Don't let your dog slurp from dirty puddles


It might pain you to pull your thirty dog away from a puddle of water, but you'll be doing it a favour. Photo: dpa

Your dog will inevitably get thirsty while it's out being exercised, and muddy puddles on the path might look tempting to your pet. Should you let your dog quench its thirst on them?

No, say experts. Stagnant water is full of bacteria and impurities that can be harmful to your pet, warns Nadja Kopp, a dog expert and behaviour consultant from Berlin.

She says owners should try to prevent their dog from drinking from a puddle because of the risks that this water bring to your dog's health.

Near parked cars, for example, there is always the possibility that some engine oil will have mixed into the water. On dirt roads, agricultural fertiliser can be a health hazard.

In addition, parasites and worm eggs can be picked up through the excretions of other animals when drinking. These include bacteria from the urine of mice and rats, which can cause the potentially life-threatening infectious disease leptospirosis.

Unvaccinated dogs are particularly at risk. Typical signs of infection are fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting, nosebleeds circulatory problems, and yellowish mucous membranes.

But how can you stop your dog from drinking from the puddle? It's important to always watch your animal and stop it with a "no" command.

Kopp even advises always having an alternative for the dog, such as a bottle of clean water to offer it. If you don't have any water with you, flowing water from a stream or river is a lower-risk drinking alternative because pollutant concentrations are usually lower. dpa

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Dogs , dog health , leptospirosis


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