers found in tap water can have the same effect on your pet’s health as they do on yours.
Here are some reasons you should think twice before heading to the kitchen sink the next time you go refill his bowl.
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Cancer Causing Agents
The dangerous compounds fluoride and chlorine are abundant in tap water. Just like in humans, fluoride and chlorine can cause cancer in animals. Laced with heavy metals, fluoride is a Class 2 environmental toxin. Recent research has suggested that ingesting even small amounts of fluoride over time can lead to a variety of health risks including bone disease, cancer, mottled teeth, kidney failure and severe brain damage.
98 percent of European countries banned adding fluoride to their water supply as a result of its link to serious health problems. And startlingly, according to a 2006 study by the Environmental Work Group, fluoride contamination is also present in 8 of the leading brands of dog food.
Large quantities of chlorine can also be found in tap water. A recent Harvard University study shows a direct link between cancer and chlorinated water. Ingesting chlorine in water has also been associated with more mild health concerns, such as eye and nose irritation and an upset stomach. Filling your fish tank with unfiltered water may be detrimental to these creatures since it makes up their living environment and can produce harmful algae.
The solution? Providing your pet with pure filtered water will prevent these cancer causing elements from being ingested.
Dangerous Contaminants Abound
Tap water is a breeding ground for contaminants. Many parasites, such as Giardia, can result in diarrhea in your pet. After studying 830 unfiltered water contaminants, government scientists concluded many of these toxins can cause cancer or a variety of other illnesses even when ingested in small amounts.
In many places, tap water houses dozens of contaminants including:
- Nitrates: transform into nitrates and can cause serious illnesses by inhibiting blood from carrying oxygen into the lungs.
- Uranium: can result in kidney failure.
- Cryptosporidium: can lead to gastrointestinal disease.
- Lead: can hinder physical and mental development and heighten blood pressure levels.
Concentrations of Drugs
Traces of pharmaceutical drugs exist in unfiltered water. Prescription drugs contaminate our water supply through human waste. Research by the Environmental Protection Agency has found that the most dangerous of these drugs are antibiotics, antidepressants, painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications.
When your pet is lapping up tap water from his bowl, he may be consuming tiny amounts of these drugs which can lead to potentially serious health problems later on in life. Altered behavioral patterns can also result in fish that live in a tank filled with water contaminated by drugs.
Clean Water Isn’t Enough…
Before you jump up to go pour out that dirty tap water in your pet’s bowl and refill it with clean, filtered water, don’t forget to wash out the bowl. Your pet’s water supply may consist of the purest water, but that doesn’t do the trick if his dish isn’t clean. Your little pal’s bowl can quickly grow bacteria and mold if it isn’t washed regularly.
Just as you wouldn’t put contaminated water into your body, you wouldn’t refill your dirty glass with fresh water. To be certain your pet’s water supply is providing him with the nutrients necessary to live a healthy life, clean his bowl with soap and water daily, and always keep it filled with fresh, filtered water.