Are Metals in Water Harmful to Pets?

38191795_SDomestic water supply can often carry metal. Through our faucets and hoses, water can bring with it a variety of metals. From insignificant traces to heavy contamination, metal can be found in water and public water systems throughout the country. Metal in the water supply can have impacts on our homes, appliances, plants, bodies and also our pets. Heavy metals that have the potential to work their way into the water supply include zinc, lead, copper and mercury.

Soft water usually contain nothing more than zinc and copper in trace amounts. While these metals can be transferred in small amounts, they go undetected by people. However, zinc in high amounts can cause zinc poisoning in dogs and cats. Small dogs are at the highest risk as they drink a lot of water but don’t have large bodies and internal systems to process and eliminate the zinc. Copper poses a real health risk to fish as these pets store heavy metals in their body tissue. This metal can induce coughing, color changes and gasping which can all lead to death via metal poisoning.

Lead is potentially dangerous to humans and pets alike. Lead toxicity is more common in dogs in comparison to cats, but can affect both species. An overabundance of lead can have a negative impact on many bodily functions including the nervous and digestive systems. Pets through water dishes or hose water can consume bits of lead in the water. Specifically exposure to lead can cause vomiting, weakness and even blindness. Another metal that can appear in water systems is mercury.

Potent and well-known, mercury can penetrate the skin of pets causing short-term sickness but long-term defects. When this metal has been consumed it can damage the cardiovascular and nervous systems in pets. If mercury is ingested over long periods of time through water, it is linked to birth defects in puppies and kittens. Any or all of these metals can be a part of a public water system pumped into your home through the sinks, tubs, sprinklers and more. Pets are at an even higher risk of sickness due to their smaller size and increased vulnerability.

In addition to consuming water with metallic traces, bathing cats and dogs in unpurified water can also  lead to skin irritation.  This leads to itchiness and dryness also in their eyes and ears. Purified water eliminates metals, which eliminates the associated health risks for pets. This water is better for ingestion and bathing as it is free of chemicals, metals and influences from the outside world. People, pets and their homes can all live better, longer lives with purified water.