Can I give my dog soft water is something people sometimes ask when having a water softener installed in their home. Is soft water safe for my dog to drink?
The answer is yes, it is generally considered safe for a dog to drink water from a water softener. But that said, as a responsible pet parent, there are still a few things to consider.
Potential health problems
There is a slight increase in sodium in softened water. This should not affect a normal, healthy dog, but could be of concern if your best friend suffers from cardiovascular problems. So if your dog suffers from heart problems or high blood pressure, you will need to find an alternative water source for your dog if you do have a water softened installed.
Fewer health benefits
There are fewer minerals (less calcium and magnesium) in softened water. So generally speaking, soft water is less beneficial to the health of your dog.
Some dogs dislike the saltier taste of softened water. As a result, they may be less inclined to drink it. This can be a concern, especially given that water is involved in every single bodily function.
The initial change from normal to softened water can cause diarrhoea in some dogs unless the change is made gradually. In that regard, dogs are very similar to human beings. Our bodies get used to the water we regularly drink. The change of water quality is frequently the cause of human tummy upsets in the early days of a vacation in different parts of the country or holidays in foreign climes.
On the plus side
The one benefit of soft water for your dog is when it comes to bathing. Fewer minerals in softened water means a lower mineral build up on your dog’s skin and coat. So dogs bathed in soft water tend to have healthier looking coats. One of the reasons why dog grooming services frequently offer a soft water bathing service!
Your dog needs fresh water daily. That’s a given. Any dog deprived of water can become seriously ill in a very short space of time.
If you feed homemade dog food the fact your dog drinks less water is not so much of an issue because it will get plenty of water/moisture in with its food. Plus of course homemade food is 100% healthier anyway.
Otherwise perhaps consider buying a water filter jug for your dog. This will filter out some of the sodium and make it taste better so your dog will continue to drink as before.
All in all then, the answer to the question “can I give my dog soft water?” is yes, with certain provisos.