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The Hazards of Tap Water
By Jennifer Horning

“Is your water safe to drink?” I’ve asked this question myself many times, when visiting friends and family, and in desperate need of re-hydration. If you are skeptical about the quality of drinking water, you are not alone. Approximately 86% of Americans will not drink water straight from the tap. Many are opting to buy water, or even “make” their own, yet pet owners are still offering tap water to their pets. This is having serious effects on the health of our loved ones. Intrigued? Read on!

What’s In Your Water?

While the government does have regulations and guidelines for tap water, many known toxins and carcinogens are present. Some are even put there intentionally! Here’s what might be in your water:

·Chlorine- added to water and used as a bacteria retardant and pathogen deterrent. This chemical can actually react with healthy nutrients to form cancer-causing agents in the body.

·Fluoride- added to water, and believed by some to strengthen tooth enamel, preventing cavities. Recent studies have shown, however, that fluoride can adversely affect organs and be carcinogenic

·Lead- Many cities’ plumbing structures are nearly 100 years old! Is it any wonder that lead may be leaking from old pipes and fixtures?

·Arsenic and Radon- These contaminants enter the water a number of ways, including industrial pollution and run off from fields and farms using pesticides and herbicides.

·Rocket Fuel (perchlorate)- No, it’s not the latest caffeine boosted soft drink. It’s a very hazardous chemical known to cause thyroid cancer and many other physical problems.

·Bacteria and Parasites- Generally enter through the ground water supply, especially if there is heavy run-off, sewage pollution, landfill, or animal waste. This might include the potentially deadly strains of coliform or e. coli.

What’s a Pet Owner to DO?

Obviously, if the water in your home is unsafe for human consumption, we should not be giving it to our pets. Many of the same illnesses and diseases caused by toxic taps apply to pets as well as humans. What to do? If you watch the evening news, you’ve probably learned that bottled water is not all it’s cracked up to be. Bottled water has even fewer regulations than city tap water, and often the water you buy in the supermarket is water from the tap, not from the beautiful mountain spring pictured on the label.

·Be sure your water is coming from a reliable source- research as much as you can about your brand of bottled water.

·Try to find water in glass bottles. Plastic bottles can break down and cause more harmful toxins to be leached into the water.

·Know the difference between the many types of waters (mineral, spring, drinking, distilled, etc).

·Consider a home filtration system. Many reputable water specialists can fit your faucet or plumbing with a filter to remove many of the toxins and chemicals listed above.

If you live in a rural area, and have a private well, be sure to have your water checked yearly, specifically for bacteria, lead, pesticides, herbicides, nitrates, and other toxins. Your water specialist will likely recommend a home filtration system.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Drink to your pet's health... Cheers!

Jennifer Horning has over 10 years experience as an assistant to a veterinary homeopath/clinical nutritionist, and includes one dog and two cats in her family.

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