Is Soft Water Safe for Pets to Drink?

Fish should not be placed in soft water.
Fish should not be placed in soft water. (Image: Image by, courtesy of Lee Nachtigal)

While pets are rewarding, they can also be fairly particular. Some pets can safely drink soft water while others require hard water to survive.

Qualities of Water

Water is mainly composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms but may also have additional elements such as fluoride, magnesium, calcium, sodium and more.

Water Hardness

The Salt Institute says that hard water contains higher amounts of dissolved rock, or calcium carbonate, than water that has been softened.

Water Softening

Water softening can be accomplished by introducing sodium ions into the water. This process also removes calcium and magnesium.

Pets Able To Drink Soft Water

For most land-dwelling animals, such as dogs, cats and rodents, it is safe to ingest either hard or soft water. Excess minerals ingested with hard water will be excreted, and minerals the animal doesn’t get in soft water are obtained through food. The amount of sodium in soft water is negligible and does not affect health.

Pets Unable To Drink Soft Water

Some fish and amphibians are unable to tolerate the additional sodium in soft water. Animals that require a sodium-restricted diet should not be given soft water to drink.

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