Poor Water Quality Can Lead to Disease
Water is perhaps the most neglected nutrient in a dog’s diet…
Which is why it may also be the most overlooked cause of diarrhea and soft stools in pets.
Dogs frequently drink water that’s contaminated with disease-causing bacteria and parasites… from sources found in:
- Stagnant puddles
- Community water bowls in dog parks
- Polluted streams and ponds
And keep in mind…
Dogs Pollute Their Own Drinking Water
The slow-motion video below shows how a dog contaminates its own drinking water.
Notice how the animal uses its tongue to scoop up the liquid… while germ-laden saliva drips back down into the bowl.
Loaded with Disease-Causing Germs
No matter the source…
Polluted drinking water can contain massive colonies of bacteria and other dangerous organisms.1
It can also be detected in suburban streams and ponds.
This common waterborne germ is capable of causing serious digestive problems in dogs.
In a process known as cross contamination…
Giardia can spread from one water bowl to another… which can lead to the infection of other dogs.
A dog’s water bowl can also be contaminated with even more dangerous bacteria, such as…3
More Germs in Every Ounce
In addition to water removed from the bowl by your dog, the unceasing process of evaporation is also working to empty it.
As water evaporates…
The disease-causing “soup” remaining in the bowl becomes more concentrated.
There are now more germs in every ounce of water.
The polluted water is now more potent. More dangerous.
More likely to cause diarrhea and soft stools in your dog.
Dilution Is the Solution
The easiest way to combat the steady increase of germs in the water is to continuously dilute it.
Simply add water to the bowl every time you get a chance.
Which will make it less concentrated.
And weaken the “dose” of the germs.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
As you’d expect…
A dog needs continuous access to water to lower the risk of dehydration.
Clean, fresh water must be available on demand… anytime the animal’s natural urge to drink calls for it.
Choose a Safe Water Bowl
The biggest mistake dog owners make is choosing a water bowl that’s too small… for any dog.
Small bowls make it impossible to keep the number of germs in the basin sufficiently diluted… and your dog adequately hydrated.
Our best advice…
Regardless of your dog’s size…
Serve your pet’s water from the largest bowl you can find… which helps dilute the germ concentration in the basin.
You’ll be taking advantage of the powerful dilution effect.
For Additional Protection
We recommend choosing a bowl that’s made from high grade stainless steel. They’re much easier to keep clean.
They hold up well over time.
And the better ones tend to resist corrosion and harsh dishwasher detergents.
Avoid bowls made from plastic.
That’s because some of these synthetic bowls are known to leak dangerous, cancer-causing chemicals into the dog’s drinking water.
Many older “china” bowls can contain lead and leaded glazes… which can cause neurological (brain) disorders in dogs.
So, be sure to avoid those, too.
The Bottom Line
The following recommendations will help ensure your dog remains hydrated at all times…
- Use an oversize bowl and keep it filled with fresh clean water
- Change all water in the bowl at least twice a day
- Wipe away any slimy biofilm from the inner surface of the bowl
- Keep water bowls as clean as you keep your family’s glassware
- Never separate your dog from her drinking water… ever
- Carry fresh water and serving bowls with you when traveling
For Extra Safety
We also recommend placing your dog’s water bowl in the dishwasher for a thorough scrubbing… at least once a week.
They come out sparkling clean and ready to serve up a refreshing healthy drink.
And best of all…
You’ll be one step closer to becoming your dog’s mealtime hero.
Our Editor’s Top Picks
- Is It Safe For Dogs to Drink Out Of Communal Water Bowls?, American Kennel Club, 13 Oct 2021 ↩
- Giardia and Pets, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26 Feb 2021 ↩
- Life-threatening bacteria thrives in pets’ water bowls, experts discover, Hartpury University, ScienceX, 19 Sep 2019 ↩