Is Toilet Water Safe For Dogs?

The question of the day, "is toilet water safe for dogs to drink?"

The quick answer is yes, it is safe for our loyal pals to drink the water from the toilet.

The long answer generally remains yes, however, it depends what is in the water.

 

In fact, with an average flush rate of five flushes per day, the water that comes from the toilet tanks after a refreshing flush, is flowing, and highly oxygenated. This is much more "thirst quenching" for dogs versus what could be the still, stale water  of their water bowls.

Dogs are highly sensible animals, and they use their instincts to make choices when it comes to intake. They can smell, and taste, and feel the differences between the two sources of water. With most pipes lying underground, temperature wise, this is a cooler source. During summer days, or where climate is predominantly hot, it is common for dogs to prefer the cooler toilet water. 

Dogs also have very different stomach compositions than humans. So while we immediately think about the bacteria and other potentially harmful germs that arise with drinking toilet water, it doesn't phase dogs. This is because dogs have a much stronger level of hydrochloric acid in their stomachs which kills off any potentially harmful bacteria.

What are the dangers and concerns that our animal friends might face when drinking from the toilet?

 

The products we use to sanitize our toilets should be analyzed. Whether we use bleach, soap, or any other cleaner that mixes itself with the toilet water, these are full of harmful chemicals.  If ingested, these chemicals are potentially life-threatening for dogs.

Toilet water generally comes from the same source as our tap water. Depending on your region, tap water might not be safe to drink. If there is a high frequency of rodents in your region, and it is advised to not drink tap water, it also should be advised for your dogs to not drink from the toilet. Bacteria such as leptospirosis might be present. This is one strain of bacteria that is very harmful to dogs and even fatal if left untreated.

 

Symptoms of leptospirosis in dogs are:

  • Sudden fever and illness

  • Sore muscles, reluctance to move

  • Shivering or weakness

  • Lack of appetite

  • Increased thirst and urination, may be indicative of chronic renal (kidney) failure, progressing to inability to urinate.

Apart from harmful bacteria, there is a real risk of falling into the toilet if your dog is of a smaller breed. If unable to escape, this could result in severe fatigue, and even death.

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