Toilet Water Safe for Pets

A pet drinking water from the toilet bowl is not an unusual occurrence, but it might be a cause for concern when it is observed. The bowls of toilets are a breeding ground for bacteria and may contain hazardous chemicals that have been left over from cleaning products used in the home.

Toilet Water Safe for Pets to Drink?

Let us study the reasons why pets drink from the toilet, when it is appropriate to seek the assistance of a professional, and how to prevent this habit from occurring.

What Is in Toilet Water?

The water that is contained within the tank of your toilet is initially the same clean water that is dispensed from the faucet in your kitchen. What this does not indicate, however, is that it is safe to drink, and this includes your dogs.

The fact that we rarely clean toilet tanks is the reason why there is still the possibility of bacterial development, despite the fact that water cannot flow backwards from the toilet into the tank.

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The water is transported from the tank to the bowl by way of a conduit until it reaches the bowl. Even if you clean your toilet on a regular basis, the water in this location is contaminated with a wide variety of bacteria. Chemicals that have been left over from deodorizers and toilet cleaners can still combine with the water if it has been a few days or weeks since they were used.

Is Toilet Water Clean?

Surprisingly, a study that compared the bacterial colonies of several home goods discovered that the toilet seat was “cleaner” than a standard kitchen sponge, as well as thirteen other locations around the bathroom and kitchen. The toilet seat, on the other hand, is not the same as the toilet bowl, and the toilet itself is not even close to being clean. As a result, the toilet is not a source of drinking water that is suggested for dogs.

The following bacteria and viruses could be lurking in and around household toilet bowls:

  • Escherichia coli (E. coli) (most common in puppies and dogs with compromised immune systems)
  • Salmonella (uncommon in dogs)
  • Staphylococcus (staph)
  • Giardia
  • Klebsiella
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Campylobacter

Is Toilet Water Safe for Pets To Drink?

A Diplomate of both the American Board of Toxicology and the American College of Veterinary Toxicology, Dr. Renee Schmid is a senior veterinary toxicologist and director of veterinary medicine at the Pet Poison Helpline®. In addition, she is a member of both organizations. She confirms that if your pet drinks from the toilet, it is not typically a life-threatening activity, although it is certainly not the best behavior for your pet to exhibit.

Despite the fact that the majority of pets do not have any problems drinking from the toilet, certain bacteria have the potential to cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. Moreover, any pharmaceuticals or vitamins might be transferred from human urine and waste to the toilet bowl, albeit at low and diluted amounts. This is the case even though the concentrations would be minimal.

Are Toilet Cleaning Products Dangerous to Pets?

The majority of the time, your pet will only have mild mouth irritation and possibly an upset stomach if they consume toilet water that contains diluted cleaning agents, automated cleansers, or deodorizers, as stated by Dr. Schmid.

However, if your pet consumes toilet cleaning chemicals that are not diluted (that is, when no water is added), such as an undissolved Clorox® tablet, the danger of serious poisoning is considerably increased. Household cleaners that are not labeled as pet-safe cleaners have high pH levels, which indicates that they are irritants to the skin, mouth, esophagus, and stomach.

Signs of ulceration of the mouth, esophagus, or stomach include:

  • Loss of appetite or reluctance to eat
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lethargy
  • Pale gums
  • Weight loss
  • Stomach pain
  • Abnormally dark stool (melena)
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Fever

What Should I Do If My Pet Drank Toilet Water?

In the event that your pet has consumed water from the toilet and you observe any of the symptoms listed above, you should immediately take your pet to an emergency veterinary hospital.

Why Is My Pet Attracted to Toilet Water?

Brett Reynolds, a certified Fear FreeTM animal trainer, believes that there are several common reasons that seem to drive both cats and dogs to the toilet bowl. While individual eccentricities might impact behavior, he says that these causes seem to be the most prevalent.

  • It’s colder and fresher than their water bowl.If your pet’s water bowl is lukewarm or stagnant, the water from the toilet may appear to be an appealing alternative because it is colder and more recent than the water in the bowl.
  • The bathroom is a safe place to hydrate. Because of the seclusion that it provides, the bathroom can be an unexpectedly enticing spot for a pet to have a drink of water. This is because the bathroom possesses the potential to bring about a stronger sense of protection and security.
  • Reinforcement. It is frustrating to see your pet drinking from the toilet, but it is not a good idea to admonish them or physically remove them from the bathroom because it could have the opposite effect instead. Getting the attention of their pet parents is something that pets adore, and they will quickly learn that even the act of entering the bathroom, much alone taking a drink from the bowl, is sure to attract a response from their pet parents.
  • They’re not feeling well. In the event that you observe your pet seeking for unexpected water sources, such as the bowl of the toilet, this may be an indication of a more serious underlying health problem. It is possible for a number of medical problems, including diabetes, poisoning, and kidney disease, to be related with disorders that cause cats and dogs to experience excessive thirst or bewilderment.

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How Can I Discourage My Pet From Drinking Toilet Water?

You should take your pet to the veterinarian if they are displaying signs of confusion or if they are older and thirstier than usual. This will help you rule out the possibility that they have an underlying medical ailment. Providing that your veterinarian has given you a clean bill of health, Reynolds suggests that you try the following measures in order to prevent your pet’s nose (and mouth) from getting into the toilet bowl:

  • Keep the lid of the toilet and/or the entrance to the bathroom closed.
  • Set the lid of the toilet with a lock that is child-safe.
  • Spend meaningful time with your pet every day, including playing with them and exercising them.
  • You should move the water bowl of your pet to a location that receives less foot traffic (or even to the restroom, if that is where your dog prefers to drink their water).
  • More than one bowl that is easily accessible should be placed around the house.
  • Freshen and clean the water dish on a regular basis.
  • Put a few ice cubes in the water that your pet drinks.
  • Get a water bowl that is larger.
  • The water bowl should be replaced with one made of a different material.
  • Make the switch from a water bowl to a water fountain for your pet.

A change in appetite, dropping food, vomiting, drooling, or pawing at the mouth are all signs that your dog may be experiencing irritation of the mouth, esophagus, or stomach. In addition, you should keep an eye out for any of these behaviors.