Can Dogs Drink Distilled Water? Or Will It Make Them Sick?

We obviously know that dogs drink and (seem to) enjoy regular tap water but what about distilled water?

Can dogs drink distilled water? Is it safe for them or will it harm them? 

It is a staple in houses across the country and with our dogs always eyeing up everything we put into our mouths you may have found yourself wondering, can my dog have some?

The information in this post is compiled from research from studying posts, reports, and studies from top Veterinary experts from across the country...

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First, A Reminder: What is distilled water?

Before we get into whether your dog can drink it, let’s have a quick recap of what distilled water is! Distilled water is the steam from boiling water that has been cooled and returned to a liquid state. 

Distilling water in this manner removes minerals, bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants found in tap water. It is worth noting that the levels of minerals and bacteria in tap water are perfectly safe to ingest. 

Some people view distilled water as the purest water you can drink, as it removes traces of bacteria and 99.9% of the minerals in the water.

These minerals often aid our healthy and balanced lifestyles and are vital to our bodies. While these minerals are also available in our food, many experts believe we need them in our water. 


Can dogs drink distilled water?

The short answer is, yes, your dog can drink distilled water. In small amounts, distilled water should not cause any harm to your dogs.

Despite some people claiming that distilled water has a purer taste, it can seem flat and dry. There is a good chance that your dog will not like the taste and drink the water anyway.

However, the question we should probably be asking is should I give my dog distilled water? Distilled water cannot always be the best option for your dog to drink.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these reasons and health risks to be aware of when giving your dog distilled water. 

Factors to consider:

Distilled water does not have the same minerals and ions that tap water does. Many of these minerals are essential to ensure a healthy and balanced diet for your dog.

In some cases, it has been claimed that continuous access to distilled water has caused some dogs to develop potassium deficiencies. It is worth noting that there has been very little scientific evidence to support these claims. 

Due to the absence of minerals in the water, distilled water can cause essential electrolytes to be lost in the body, which can cause low blood levels.

Distilled water has also been known to soak into tissues more, leading to swelling, overhydration, and water toxicity. 

These can cause harm to cells and tissues in your dog’s body, leading to more severe issues down the line. Water toxicity might present itself as fatigue,  irregular heartbeat, or neurological changes.

These symptoms can lead to serious health problems if not investigated quickly. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, it is you who must seek professional help immediately. 

Are there any health benefits?

There have been some claims that distilled water can help the runny tear ducts in small dogs, such as Maltese.

Again, there is little scientific evidence to support this, and you should consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about this. 

Some claim distilled water can help dogs with kidney disease or bladder stones. There is little scientific documentation that supports this, so be sure to speak with your veterinarian for more information about this. 

Generally, dogs with these conditions need lots of fluids, but tap water is usually recommended. If you are concerned about any of these conditions, be sure to consult with your veterinarian. 

Dehydration?

Some dog owners who have given their dogs distilled water that their dogs were drinking more water than usual and relieving themselves in the house due to increased water.

This could be due to distilled water not quenching their thirst the same way tap water does. 

Dehydration can be a common issue for dogs, and a serious one too. A constantly thirsty dog could have underlying health conditions, and you must seek professional help to ensure that your dog is fit and healthy. 

If your dog is experiencing dehydration or drinking more than usual, be sure to avoid distilled water and opt for tap water instead. Remember to seek professional help if your dog is still experiencing these symptoms. 

As a general rule, vets seem to advise against giving your dog distilled water, especially in large quantities.

Be sure that if your dog does ingest distilled water, it is in small amounts and monitored closely for any changes in their behavior. 

Final word

So, can dogs drink distilled water?

As you can see, while you can give your dog distilled water to drink, it is probably best that you don’t. The minerals and traces of bacteria present in tap water will not harm your dog; they need the minerals! 

Distilled water is more likely to do harm than good to your dog; with lots of issues such as dehydration and water toxicity linked to distilled water, it is one that is probably left for human consumption! 

Before you leave, remember, your dog will probably be okay if they ingest a small amount of distilled water where as there are other foods they should not digest any of like spices.

Still, it is better avoided to ensure your dog’s health and safety! Of course, to also prevent unwanted vet bills!