Can Dogs Drink Distilled Water? + The Best and Worst Water for Dogs

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Can dogs safely drink distilled water? Distilled water is not considered toxic to dogs, but it may not be the best option for them in the long run. Read on to find out more about what types of water are better for your dog’s overall health.

dog drinking distilled water from plastic water bottle

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What Is Distilled Water?

Distilled water refers to a type of purified water. Distilled water is created by first boiling water from another source and then collecting the steam which is then drained into a sterile container. It is considered the highest type of purified water, and it is commonly used in medical equipment such as humidifiers. Distilled water does not contain any–or only trace amounts–of minerals, electrolytes, impurities, and nutrients that are found in regular, unfiltered water.

Can Dogs Drink Distilled Water?

Yes. Dogs can drink distilled water, technically speaking. There is nothing toxic in distilled water that would make it unsafe for a dog to drink and dogs should now experience any symptoms related to drinking a bowl of distilled water offhand.

However, this short answer comes with a longer caveat that needs to be considered: distilled water is not going to hurt your dog short-term, but it is not recommended to be the sole source of your dog’s water for any lengthy period of time.  In other words, your go-to water for your dog should not be distilled.

The primary reason for this is because distilled water is so purified but it does not contain essential minerals and other nutrients present in water it hasn’t been purified. Some studies have even found that dogs who drink exclusively distilled water will have lower potassium levels and even heart problems in the long run.

Is it OK to give dogs purified water?

Yes, it is okay to give dogs purified water to drink. But you need to avoid water that is too purified, like distilled water, especially if you are looking for water to give your dog every day. Heavily purified water like distilled should not be their primary source of hydration, because it no longer contains essential minerals and nutrients.

However, purified water that is filtered but not completely “pure” like distilled water is a solid option for your pet.

If you chose to buy purified water in bottles or other pre-filled containers, double-check that it’s not distilled. Distilled water is not good for dogs in the long term. You may also want to consider more environmentally friendly approaches than buying water bottles every week. At a minimum, make sure that you are setting aside water bottles so that they can be recycled.

Should I give my dog tap water?

Tap water can be safe for dogs, but you need to know what’s in your tap water first. Where is your tap water sourced from? Has it been tested for chemicals and impurities? Investigate your local water testing results for before allowing your dog to drink it.

If the results show that there are lots of unwanted chemicals and impurities in your tap water, it’s best to avoid giving it to your dog. However, there is an easy solution at hand: using a water filter.

The best and most affordable way to give your dog tap water is to buy a water filter for your sink or use an external filter, such as a water pitcher filter. This will filter out impurities and harsh chemicals without removing nutrients; it has the added bonus of being environmentally friendly and cost-efficient as well.

Under The Sink Water Filter

This is the water filter we have and it’s amazing! It’s easily installed, fits under almost any kitchen sink, and is good for up 30,000 gallons of water. No filters are needed just replace the unit when necessary. Plus it’s affordable!


Remember: If your tap water isn’t safe to drink for humans, it’s not safe to drink for dogs!

Is purified or distilled water better?

Of the two options, purified water is a better option than distilled water for pets. Distilled water is almost completely void of potassium, electrolytes, and other nutrients that are essential for maintaining a dog’s health. Over time, dogs who drink only distilled water may experience health problems because they are missing out on these essential nutrients.

Regular purified water, on the other hand, will still contain these nutrients. Your best choice is to opt for purified water that is “filtered” rather than being completely purified. Filtered water will contain the positive nutrients while filtering out chemicals and other contaminants that could cause health issues for your dog.

Naturally, you wouldn’t want your dog to drink anything that you wouldn’t; if you keep this adage in mind, it will be much easier to decide on an appropriate solution for your dog’s daily hydration.

Distilled Water for Dog’s Eyes

You may have heard that distilled water can help with preventing tears and cleaning the eye area. This is somewhat true. Some notice that when their pups are drinking water that they are not used to, they develop more tear stains because of the minerals. In this case, distilled water would be okay to use as long as they return to their normal water source when you are back home.

You can also try a saline eye wash for dogs or use eye wash wipes to help with staining.

Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse Liquid for Dogs

Soothes allergies and irritations while slowing tears and helps with staining around the dog’s eyes.


Angel’s Eyes Gentle Tear Stain Wipes

Can be given to puppies and dogs. A gentle formula that helps clean and removes tear stains. It’s best to use these daily and no rinsing is needed afterwards.


Common FAQs

Is it OK to give dogs cold water from the fridge?

Dogs love cold water, especially when it is a hot day. However, if they are extremely thirsty or dehydrated, a lot of cold water at one time could cause bloat which could lead to other issues. In this case, you should opt for water from the tap or room temperature filtered water.

Can dogs eat ice?

There’s nothing wrong with dogs eating ice other than the fact it can cause damage to their teeth. Certain breeds are more prone to dental issues, so they should avoid ice at all times.

Can dogs drink bottled water?

Bottled water is safe for dogs, be sure it’s labeled as BFA-free. The best water source is still filtered and that is not dispensed from plastic.

Other Types of Water That Can Be Harmful to Dogs

Pool Water – While a drink here and there will not cause problems in your pooch, if they drink it a lot it can lead to dehydration and kidney problems because of the chemicals. This goes for both chlorinated and saltwater pools.

Stagnant Water – Ponds and lakes do not often circulate which makes them a breeding ground for toxic bacteria, fungi, parasites, and algae. Strains of algae (blue-green) begin to die and release toxins into the water. When exposed your dog may contract leptospirosis leaving them with symptoms of lethargy including fever and the inability to walk.

Ocean Water – Obviously it is full of salt, which can lead to salt poisoning if too much is consumed. Because of the sodium content, your pup may become dehydrated and have diarrhea. Remember, this also includes the toys they play with that may end up in the waves, so they don’t necessarily have to be drinking it.

Toilet Water – Even though it’s the same water as what comes from the tap, toilets are often left with residues from cleaners that can be harmful to your dog.

Puddles – While puddle playing may seem harmless, most dogs get a drink a two. This water source can be contaminated with runoff such as oil, antifreeze, pesticides, and other chemicals.


Distilled water is safe for dogs and does not contain any toxic ingredients. However, it shouldn’t be used as a regular drinking source because the nutrients have been removed. Over time this may cause negative side effects, especially low potassium levels.

Tap water can be used, but you need to know what’s in it first by requesting a water sample.

The best type of water to give your dogs and other pets is filtered.

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