What is Soft Water?
Soft water, or water that has been filtered to remove harsh minerals, has become more desirable as cities put more additives in their water systems. Soft water is becoming more popular with consumers because it is not as harsh on your skin, clothes, and hair. It also tends to be easier on your home’s plumbing, as the buildup of minerals can clog pipes—and in some cases even dissolve them. Soft water is safe for human consumption, though some people say that it has a slightly salty taste. But is soft water safe for your dog?
Is it Safe for Dogs?
While all living things need water to survive, humans are able to drink things that are not always beneficial for animals. Providing fresh water daily for your dog is an integral part of its health. Although most dogs drink hard water, some vets believe that it can be bad for their health due to the added chemicals that they are ingesting.
While most pets can drink softened water with no problem, the slight increase in sodium content can be harmful to some dog breeds. If your dog’s breed is known to have cardiovascular problems or if your vet has your dog on a low-sodium diet, it is not advisable to give your dog softened water as it can increase their blood pressure. However, if your dog’s breed is not one that is prone to cardiovascular issues and isn’t on a low-sodium diet, it is safe for them to drink softened water and can also provide them with some health benefits.
How Pets Benefit from Consuming Soft Water
According to a study completed in 2016, dogs that live in hard water areas have an increased risk of urinary tract issues. Additionally, bathing your pets with soft water is beneficial for their skin and fur. Due to the removal of minerals that are found in hard water, soft water eliminates the mineral build up on your pet’s skin and fur leading to more moisturized skin and a softer coat. The difference in your dog’s coat is so noticeable that some groomers even offer soft water baths to their clients.
Making the Change to Soft Water for Your Pet
Although it is safe for your pet to drink soft water, you should make the change from hard water to soft water gradually. Making the change from hard water to soft water too quickly could lead to your pet having an upset stomach and diarrhea. Begin by filling their bowl with mostly hard water, then decreasing the amount of hard water in their bowl over several weeks until it is all soft water.
During this time you should pay close attention to your dog to make sure that the slightly salty taste of the softened water isn’t bothering them. If the slightly salty taste is not pleasurable to them, they may drink less water which is not good for their health. If you notice your dog drinking less water when you switch to soft water, you should gradually switch them back to hard water.