The animal companions in your home always have a bowl of water sitting out for them, but have you wondered what they are drinking? While homeowners install water softening systems in their homes to accommodate their comfort and preferences, many consider the potential benefits soft water can offer to their pets.
Hard water is water that is high in dissolved minerals (namely calcium and magnesium) that are harmless but can build up in the equipment or appliances in your home. These minerals can leave a chemical taste in your water and give your drinking water a chalkier texture.
Water softeners remove the excess minerals in the water and replace them with salt. However, the amount of sodium in your soft water remains low, as we discussed in this blog.
Trupanion, responsible for medical insurance for pets, released a 2016 study that explored links between a pet’s urinary health and hard drinking water. Based on the claims they received, they discovered that male cats are far more likely to experience urinary health problems over other animals. In their study, they identified regions within the United States that had higher hard water ratings as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Through analyzing the hard water ratings in tandem with the data on urinary health claims, Trupanion concluded that they have “high claim payout amounts (…) in regions with higher hard water ratings.”
As previously mentioned, the sodium levels that remain in soft drinking water are very low and generally do not affect animals. However, talk to your vet if your pet has high levels of sodium already or is an older animal.
If your furry friends are experiencing consistent or chronic urinary health issues, reach out to an Advantage Water specialist and discuss if a water softener may be the right solution for your home.
Just as we prefer one brand of water over another, your pet has opinions about the water that they drink. Soft water has a more neutral flavor due to the treatment of the minerals in the water, as well as a smoother texture in contrast to hard water.
Hard water can create mineral build up in our hair, often making it flat and more brittle. Of course, this same thing can happen to your pets. After giving them a bath in softened water, you will likely experience a new sheen and volume to their coat.
Soft water balances the pH level in hair and fur, allowing your fuzzy pet to be ready for cuddles. Soft water even requires less product with fewer rinses, so bathing a busy puppy will take less time (and save you money over time).
If you are switching your home to softened water, allow your pet to transition over a period because an immediate change to their water can negatively affect their digestive systems. Once the installation of your water softener system is complete, begin to slowly mix in the softened water with bottled or filtered water they were previously drinking. This mixture will allow their stomachs to adjust as you introduce the new water to them.