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Can My Pet Drink That?! Rainwater and More

Can My Pet Drink That?

When it comes to drinking puddles, every hour is happy hour for pets. For most animals, they never met a body of water that they didn’t want to drink. Unfortunately, this isn’t very safe for them. You need to watch out for toxins, unfriendly bacteria, bugs and more. Here’s our guide on what types of water your pet can and can’t drink!


Puddles are a big reason why it’s important to keep your cats and dogs up to date on their vaccines. Many bugs live in still water, including Camplyobacter, Giardia, E. coli, Leptospira, cryptosporidium and other words that are impossible pronounce. And unless you live in an arid climate or you have an indoor-only pet, it’s likely that your pet has plenty of access to puddles.

Do your best to discourage your pet from drinking from puddles. If they drink puddle water and later experience vomiting or diarrhea, it’s time to see the vet. Again, make sure your cat or dog is current on their vaccinations!


Pool water is another no for drinking water. Small swallowed amounts won’t hurt your pet, but we don’t recommend taking any big swigs. This is still true even if your pool is regularly cleaned.

Rain Buckets

Rain is clean water so it’s safe to drink, right? Wrong. Or at least you need to be careful about galvanized rain buckets. Galvanized containers are coated in zinc, which is toxic to cats and dogs in high concentrations. So if you’re giving your pet water, opt for a ceramic, steel or glass bowl.

Lakes and Ponds

Lakes, swamps, bogs and ponds are frequently home to all the bugs that live in puddles, but they also contain potentially toxic algae. This goes for basically any color of algae. Don’t let your pet drink from any water that contains blue, green, red, brown or purple algae.

You shouldn’t let your pets drink this water, as it could be fatal. If you see any kind of floating green pond scum that resembles pea soup, you shouldn’t let them swim in the water either. Pets that swim in this water should be fished out immediately and thoroughly rinsed off. If you notice any changes in your pet’s health, call your vet ASAP.

You also need to be wary of ponds treated with heavy metals, such as copper sulfate. These chemicals are used to prevent algae overgrowth and can irritate a pet’s skin. If your animal swims in this water, rinse them off immediately and contact your vet.

The Ocean

It’s a-okay for a pet to swim in the ocean, but they shouldn’t ever drink ocean water. Drinking salt water can cause salt intoxication. Signs of salt intoxication include vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea and depression.

Moral of the story? Stick to tap and bottled water when hydrating your pet!