Many people are in denial about what is actually in tap water. Why?
Well, the truth is scary and it's easier to pretend that we trust that the water that comes out of the kitchen sink is perfectly fine. But the reality is that the water that flows out of your tap is not safe by a long shot.
City water - in just about every US town and city- legally contains a slew of horrible chemicals, toxins and bacteria. These things are allowed to be in our 'drinking' water because they are 'safe' when ingested in small qualities.
But if you let your Shih Tzu drink tap water day after day, for weeks, months and years this can be very dangerous to his/her health. Additionally, high mineral content can cause staining to the hairs.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Health Canada's Water Quality and Health Bureau tell the public exactly what we can expect our tap water to contain:
- This is highly toxic to dogs (and not safe for humans either). Studies have shown it to cause tooth disease, bone loss and bone deformities, kidney disease, hormone problems and cognitive damage. In addition, it is shown to cause Osteosarcoma which is the #1 cause of bone tumors in canines, developing in over 8000 dogs each year in the US.
- Potential long-term health effects are anemia and central nervous problems. This is a by-product of water disinfectant.
- With years of ingestion, this can cause some cancers. It too is a by-product of water disinfectant.
Chloramines- Over time this can cause Eye and nose irritation; stomach discomfort and anemia. It is a chemical purposefully added to control microbes.
- This can increase bad cholesterol and decrease healthy levels of blood sugar. It comes from the discharge of petroleum refineries; fire retardants and electronics that cannot be fully filtered out.
- Over time, this can cause liver, kidney, or immune system problems. It is a contaminant from the discharge of industrial chemical factories.
These are just a few of the things your Shih Tzu ingests if you give him tap water. There are more than 80 "regulated" contaminants and many more unregulated toxins in any given sample of water deemed safe for human consumption.
Never allow your Shih Tzu to drink un-filtered tap water.
If this is your New Year's resolution for your Shih Tzu, there are several good alternatives:
A filtering device that attaches to the tap on your kitchen sink. If you are a bit handy, these are not that hard to install. This offers you automatically filtered water.
A filtered water pitcher. These are great. You fill the pitcher with tap water. A filter cleans the water as you pour it out. There are options from small pitchers to large dispensers. Very easy and economical.
If you're looking for a great one, consider the Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher
. This is an amazing pitcher that is 2000% more effective than Brita. It traps fluoride, lead, chlorine, mercury, and even the scary chromium 6. And, it's a good size (half gallon); you may find that you'll use it for both your Shih Tzu and your whole family.
Gallons of bottled, spring water. Depending on your Shih Tzu's age and activity level, and therefore how much water he drinks per day, this may be an option.