Published: April 20, 2015

    The Right Quantity and Quality of Water for Your Pets

    Like humans, animals need a certain amount of water to keep their bodies functioning at optimal levels. That said, not all maintain the same needs. If you’ve been wondering if your pet is getting enough fluid, understand the basics of pet hydration.

    Size and Species

    While cats and dogs both require minimum amounts of daily water, the latter tends to require more. As a general rule, dogs demand an ounce of fluid per pound of body weight every day, meaning a 20-pound dog would need just over two cups. By contrast, the average cat would require only 27 ml per pound of body weight. With that said, certain factors may cause a pet to need more or less. Warm weather, for instance, can cause a pet to require significantly larger amounts of water. On the other hand, if your pet eats canned food, it may drink less water, since it gets a decent amount of fluid while eating.

    Contrary to common belief, pets also need plenty of water during the winter months, so it’s important to make sure outside bowls haven’t frozen over. Likewise, because their bodies are just as sensitive to toxins as ours, pet owners should take steps to make sure they are providing clean water.

    Is Your Drinking Water Safe?

    Most people simply fill their cat or dog bowls from their unfiltered faucets without giving it much thought. Unfortunately, this may expose the pet to long-term health problems if the water contains harmful contaminants. There are a stunning amount of drinking water toxins and microorganisms that can leach from pipes or migrate from agriculture and industrial sources. Among the most common include:

    • Radon from uranium rich soil
    • Trace metals from nearby mining projects
    • Chloride, sodium, barium and strontium from local drilling operation
    • Lead, pH and copper contamination from corroded pipes
    • Coliform bacteria, which can cause gastro-intestinal illnesses
    • Pesticide and nitrate contamination from nearby agriculture
    • Copper, iron and manganese from laundry fixtures or stained plumbing
    • Volatile organic compounds, sulfate, metals, chloride and total dissolved solids migrating from gas stations, landfills, junkyards or dry cleaning operations

    If your water comes from a private well, you are at a higher risk of contamination. That said, a report from the website 24/7 Wall St recently found that many major public water supplies also contain contaminant levels exceeding legal limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    How This Could Impact Your Pets

    Even trace amounts of toxins have been linked to health problems in humans. Unfortunately, because they’re much smaller, pets have a lower tolerance for toxins, leaving their organs more susceptible to injury.

    If you’re worried about potential contaminants in your home’s drinking water, a Pelican Whole House Water System can help. By eliminating 99.9 percent of microorganisms and toxins, this state-of-the-art filtering technology can provide an extra layer of protection against potentially-contaminated wells and municipal water supplies, so you can be sure your family and pets are safe.