Filtered water vs tap water: Which should dogs drink?
Ease up on using tap water for everything
By the time I got to the end of this CNN report on the dangers of tap water, I was that much prouder of always having a filtered water pitcher and breathing a sigh of relief that my dog’s dish has filtered water in it too. The Emerging Infectious Diseases journal isn’t totally anti-tap water though. According to them, the microbes in tap water “are generally harmless when ingested during drinking and cooking because they are killed by stomach acid.”
But all the other reasons why this study worried me still stays on my mind two weeks later. In a survey completed in August 2021:
More than half of 1,004 survey participants incorrectly said that tap water can be used for nasal rinsing
50% gave it a thumbs up for rinsing contact lenses
42% trusted it as safe for use in respiratory devices such as humidifiers or continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, used for sleep apnea
Meanwhile, pathogens found in tap water systems (including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, nontuberculous mycobacteria, Legionella, Acanthamoeba and Naegleria fowleri) can invade the lungs, brain, eyes or skin. Although I’d never used tap water for my 26 years of wearing contact lenses and impatiently wait for boiled water to cool off for nasal rinsing, I am guilty of using tap water in a humidifier.
And even though I use a water filter at home, I shrugged off the idea when my dog trailed along with me on Christmas vacation. That is, until I noticed my usually water-guzzling dog turned her nose up at the water dish all week. When she wouldn’t stop suspiciously sniffing at the dish filled with tap water, I asked about a water filter. Problem solved.