We all want our pets to lead healthy, happy lifestyles – and since alkaline water is touted for its human health benefits, you might be wondering whether this type of water is good for dogs.
Here, we’ve answered the question, “Can dogs drink alkaline water?” We’ve also shared what we know about the limited research into alkaline water for dogs.
📌 Key Takeaways
- Alkaline water is water that has a high pH of around 8 or 9.
- It’s safe for dogs to drink alkaline water, and alkaline water may have similar health benefits for dogs as it does for humans.
- Natural alkaline water is better than artificial alkaline water for a dog since it contains pH-boosting minerals that are beneficial to canine health.
Table of Contents
🤔 Can Dogs Drink Alkaline Water?
Yes, alkaline water is safe for dogs, and dogs can enjoy many of the alkaline water benefits that have long drawn humans to this water type.
However, it’s important for us to mention that the benefits of alkaline water even for humans have yet to be widely researched, and there’s very little scientific evidence to suggest that high-pH water has any effect on a dog’s health – good or bad.
The information we’ve found online all says the same thing and largely stems from one source: an Australian manufacturer of alkaline water filters, which, it’s fair to say, is probably a little biased in favor of alkaline water on all occasions.
With that said, alkaline water with a pH of 8-9 isn’t considered dangerous and doesn’t have any properties that could make it unhealthy or unsafe to drink, so it should be fine to feed to your dog.
If you want clarification, ask your vet for their advice.
🧐 Can Dogs Drink Electrolyte Water?
Alkaline water is water with a high pH level, regardless of its mineral content.
Electrolyte water, on the other hand, is water that contains added minerals (or electrolytes) like calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, and often sits higher up on the pH scale as a result of the alkaline properties of these minerals.
So, is electrolyte water good for dogs?
Yes – in fact, electrolyte water may be better than alkaline water because it’s characterized by its mineral content, while alkaline water may not have as many minerals; it might just have a high pH.
Since the alkaline and electrolyte water types are so similar, they’re likely to have similar beneficial effects on dogs.
📖 Understanding Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is water that has a high pH of 8-9 (compared to water with a neutral pH of 7).
Some water sources are naturally alkaline, such as water with a high alkaline mineral content, spring water, and deep well water.
You can also buy artificially alkaline water made from an alkaline water filter or add mineral drops to the water to boost its pH.
How does alkaline water compare to normal water? It has a higher pH than regular tap water, which has a neutral pH of around 7. Alkaline water often also contains more minerals (although this isn’t guaranteed) and is more antioxidizing than normal water.
According to early studies, alkaline water has a few possible human health benefits, including:
- Decreased acid reflux because alkaline water may deactivate pepsin, an enzyme that contributes to acid reflux and heartburn
- Improved blood flow through the blood vessels
- Improved stool
These are the only positive health effects of alkaline water that have been proven (albeit with limited studies).
The other health effects claimed by alkaline water companies, including anti-cancer properties, immune system support, improved hydration, and weight loss, are all supported by limited or no scientific evidence.
🔎 The Effect of Alkaline Water on Dogs
Like humans, dogs need nutrients and essential minerals to stay healthy. So, feeding your dog alkaline water with an increased concentration of alkaline minerals may be beneficial simply for this additional mineral intake.
Anecdotal evidence says that drinking alkaline water might have the following health benefits for dogs:
- Better-smelling breath
- Increased energy levels
- Shinier coat
- Better poop
- Improved hydration
- Better bone growth
- Improved joint conditions
- Reduced alopecia (hair loss)
- Allergy treatment (due to the calcium in the water)
Do we think this evidence is true? Perhaps, but possibly not all of it. While there is very little scientific research to support the so-called benefits of drinking alkaline water in dogs, some of it makes sense when we look at the human benefits.
A study we mentioned earlier found that alkaline water could improve stool in humans, so it could have similar health benefits in dogs. And your dog might be better hydrated if they prefer the taste of alkaline water to normal drinking water, and drink more as a result.
We could only find one study in our research into alkaline water for dogs, which concluded that ionized alkaline water was effective in treating metabolic acidosis (too much acid in the body’s fluids, often associated with renal failure) in dogs specifically.
❗️ Will Alkaline Water Hurt Dogs?
No, there’s no evidence to suggest that alkaline water will hurt dogs.
Alkaline water is just like normal tap water, except it has a slightly higher pH level and often contains more minerals that contribute to its higher alkalinity.
Alkaline water that’s sold for drinking purposes isn’t dangerously alkaline, and it doesn’t contain any impurities or have any properties that could be harmful in a dog’s body.
So, you should be fine to safely feed your dog alkaline water without worrying about the potential health effects.
If you have any reason to be concerned or unsure, speak to your vet before you start adding alkaline water to your dog’s water bowl.
📋 When Not To Provide Alkaline Water To A Dog
So, when shouldn’t you feed dogs alkaline water?
There are a few occasions when you should apparently not give your dog access to alkaline water, including:
- If your dog is nursing. One possible issue with alkaline water is that it could alter the pH of a mother’s milk, so it’s advised (generally on the internet and not by experts) to avoid giving your dog alkaline water if it’s nursing.
- With meals. Another claimed health effect, with little evidence, of alkaline water is that it can interfere with digestion, so the anecdotal advice is to give your dog normal water before and during meal times.
- When giving your dog medicine. Because of the potential for alkaline water to neutralize your dog’s stomach acids and affect their digestion, it’s generally advised not to give dogs alkaline water if they’re on medication.
If we’re being honest, this advice seems a bit random to us, and there’s not much evidence to support alkaline water having strong enough effects to make it a problem to drink in any situation.
Your veterinarian will know a lot more about the science of alkaline water, and can advise you if you’re concerned.
🔄 Alternatives To Alkaline Water For Dogs
The best alternative to alkaline water for dogs is filtered tap water.
Tap water typically has a neutral pH level, so it’s not as rich in essential minerals as alkaline water. However, if your dog eats a healthy diet, they should get plenty of these minerals from their foods alone.
When you filter tap water, you remove chlorine, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and other trace contaminants commonly found in drinking water supplies.
This makes the water safer for consumption – both for humans and for dogs – because it doesn’t contain low concentrations of impurities with known health effects.
If you care about your dog’s health, we recommend removing the contaminants from your tap water that could cause harm in your dog’s body.
Or, if you don’t want to buy a water filter to use at home, bottled spring water is another healthy alternative to alkaline water for dogs.
Spring water is typically naturally alkaline, and it’s better than artificial alkaline water because it has a high mineral content and a low concentration of contaminants because it’s naturally filtered underground.
📑 Conclusion – Alkaline Water & What We Know
You can safely feed your dog alkaline water, but the reality is, it’s probably not worth it.
Dogs aren’t typically picky, and they’re unlikely to appreciate the mineral taste of alkaline water as humans do.
Plus, there’s pretty much no scientific evidence to suggest that alkaline water has any health effects – good or bad – in dogs.
It’s clear that a lot more research is needed before we can know for certain, with scientific proof, whether alkaline water is really all it’s made out to be.
So, you may as well give your dog normal tap water if that’s cheaper and more convenient, rather than paying for alkaline water when its health benefits are largely unknown.
If you do want to feed your dog alkaline water to see if you notice a difference in their health, opt for natural alkaline water when possible. It’s best to consult with your veterinarian first, who can advise you on making changes to your dog’s diet.