Many people have become concerned about the potential adverse health effects of chemicals contained in their drinking water, particularly chlorine. If tap water has chemicals that can cause disease such as cancer in humans should we be concerned about the water we put into our dog’s bowl? Is your dog’s drinking water safe?
Tap water in many cities has been shown to have hundreds of chemicals that could potentially cause health problems in humans and animals including lead, arsenic, radioactive compounds, solvents, pesticides, and asbestos. In addition, water flows through pipes to reach your faucet with the potential for metals to leach through the pipe material into you and your dog’s drinking water. According to a study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council, more than half of the human and animal population as a whole may have unsafe drinking water.
One of the more common chemicals found in drinking water is chlorine which is used to kill bacteria in water before it reaches your spigot. Unfortunately, chlorine can potentially cause health problems in both humans and dogs. Chlorine is a poisonous gas that is converted to liquid form and added to our water supply to kill bacteria. In an overzealous attempt to eliminate all microbes from drinking water, the serious health issue of chlorine has failed to be addressed.
If you use tap water, your dog’s drinking water very likely contains some quantity of chlorine. The chlorine found in your dog’s water can react with organic materials found in the water to create dangerous trihalomethanes. The ingestion of trihalomethanes and other chlorine by products has been shown in several studies to increase the risk of certain types of cancer in both humans and animals. By giving your dog unfiltered tap water, you may be increasing his potential for dying an early death from cancer.
In addition, the chlorine and other dangerous chemicals in tap water can be absorbed more readily through the skin, particularly if your dog has open sores or skin irritation. By bathing your dog in tap water or allowing them access to a pool with unfiltered water in it, you also increase absorption of these dangerous chemicals into your dog’s body.
There’s also evidence that chlorine found in tap water can cause irritation to your dog’s skin.
The solution to the problem of chlorine and chemicals in your dog’s drinking water may be as simple as installing a filter on your faucets to remove these unwanted substances from water before it reaches your dog’s bowl. You can also consider investing in a reverse osmosis system that filters out all water entering your house. These systems can either be purchased directly or leased on a monthly basis.
Filtering your dog’s drinking water may be a simple step you can take to promote better health for your dog and help him to leave a longer and happier life.