Is “Hard” Drinking Water Hard On Dogs?


Editor’s note: Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? This article appeared in our October-November issue. Subscribe to Dogster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.

Could there be a link between drinking water and your dog’s urinary problems like urinary tract infections, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urinary obstruction, and crystalluria (crystals in the urine)? Pet-insurance provider Trupanion recently analyzed data from its insurance claims to test a common theory that drinking water could be a potential factor for these common urinary issues.

Using data and reports on drinking water quality, Trupanion compared its claims data for urinary health conditions to U.S. regions identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as having higher hard water ratings.


According to a report posted in Trupanion’s blog, “Once we identified the ‘extremely hard water’ areas and compared it to our urinary health claims in those regions, we saw a significantly higher risk of pets running into urinary health issues. When looking at dogs specifically, we see owners of female dogs are 2.5 times more likely to submit a claim for urinary conditions than owners of male dogs.”

Although Trupanion’s analysis of its claims data has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal and more research is needed, it seems to suggest at least a link between hard water and urinary problems. For more details, visit the Trupanion blog.

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