So, you fill your dog’s bowl with fresh, clean water and the next thing you know, Barney is drinking from the bathroom toilet. This can’t be healthy for him, right? Most of the time, if your dog is drinking water from other areas beside his water bowl, it is not healthy for them, mainly due to harmful organisms.
Dogs usually have various reasons for drinking water in areas other than their water bowl. Some dogs prefer to drink water from sources that have moving or running water. Some dogs are picky when it comes to the shape and texture of their water bowl, while other dogs are finicky about the location of their water bowl. For the most part, dogs just like drinking from other water sources because they are merely being a dog. How harmful is this to them though?
Bathroom toilet – Oftentimes, a dog will choose to drink water from the toilet bowl because it is often cool and refreshing. If the water in the toilet bowl is clean, there usually isn’t an issue. However, the hazard comes along when there is toilet bowl cleaner residual left on the toilet bowl.
Rain puddles – While dogs love to run and play after the end of a rainstorm, drinking from the puddles of rainwater may not be so healthy for them.
The 3 most common hazards are giardia, leptospirosis and antifreeze. Giardia are tiny protozoa that are spread through drinking water that has been contaminated by feces of infected animals. Leptospirosis are bacterial organisms that thrive in moist climates and are usually carried by wild animals. It is spread through drinking water that has been contaminated by urine of infected animals. Antifreeze is lethal for dogs, due to the active ingredient, ethylene glycol, which can cause kidney failure.
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Rivers and lakes – Some rivers and lakes contain water that has tiny harmful organisms that reside in the waters. The most common ones are Cryptosporidium and Giardia, which have been known to upset a dog’s gastrointestinal system. Lakes and rivers also feature harmful pesticides, which can build up in a dog’s system over time, poisoning their body.