You may live in a city where tap water is deemed unsafe to drink. For those of you who don’t live in one of these cities, which is most of the U.S. population, this article is for you!
Bottled water has been the go-to for most of us for years now. It’s everywhere. There are delivery services and a million ways to drink it, from your own canteen, to fashionable bottles that keep your water cold for hours.
Filtered water is another popular option. A filtration system for your tap is simple enough to install on your faucet. It requires little money and you can drink to your heart’s content.
But what about your pet? Is tap water okay for them to drink?
We all need water in order to live. All living things do. Our pooches are obviously no exception. While humans need an average of 8 glasses of water per day, your dog needs about an ounce of water per pound of their weight per day. So, if your dog weighs 55 lbs, they need 55 ounces of water to drink every day.
Having plenty of water promotes good health. It keeps their systems working properly. If they don’t drink enough, they will not digest their food properly to absorb the nutrition they need. If they are even slightly dehydrated, they cannot maintain their body temperature successfully.
Water is a big deal!
So what water should they be drinking? Especially since we are living at a time where tap water is so out of style.
Most tap water in the U.S. is perfectly okay to drink. There are of course exceptions, like in Flint, Michigan. But most often, the water is fine. The EPA is responsible for monitoring all drinking water. But as pet parents, it is not our job to trust them, but rather do our own due diligence and find out for ourselves.
You can look up your town’s information with a click of a mouse button. Literally ‘Google’ — “Is (My Town)’s Water Safe To Drink” and see what comes up.
I tried doing this with several nearby towns and all of them had specific info via a .pdf that lists the number of contaminants in the water. You can also call your town hall, city council members or local news outlets for info.
If your town’s water is deemed safe and there is nothing to worry about, then it is fine for your pet.
However, if it is unsafe for human consumption then it is unsafe for your pet too!
Your veterinarian will have more insight on this subject but the general rule is safety first. If, for any reason, you feel the tap water in your home is funky, do not give it to your dog. If continuously filling that dish with bottled water is breaking the bank, a filter system for your faucet is a great option.
BUT! If the water is clear and the town says it’s A-OK, there is no reason your pup needs filtered or bottled water. Think about how many times they’ve drunk from the toilet and are still okay. No, seriously. Use your best judgment– but be smart, the tap may be the way to go. Your wallet will thank you. Plus, you’ll have more money to spend on fun stuff like squeaky things that drive you crazy.
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Reverse Sneezing In Dogs – What to do…
Does this sound familiar? Your dog suddenly starts making loud snorting sounds—over and over again, in quick succession. Do you start wondering, did they swallow something they shouldn’t have? Can they breathe?! Chances are, you’re experiencing the infamous “reverse sneeze.” Veterinarians often see dogs whose owners rushed them in for an emergency appointment after finding them standing with their elbows apart, head pulled back, and eyes bulging as they snort or gasp repeatedly. Yet for the vast majority of these dogs, a vet visit was unnecessary.
Reverse sneezing looks and sounds scary the first time you encounter it. However, it’s a fairly common and harmless respiratory event for dogs.
Read on to learn how to identify reverse sneezing, what causes it, and how to tell the difference between a harmless reverse sneeze and something else.
What is reverse sneezing?
A reverse sneeze is pretty much what it sounds like: a sneeze that happens in reverse! The above video is a good example of what it looks and sounds like.
In a regular sneeze, air is rapidly pushed out through the nose. In a reverse sneeze, air is rapidly, and noisily, pulled in through the nose. It occurs in spasms lasting anywhere from a few seconds up to a minute and sounds like snorting, snuffling, and even gagging. See the above video for an example.
Because of the sounds their dogs make while reverse sneezing, many people mistakenly think their dog is choking. However, a reverse sneeze is almost as normal and harmless as a regular sneeze.
There’s no single cause for a reverse sneeze. Like regular sneezing, it’s often triggered by an irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses. It often occurs when dogs wake up from a nap, or after eating, when their breathing pattern may have rapidly changed. It’s also caused by irritants in the airway—anything from dust to an inhaled hair!
Some dogs experience more frequent reverse sneezing in springtime when the air is full of pollen and other allergens. Others reverse sneeze more in the winter, when sudden temperature changes between outdoors and indoors cause the nasal passages to contract.
Another common cause of reverse sneezing is pressure on the throat and neck. A too-tight collar, or straining against the leash, can irritate the throat and lead to a reverse sneeze. That’s just one more reason to consider a harness for your dog.
Finally, some dogs reverse sneeze after exercise, or when they’re overexcited. This is particularly common among brachycephalic, or short-nosed, breeds like pugs and bulldogs. When they get worked up, they may inhale their elongated soft palates into the throat, triggering an episode of reverse sneezing.
Reverse sneezing is super-common, and it won’t hurt your dog. However, some dogs become anxious during a reverse sneezing episode, and a lengthy episode may be uncomfortable.
You can help your dog recover from a reverse sneezing episode by remaining calm yourself. If you get anxious, your dog’s anxiety will increase, too. So, stay calm, and show your dog there’s nothing to panic about.
If your dog is experiencing a particularly long episode of reverse sneezing, you may be able to ease or end the episode by:
Gently massaging your dog’s throat
Briefly covering their nostrils, which will cause them to swallow and potentially stop sneezing
Depressing their tongue with your hand to help open airways
Some vets suggest gently blowing in your dog’s face
In the vast majority of cases, there’s no need to intervene. Reverse sneezing doesn’t last long, and your dog will be perfectly normal after it stops.
When you should go to the vet
As mentioned, reverse sneezing rarely requires veterinary treatment. As soon as the sneezing episode stops, the situation is resolved. However, if episodes increase in frequency or duration, you should call the vet just in case. You should also seek treatment if your dog’s reverse sneezing is accompanied by other respiratory symptoms or if they have any unusual discharge from their nose.Occasionally, chronic reverse sneezing can be a symptom of more serious issues. These include nasal mites, foreign objects in the airway, respiratory infections, and tracheal collapse. If you’re concerned about the intensity of your dog’s reverse sneezing, take a video to show the vet. They’ll be able to determine potential causes.Most dogs experience episodes of reverse sneezing at some point in their lives. For the vast majority of dogs, it’s a common, temporary, harmless reaction with no lasting aftereffects. Of course, it still sounds unsettling to our human ears! But now that you know what reverse sneezing is, you’ll be less likely to make an unnecessary vet visit.