Is Tap Water Safe for Your Dog?

June 2 | 8 Comments

 Regardless of the studies findings below, I prefer bottled water. Perrier to be specific, but admittedly I am high maintenance.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 2 IL-American-Vet-Dog
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 2 /PRNewswire/ — With all the concerns about
what’s in our food and our water, many of us are paying even more attention
these days to what we are giving our pets.
You can’t blame pet owners for taking a few precautions. After all, pet
food recalls raised concerns about chemical contamination; even treats have
been scrutinized.
So, should we resort to bottled water for our canine companions? According
to a study in the June 1, 2008, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
Association, that won’t be necessary. Tap water, the study suggests, doesn’t
cause bladder cancer in dogs.
Long-term consumption of disinfected tap water — the stuff that flows
from our faucets after being treated with chemicals such as chlorine — has
been associated with bladder cancer in people. But the study, which was led by
Dr. Lorraine Backer of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found
that there is no such association in dogs.
There may be more than one reason why dogs that drink tap water don’t have
an increased risk of bladder cancer, even though people apparently do. First,
a dog’s exposure to drinking water disinfection by-products — the chemicals
that are produced when things like chlorine interact with natural organic
matter — is different from that of its human owners. Dogs don’t gulp down a
big glass of water like people often do. Their water usually sits in a bowl
for hours, which allows the chemical concentrations to decrease over time.
Second, dogs don’t take long showers or baths like people do. And
showering and bathing are important routes of human exposure to chemical
by-products of tap water.
The study focused on 200 dogs living in residential settings, 100 of which
had bladder cancer and 100 of which did not. While the results showed that
dogs with bladder cancer were exposed to higher total chemical by-product
concentrations than the control dogs, the difference wasn’t significant enough
to draw a connection between tap water consumption and bladder cancer, the
study says.

The AVMA and its more than 76,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a
wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of
animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at for more information.


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