Can Dogs Drink Distilled Water? A Guide to the Best Water for Dogs

dog drinking water

Can Dogs Drink Distilled Water? A Guide to the Best Water for Dogs

Even though it’s safe at normal levels, distilled water should never be your dog’s sole water source. It lacks the minerals your dog’s body needs to function properly. Also, their’ body tissues might absorb distilled water more than mineral-rich water, causing overhydration. Third, this type of water can flush vital electrolytes through your dog’s kidneys, disrupting breathing and causing muscle weakness.  

If you still want to give your dog distilled water, make sure that:

  1. They aren’t drinking large amounts of distilled water
  2. Distilled water isn’t their only water source

Acting on these two prevention tips will make sure your dog isn’t exposed to the severe side effects mentioned above. However, if you want to be safe (now) than sorry (down the line), we advise that you keep your furry friend off distilled water for good.

What Type Of Water Is Best For Dogs To Drink?

Any type of water that you consider best for you is best for your dog, too. However, if you’re drinking costly filtered water and can’t afford giving the same to your pet, tap water is the next best option. Tap water is cost-effective, readily accessible and, more importantly, safe.

Most city municipal corporations take all the necessary steps to ensure that the tap water supplied to your household meets international standards for concentration of salts, metals and minerals. City water is also treated with chlorine to kill viruses and bacteria.

Various studies back up this claim. One, which aimed to find whether tap water causes cancer in dogs (tap water is a known cause of bladder cancer in humans), found no such association in dogs. This means that tap water is safer for dogs than it is for humans.

Still, if you aren’t sure about the quality of your municipal water, it’s time to pick up your phone. Contact your local water supplier and ask them any questions you may have about the water’s quality. If their answer(s) satisfy you, go for tap water.

Can Dogs Drink Well Water?

Dogs can drink distilled water if it isn’t hard, has low nitrate levels, and isn’t contaminated by green-blue algae, parasites, or other pollutants that are found in most wells. This means that it’s on you – not the government – to decide whether your well water is safe for dogs.

Want to know why? Unlike the city water, which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, your private well’s water isn’t regulated. So you must be aware of how clean your well water is and whether it’s safe for your furry friend.

Make sure you have your well water tested before you start providing it to your dogs. Consult your local state-certified laboratory. You can locate one by calling at 800-426-4791 which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline.

Alternatively, if you want to test your well water at home, you might want to purchase a well water testing kit. This one from Watersafe is our favorite as it tests the water for 10 contaminants. However, if you want to take no chances, a state-certified laboratory is still your best bet.

Is ZeroWater Good For Dogs?

ZeroWater is a 5-stage filter that apparently removes all total dissolved solids, suspended solids, organic contaminants, inorganic compounds and radiological contaminants from water. The reason it might not be good for dogs is because ZeroWater removes the good minerals, too, such as sodium, calcium, and potassium, which your dog’s body needs to function.

These minerals are crucial for your dog’s health and well-being. Take calcium and phosphorous, for instance. Both are necessary for the maintenance of your dog’s bones and teeth. If its body becomes deficient in either of these minerals, which it most certainly will if ZeroWater is your dog’s sole water source, fractures and bone deformities might follow suit.

That’s why we recommend that you don’t give ZeroWater to your dogs, at least not as the sole water source. Mix it up with other types of water – preferably tap water or filtered water – and make sure your dog doesn’t drink too much ZeroWater at once. The absence of minerals means it will be easily absorbed by the dog’s body tissues, causing overhydration.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is distilled water good for dogs with kidney disease?

Kidney disease affects an estimated 10% of dogs in their lifetime. There is no evidence to suggest that distilled water is good, let alone a potential treatment, for dogs with kidney disease. If your dog has developed a kidney disease, take them to a veterinarian.

What water is bad for dogs?

Seven types of water can pose risks to your dog’s health. They include park puddles, pool water, stagnant water in lakes and ponds, toilet water, ocean water and water gathered in home/yard. Distilled water is also bad for dogs, provided it’s the sole water source

Is thick water safe for dogs?

Thick water was specifically made for people facing difficulty swallowing things. Some dogs, too, find normal water difficult to drink because they vomit it. Thick water can be better for such dogs as it’s much easier to swallow than normal tap, filtered or distilled water.

Can dogs drink SmartWater?

SmartWater is distilled water containing electrolytes. It contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium and also tastes better than tap water. For this reason, it’s perfectly safe for dogs to drink SmartWater, as long as it isn’t their sole water source.

Should dogs drink reverse osmosis water?

According to the World Health Organization, reverse osmosis water exerts a “definite negative influence” on the health of animals. That’s because RO water doesn’t have the minerals your body needs to function properly. So you shouldn’t give your dog distilled water to drink.


Dogs can drink distilled water as long as they’re drinking it in moderation and it isn’t their only source of drinking water. This means that the responsibility is on the dog owner to ensure that together with distilled water, their furry friend is having plenty of other water too.

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