Tap water warning as UK water could be making pets ‘seriously ill’

Dogs, cats and other pets do need to be kept hydrated – but an expert has warned that tap water in certain areas of the UK could be doing far more harm than good. Gene Fitzgerald, home water treatment expert at BOS, explained that our furry friends could come to harm unless we are sure that our tap water is safe for them.

Ms Fitzgerald told the Mirror: “The UK is known for having some of the best tap water in the world. But that doesn’t mean that it is free from problems and if you live in an area with certain tap water, there’s a good chance that you might be poisoning your pets.”

However, in others, the tap water will be completely safe.

She explained: “In most places, tap water is perfectly fine for humans and animals to drink. But if you live in a hard water area, it may be making your pets ill.

“Hard water contains high levels of calcium and/or magnesium. For pets, this can be harmful.”

Hard water has a higher-than-usual mineral content.If drank by your pet over a long period of time, it can lead to serious health problems.

The expert said this could include “conditions such as urinary tract and/or bladder infections, cystitis, urinary obstruction, crystalluria and stone formation”.

Hard water can also lead to skin irritation and dryness, digestive problems, and dental issues, she explained – which can prove very costly for owners.

For those who live in hard water areas, however, there are some solutions available.

She said reverse osmosis and distillation softeners were great solutions – although watch out for water softeners which contain sodium.

She said: “Removing the harmful substances from hard water, they can help to keep your pet healthy and also improve the health of your plants and the lifespan of your appliances.”

Water Treatment specialists at Kinetico agree, saying: “In general, these pets can drink the same water as us; however, it is worth noting that the high mineral content in hard water is not advisable for them to consume.

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“This is even more vital if your small pet has a pre-existing condition such as kidney or bladder conditions.”

For these pets, filtered tap water is the best option.

Different regions of the UK have different levels of water hardness and softness.

You can contact your water company to receive an assessment of your water quality if you’re concerned, or speak to a vet.

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