The Benefits of Soft Water in Animal Rehabilitation
Animal rehabilitation is a critical aspect of veterinary medicine and pet care. Its widespread application covers neurologic, orthopedic, arthritic, and obese dogs.
An integral aspect of animal rehabilitation is the use of water, including water
therapy. Although rehabilitation in humans based on water therapy mainly focuses on care, it includes underwater treadmill running or walking and swimming in pets.
Water therapy in animals or pets has the following benefits:
– Heat dissipation
– The warming effect of water
– Enhanced circulation
– Pain reduction
– Use of all body muscles
– Increased metabolism
– Enhanced joint range motion
– Offers low environmental impact for muscles and joints
– Supports muscular balance
– Provides a fun environment for play
Water in animal rehabilitation is also used for drinking, cleaning and preparing food.
What is hard water
Hard water is rich in natural minerals such as iron, magnesium and calcium, among other mineral elements. The minerals in the water aren’t necessarily harmful to animals. However, hard water has various cons that make it difficult to use for pet rehabilitation.
A water softener comes in handy to convert hard water to soft water. It replaces magnesium and calcium minerals present in the hard water with potassium and sodium. For instance, the best water softener helps combat
stains on the fur or coat of animals up for rehabilitation. The softeners work in different ways to eliminate magnesium and calcium and soften the hard water.
Which is better for animal rehabilitation? Hard water or soft water?
Generally, pets need water to survive and stay healthy. But soft water
is safer for most pets to drink and supports other rehabilitation needs.
Furthermore, it meets the EU Directive for safe drinking water. The high-quality water is recommended for both human and pet consumption.
Hard water, on the other hand, poses a risk for urinary issues in pets. This is according to the Trupanion study conducted in 2016.
According to experts, no evidence exists that points out that the minerals in hard water are harmful to animals or can cause them health issues. However, untreated tap water with fluoride and chlorine isn’t recommended for animals in certain cases.
The water is also likely to contain other impurities or contaminants that can harm animals. Test your well water at least once a year to ensure it’s safe for both pet and human use.
On the downside, soft water contains high levels of sodium because water softeners replace the minerals in hard water with sodium ions. Moreover, most water softening processes don’t eliminate other contaminants such as chlorine found in tap water.
If your dog or pet is on a low-sodium diet, soft water may be harmful to their
health. This also applies to older dogs and those with kidney or heart
Hard water is low in sodium or salt, hence is poor in taste. The converse is true about soft water. This means that soft water may be tastier to your pet than hard water.
Switching to soft water
If your pet has been on hard water, switch them to soft water gradually. This is also true for stray dogs up for rehabilitation. Mix hard water with soft water to slowly introduce your dog to soft water. Reduce the amount of hard water you add to soft water as days go by.
Find out if the animal in question likes soft water or hard water because no two pets are the same. Make sure that what you give your dog is something you’d drink.
Benefits of soft water for your animal
Soft water is mineral-free. Although the minerals in hard water aren’t harmful to animals the water isn’t necessarily safe for your pet. Untreated water may contain contaminants such as the chemicals used during water treatment like chlorine and fluoride.
Soft water is also critical to animals’ bathing care during rehabilitation. Minerals in hard water buildup on animals’ hair follicles and clog pores. However, soft water gives animals or pets cleaner and healthier coats or fur. Additionally, soft water easily lather when used with soap. This prevents soap from wastage and fur from tangling. It also ensures animal fur stays less oily.
If your pet doesn’t like either soft or hard water, opt for distilled water, bottled or filtered water, or rainwater. Invest in a reverse osmosis system to remove contaminants from your water and make it pure and tasty.
You’ll need a rainwater harvesting system to collect water from rain. Also consider water from streams, rivers or lakes to find what your pet likes most. The systems are built to eliminate contaminants and other additives that softeners aren’t able to remove.