The benefits of alkaline water for humans are obvious: lower acid reflux in the body, higher antioxidant activity, better pH balance, more surplus energy, enhanced metabolism, and better nutrient absorption, among various others. But is alkaline water good for dogs?
Here’s what we know.
Alkaline water is perfectly safe for dogs in most cases. It might induce chemical changes in their body that might convince your furry friend to drink more water, leading to better hydration. Alkaline water will also help increase their energy levels and make their poo stink less!
However, there are three scenarios in which alkaline water might not be safe for dogs.
They include when your furry friend is taking their medication, while they’re being nursed, and before and after they have had their meals. Read on to know why that is the case.
What is Alkaline Water?
Alkaline water is one whose pH is between 8 or 9. The pH level tells you how alkaline or acidic a substance is on a scale of 0 to 14. For instance, something with a pH of 12 would be very alkaline and something with a pH of 1 would be bitterly acidic. Normal drinking water’s pH is typically 7 or neutral.
While pH is an excellent indicator of whether the water you are drinking is acidic or alkaline, it is far from being the only one. For example, alkaline water also contains alkaline minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, bicarbonate, etc.) and has a negative oxidation reduction potential (ORP).
ORP measures how oxidizing or reducing a substance is. The higher (more positive) the oxidation reduction potential, the more easily the substance will gain electrons. And the lower (more negative) the oxidation reduction potential, the more easily the substance will lose electrons.
Alkaline water has negative ORP because it contains loads of hydroxyl (OH-) ions. This allows it to quickly donate its electrons to our body when we drink alkaline water. As a result, it reduces the concentration of harmful free radicals in our body and enhances the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Natural Alkaline Water Vs Artificial Alkaline Water
Natural alkaline water is full of minerals. It acquires them as it flows down streams and rivers before being collected and filtered for contaminants. The same might not be the case with artificial alkaline water, especially if it was turned alkaline via the ionization process.
Ionization involves passing an electrical current through water, splitting water molecules into positively charged (H+) and negatively charged (OH-) ions. The former water molecules are acidic and the latter are basic. Once split, both are stored in separate compartments to prevent mixing.
While the dog’s body can recognize alkalinity in water, it might not identify whether or not the water contains any minerals. That means artificial alkaline water might trick your furry friend’s body into thinking that it is full of calcium and magnesium, where in reality it isn’t.
This confusion might convince the body to start depleting its own mineral reserves, resulting in mineral deficiency. That’s why we suggest that you only select mineral-rich, alkaline water for your dog. One that should have the likes of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals in high amount.
Is Alkaline Water Safe for Dogs?
Alkaline water is perfectly safe for dogs as long as long as they aren’t using it to ingest medicine, taking alkaline water immediately before and after their meal and while they’re being nursed (reasons explained below). Here are benefits dogs can get by drinking alkaline water:
1) Long-lasting hydration
Since it has smaller molecular formations than regular water, alkaline water can penetrate deep into the tissues of our canine friends, providing better (and long-lasting) hydration. This will ensure that your dog stays energetic for long periods.
2) Reduced acidity in the body
Since their metabolic system is similar to us humans, dogs’ stomach also produces acidic waste when digesting food. This might create an acid reflux in the dog’s body and expose them to health challenges which alkaline water can take care of with its acid-neutralizing pH.
3) Increased energy levels
It’s a well-known fact that regular intake of alkaline water enhances us humans’ health and appearance. The same is true for dogs because their body structure is similar to us.
This means your furry friend will look more youthful and become more energetic with regular intake of alkaline water!
4) Cures alopecia (hair loss)
Alkaline water can treat hair loss by fighting the microbial growth that results in alopecia. It also reduces the stripping of acidic sebum that helps fight hair loss. On top of everything else, alkaline water flushes out harmful free radicals that cause this process.
5) Treats joint issues
All of us are aware that dogs, like humans, start facing joints issues as they grow old. What most of us don’t know, however, is that alkaline water can maintain the health of cartilage, which prevents the bearing down of joints, preventing the loss of mobility.
6) Treats pet allergies
The presence of unnecessary ingredients such as corn and corn products in pet foods have made pet allergies more common these days. Ionized alkaline water can treat allergies because it contains calcium, something which is a known enemy of allergies.
Tips for Giving Alkaline Water to Dogs
Keep these tips in mind while giving alkaline water to your dog:
- Don’t give alkaline water with medication
Never give your dog ionized alkaline water one hour before or after giving medication.
Alkaline water helps boost the dog’s metabolism and will allow them to digest everything faster. This is not what we want with medicine, which should be released into the body at a medically prescribed rate. That’s why you might want to give your dog filtered water with their medicine.
- Don’t give alkaline water to nursing dogs
Studies have shown that animals absorb more-than-usual levels of calcium when they are given alkaline water when nursing. This might lead to a condition known as calciuria or the presence of calcium in their urine, which is something that isn’t ideal for their health.
That’s why vets only recommend purified water for nursing dogs.
- Don’t give alkaline water with meals
Giving dogs alkaline water with their meals might slow down their digestion. That’s because alkaline water might end up neutralizing the stomach acids required for digesting the food.
This is why you should stop giving your dog alkaline water one hour either side of the meal. You can however give them purified or filtered water during this period.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of water is best for dogs?
Normal tap water is mostly the safest, cost-effective and accessible option for dogs. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association has found in a study that as long as the tap water is clean, it’s as safe for dogs as bottled water.
Is cold water bad for dogs?
Medical experts say that cold water isn’t bad for dogs, busting the popular myth that dogs might end up dying from drinking ice cold water on hot days. They suggest that cold water can be given to the dog as a treat or it may be put in the water bowl to let them drink it at their own pace.
Can dogs drink electrolyte water?
Electrolyte water is safe for dogs and even beneficial for canines that are weak, sick or older. That’s because the water’s salt and essential minerals might help it replace something in the dog’s body that may have been lacking owing to their condition.
Alkaline water is perfectly safe for dogs and could even provide them with multiple benefits such as more flexible joints, long-lasting hydration, enhanced energy levels, and more. Just make sure you follow the tips given above if you’re going to give alkaline water to your dog.