Most of us who receive hard water have installed water softeners to treat the water that we consume on a daily basis. The water softeners generally make use of salt for regeneration. But, if you are using water softener salt in your home, it is quite possible that you might have opened salt bags lying around. But what if your pets eat or sniff at the salt? Many pet owners may be worried about whether water softener salt is safe for pets.
What Happens When Your Dog Ingests Water Softener Salt?
Water softener salt is generally not poisonous and will not have any severe effects on your dog. However, it can upset the stomach and can cause a few signs, such as vomiting. A few other signs can include diarrhea, a decrease in appetite, issues with coordination, excessive thirst, and weakness.
Water softeners salts typically consist of sodium chloride and thus are not harmful or poisonous for your dogs. Dogs generally have a robust metabolism and can even digest salt. In most of the scenarios, you will find your dog vomiting the salt and may feel a bit nauseous. The only concern is when the water softener salts are larger, and if your dog is of small size, it may choke.
Can Dogs Drink Soft Water?
Soft water is relatively safe for most of the animals, and this includes dogs. However, an abrupt change from hard water to soft water can create a few issues in terms of digestive conditions. Make sure that the transition from the hard water to soft water is gradual and not sudden. This will help prevent the issues like stomach aches and diarrhea.
The softening process can increase the concentration of salt slightly in the treated water. However, this slight increase should not be harmful and safer for dogs. Or even for other animals. However, if your dog has been prescribed for a low-sodium diet, it may not be a good idea to give soft water to your dog to drink.
If you are not sure about whether it is safe to give soft water to your dog, it is a better option to feed your dog with a bottled water.
Can Animals Drink Softened Water?
Softened water is safe for most of the animals. This is true with the pets like cats and dogs as well. However, the softened water may not be recommended for the pets if they are on a restricted diet. It may also not be the right option for pets on a restricted diet or no-sodium diet.
Before you can let your dog drink softened water, it is essential to conduct a research into the breed of the pet. Some dog breeds have been known to get affected with a slight increase in the sodium levels.
As long as our experience goes, it is always a good idea to consult your vet before you can introduce softened water to your dogs, cats, or just about any animal.
Is Hard Water Safe for Your Pets?
In most of the cases, hard water is safe for cats, dogs, and most other animals. If your hard water does not have very high levels of minerals like magnesium, iron, and calcium, there is no any sort of risk associated with it.
However, there are a few other experts who believe that hard water is not suitable for animals, including your pets, such as cats and dogs. Untreated tap water may not be good for your pets. This is because it may have many chemicals like Chlorine, which may be dangerous for your pets. It is also possible that the untreated water may also consist of other harmful components. This is one of the prime reasons why you should not feed hard water to your pets.
However, it may be noticed that there are no conclusive studies that prove that hard water can be harmful to your dog. Some studies have indicated that over 40% of cats can experience urinary tract diseases, and over 25% of dogs experience similar issues. These issues can be a prime reason why you should not let your pets drink hard water.
What are the advantages of soft water for dogs?
There are several advantages that soft water can provide your dogs with. While it is not necessary to give soft water to your dog, and water generally causes any serious concerns, letting your dog drink software comes with its own advantages.
Your dog will get mineral-free water
Many experts suggest not giving hard water to your dogs. This is not because of the minerals contained in the water but due to the chemicals used for treating the water. A good example here is Chlorine. Apart, the hard water may also consist of other chemicals such as Chlorine and fluoride.
Soft water comes with the best benefits for dog washing. Soft water ensures that your dog will have healthier and cleaner coats of fur. You would have noticed that professional dog grooming services use soft water to give a bath to your dogs.
How do you introduce soft water to your pets?
If your pet has no other medical issues, it is a good idea to feed your dog or cat with soft water. However, you should not introduce soft water to your pet suddenly. It should be a good idea to introduce soft water gradually. You can mix the hard water with soft water and, over a period of time, slowly phase out the hard water completely. This will ensure that your pet is happy with the soft water instead of feeling the abrupt change and rejecting the water.
This is not just because your pet may have a sudden change in taste and reject it. Your pet animal needs to get used to the change in salt levels in the water. In case the change is immediate or sudden, you will end up facing a few health issues. One of the most common issues that you may come across can include diarrhea. If you still have any concerns, it may be a good idea to consult your vet.
The Closing Thoughts
Soft water is definitely a good option for your pets. Your pet will not face any severe issues on consuming the soft water. However, if your dog or cat is suffering from any health issues and is recommended for a low-sodium diet, it is a good idea not to feed soft water. Under all other circumstances, soft water, even with a slightly higher level of salt, may not be an issue.