Can I Give My Dog Distilled Water?

Can I Give My Dog Distilled Water?How does distilled water affect a dog’s system? We all love our pets dearly and want to do what we believe is best for them. Giving them tap water each day that we know is filled with chlorine and other minerals gets us wondering if this is the right option or should we go for distilled water.

Distilled water is basically boiled tap water. It’s boiled to remove the chlorine and other minerals leaving it clean and clean, but is it natural? Does it have the minerals that our dogs need to have healthy muscles? It’s very difficult to determine what is right or wrong for our pets. Obviously doing our best to optimize their health is paramount, but sometimes our decisions can do more harm than good.

Dogs need constant access to water. They need water available if they are eating dry food, if it’s a hot day or if they’ve been playing hard. Dehydration is dangerous to pets, so always have fresh water available at all times.

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

Distilled water has had all the minerals removed, making it completely free of any chlorine or other minerals. It’s often suggested to use this to relieve small dogs such as Maltese from having runny tear ducts.

But it’s not all good and choosing bottled spring water instead of distilled water is a much healthier choice for your pet if you don’t want to give them tap water. All the mineral content of the water is destroyed during the distilling 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.

Damage From Distilled Water

There have been reports of potassium deficiency and heart problems related to dogs that are only offered distilled water, this is because the minerals have been completely removed.

The minerals in water offer dogs strong muscles and if you only have the choice of giving your dog distilled water, find out from the vet what supplements you can give to ensure your fluffy friends is getting his daily intake of minerals that he needs to stay healthy and strong.

While no harm has been reported in dogs that were given distilled water a couple of times a week, giving it on a daily basis is not a good option.

Thirst Quenching

Have you ever drunk boiled water? You know it’s dry and probably makes you thirsty, therefore not quenching your thirst. This has the same effect on dogs. Some people noted that their dogs drank 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 bad in dogs and 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.


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 Can I Give My Dog Distilled Water? Below

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherie Loso November 15, 2011

My Cocker Spaniel (5 yrs. old) recently had a tennis ball (yes, 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 is OK. Which is it?


Annalisa July 8, 2013

I came to this site for more information because the vet says my dog should only drink distilled water because minerals caused her bladder stones. I was interested to see your dog had bladder stones too but was not told this. 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 8, 2013

Hello Annalisa. There is nothing wrong with distilled water. If your vet says only use distilled water because of a medical condition, then you should take that advice. But you should also ask your vet about possible supplements because distilled water lacks essential nutrients that normal water provides.

Travis November 27, 2012

All the vets I have spoken to disagree with the above statement. If you are feeding your dog a quality dog food they should be getting everything they need from the dog food not the water.

I have been giving my dog distilled water from the age of 9 weeks to 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’s been drinking tap water and all of a sudden he has massive diarrhea. Not sure if the 2 are related or just eat something he shouldn’t have.


Felipe June 21, 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 and to prevent tear stains as well. He is doing great. Just two weeks ago he went to the vet for a regular check up and he is just fine and the stains are completely gone. The reason I was reading this article is because a co-worker told me distilled water isn’t safe for animals/pets.


James June 21, 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.

Really January 7, 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 live 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.


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