Can I Give My Dog Distilled Water?

Can I Give My Dog Distilled Water?How does distilled water affect dogs? Giving tap water to a pet dog each day, that’s often contains chlorine and other minerals, gets some wondering if distilled water could be a better alternative.

Distilled water is basically boiled tap water. It’s heated to a point where all the trace elements are removed. What about the healthy minerals that our dogs need? It can be difficult to determine what’s right or wrong for our pets and sometimes our decisions can do more harm than good.

We’ll address the distilled water question but one thing is sure, dogs should never be without access to water. Dehydration is dangerous for pets, so always have fresh water available.

Can I Give My Dog Distilled Water? Answer: Yes, in moderation

It’s often suggested to use distilled water to relieve small dogs, such as Maltese, from having runny tear ducts.

But typically it’s not great and choosing bottled spring water instead of distilled water is a much healthier choice for your pet. If you don’t want to give your dog tap water too often then you can occasionally use the distilled variety.

All the trace mineral content of distilled water is destroyed during the distillation process and it would be safe to give your dog one to two times a week at the most, the rest of the week offer tap or bottled spring water.

Problem with Distilled Water

There have been reports of potassium deficiency and heart problems related to dogs that are only given distilled water. This is because the removed minerals render the water completely devoid of nutrients.

Water actually plays an important role in the development of strong muscles. If you only have the choice of giving your dog distilled water, ask a vet what supplements you can give your dog to ensure they’re getting proper intake of minerals. This way they’ll stay healthy and strong.

While no harm will likely occur in dogs given distilled water a couple of times a week, providing it on a daily basis is not a good option.

Thirst Quenching or Not

Have you ever drunk boiled water? It’s dry and often makes you thirsty. Therefore, distilled water is not even a good thirst quencher. The same holds true for dogs. Some people note that their dogs drink more when offered distilled water, even messing in the house due to the large quantities of water they were consuming because the dog couldn’t quench its thirst.

Remember that dehydration is a common but serious problem for dogs. If your dog is constantly thirsty, you are doing more damage than good. You’ll have a dog that constantly needs to urinate due to the large volumes of water it will be drinking.

Better Alternatives

Ideally tap water is fine. Yes it contains chlorine and all the minerals you believe are bad, but it will quench your dog’s thirst without fail.

If you live in an area where you cannot drink the tap water, choose bottled spring water for your dog. Spring water still has minerals and traces of chlorine but nowhere near the quantity of tap water. Your dog can drink as much spring water as it needs without any adverse effects.

Bottled spring water may cost you in the long run, but you can rest assured that your dog will not suffer with heart problems or potassium deficiencies when drinking this type of water.

How to Choose

On average, a dog will drink about two bowls of water on any given day. This is due to heat or their exercise routine. Fresh water should always be readily available for them so they can drink when they need it.

Deciding on whether to fill that bowl with tap or spring water is your choice. Most areas the tap water is fine for drinking and you can leave that out for your dog without concern. But if you’re worried about the quality of the tap water in your area, pop down to the store and buy some bottled spring water.

You can even alternate between spring and tap water to ensure your dog is getting all the minerals it needs every time it drinks from the bowl.

Add Your Own Answer to the Question Can I Give My Dog Distilled Water? Below

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian December, 2015

My Labrador bitch has a yeast problem on her paws and she keeps licking and chewing on them. I have started a hydrogen peroxide and water rinse as well as 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with her food. Should I also give her distilled water to drink? All info would be grateful received with thanks.


Fay July, 2015

I have been trying to figure out what type of bottled water I should give to my dogs. Does anyone know if purified water is good for dogs? It goes through a reverse osmosis process removing contaminants and minerals from what I understand.


Dan December, 2014

The amount of nutrients in water is so minimal that it does not matter. There is nothing wrong with distilled water.


Ann October, 2014

So my 5 year old mini schnauzer male developed bladder stones that got lodged in his urethra and completely blocked him off. He had emergency surgery to remove the stone which came back as calcium oxalate. So we are doing Potassium Citrate and she has him on Lasix once a day. We are feeding him Royal Canine prescription diet also distilled water to keep calcium down.

My issue is I have another mini schnauzer female, she’s older, who is drinking the distilled water also. I can’t monitor two dogs and two kinds of water while working as I live alone. So is it dangerous for my dogs to get all distilled water? I was giving them bottled water prior to stones. My male can’t have calcium so no vitamin supplement can be given. Is my female dog at risk and should I be giving her a multivitamin? Is my male safe on distilled water 7 days a week? I don’t have an alternative, as they both drink out of the same bowl. Thanks for any input.


Vicky February, 2016

I, too, would like to know the answer to this question. We had Schnoodles and 2 died with heart problems. The youngest is the one that has had kidney stone surgery 2 times. Our vet also put her on distilled water as well as the Royal Canine prescription diet. This has really helped to keep stones from reoccurring.

However, it always worried me regarding the other 2 dogs, one died and had a class 5+ heart murmur; the other died with heart murmur. All dogs drank distilled water. Like Ann, it is hard with multiple dogs to give water separately. We have 3 other dogs along with the dog that has history of stones, all on distilled water. What should we do?


Jan September, 2014

In our town we have a lot of metal in our water and I can’t stand the taste. I can smell the chemical odor in it so we drink bottled water that is delivered. I sure hope you are wrong about it being tap water because we pay a good amount. Where do you get your info about that from? All I know is that it tastes a whole lot better.

My pups drink the tap water and I cringe every time. I tried using filtered water, however, they go through water too fast to keep up. It didn’t do anything for their eyes anyway. I am now concerned after reading all responses that I shouldn’t give them tap water.


Maere January, 2014

Distilled water is not a big danger. Bottled “spring” water is just tap water. Tap water has minerals, which essentially turn into cement in your arteries. You’ve all seen old pipes, right? I’ve had my pets drink distilled water all of their lives and they’ve lived to 20+ years old.

Sure there may have been the occasional times when the power was out, or we went on a trip where they had to drink tap water, but that does not even account for 2% of the total water consumption in their entire life. Please, don’t drink the bottled water kool-aid.


Travis November, 2012

I have been giving my dog distilled water from the age of 9 weeks. He’s now 6 months old and he seems very healthy and no tear stains. I recently ran out of distilled water and haven’t had time to get more so for the last 2-3 days. He has been drinking tap water and all of a sudden he has massive diarrhea. Not sure if the 2 are related or he just ate something he shouldn’t have.


Felipe June, 2013

I have used distilled water with my 3 year old Shih Tzu for the last 12 months, since I moved to a different town. The quality of tap water is horrible. He is doing great. Just two weeks ago he went to the vet for a regular check up and he is just fine. The reason I was reading this article is because a co-worker told me distilled water isn’t safe for pets.


James June, 2013

Felipe glad to hear your dog is doing well. If you know the tap water in your area isn’t safe to drink you are well informed. There are probably many people who don’t know the status of their tap water.


Cherie Loso November, 2011

My 5 year old Cocker Spaniel recently had a tennis ball size bladder stone removed. I was in shock when I saw it. She has recovered nicely, but I’m still concerned about why the stone was present in the first place. We have a deep well and I’ve never had the water tested, but I’m sure there are a lot of minerals and think that probably it was a build up of those minerals that caused the stone.

I’ve been giving her more and more distilled water, but have been reading that it’s not a good idea, but that spring water (which still has minerals in it) would be better. My vet said the spring water would be fine when I mentioned distilled water.

I do not want my dog to suffer by getting another stone. I wish someone would give accurate information. One website says distilled is fine, the next says never to give it to them, and yet another said sometimes it’s okay. Which is it?


Annalisa July, 2013

My vet says my dog should only drink distilled water because minerals caused her bladder stones. I think its probably best to listen to my vet but I am concerned by the information saying it is bad. My dog cannot digest minerals though and has a special food too. So I guess distilled is the best if the problem is minerals.


James July, 2013

Hello Annalisa. If your vet says only use distilled water because of a medical condition, then you should take that advice. But you should also ask them about possible supplements because distilled water lacks some essential nutrients that normal water provides.


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