Recently, I was asked by a friend if I thought it was okay to let pets drink out of the toilet. My immediate response was “NO”. I consider my toilet to be very clean. I live alone and don’t get many visitors. Even still, I would never give my pets anything besides fresh tap water. Before long, our one on one conversation turned into a group debate including others who were standing nearby. The consensus was that it was not okay and it was ethically wrong. Everyone agreed that if a pet owner cannot supply their pet with fresh water, they should not own one. Later that evening I decided to do some research on Google for information to support both sides. Here is what I learned. Animal’s love the sound of running water, the sound of the running water is what attracts them to the toilet in the first place. Running water is probably healthier for your pet than water that’s been sitting stagnant half the day. You also need to ask yourself, “How clean is your toilet?” A toilet that hasn’t been cleaned could put your pet at risk with contracting a bacterial contamination Humans who are sick can pass toxic substances through their stool, especially if they are taking medications or undergoing medical treatments. When passed along to an animal, it can make them very sick. Perhaps, you clean your toilet frequently. You still run the risk of your pet consuming toilet water tainted with the remnants of cleaning products. Ingesting the remnants of these products can cause several health problems for your pet. The chemicals in cleaning products can cause gastrointestinal and respiratory problems if ingested or inhaled. Once in the pets system they may cause discomforts such as vomiting, abdominal pain, and burns to the mouth and throat. Some products such as bleach can even be deadly when consumed. If you want to deter your pet from drinking from the toilet have all household members practice keeping the door closed and the toilet seat down. You may want to spoil your pet with the pleasure of recirculating water by purchasing a pet drinking fountain.  The dripping or running water from the faucet or the swirling water from a drinking fountain might taste better to your pet because it’s cooler and oxygenated. There are several pet fountains and drinking bowls on the market which are designed to keep a continual flow of water available to your pet. A word of caution! Drinking fountains and bowls that circulate water can collect hidden bacteria quickly. You will need to clean the unit weekly and change the filters often to keep your pet from getting sick. Whatever you decide, always make sure animals have an adequate water supply. After hearing the pros and cons of toilet water verses tap water, my opinion has not changed. I believe it is better to be safe than sorry, and why risk the chance of incurring unwanted vet bills. If after reading this article you still insist on letting Fido drink from the toilet. You may want to fill a glass full of toilet water and ask yourself, “Would I drink this?”

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