Is it OK for My Dog to Drink Out of the Toilet? (And a New Platform for My Dolittler Readers...Finally!)

Patty Khuly, DVM
Vet Reviewed
By Patty Khuly, DVM on Mar. 18, 2010
Is it OK for My Dog to Drink Out of the Toilet? (And a New Platform for My Dolittler Readers...Finally!)

Here’s my first ever FullyVetted post to include my Dolittler peeps. My DailyVet readers have had more than a week to adjust and deal with the creepy-crawly tech-ey bugs, while Dolittler readers have thus far been spared. But no longer … Fully Vetted is ready for prime time. So welcome, all!

Now, on to the topic at hand:

OK, so it seems gross, but once you get a grip of the sanitary reality of the average American toilet bowl … sucking down toilet fare doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

Lest you begin to question my sanity, let me explain:

Dogs love toilet water. Cats, too, though their reach often limits their ability (much though I’m sure it irks them). The reason for this phenomenon is simple: The stuff tastes great. To those living free from any association with human waste, why wouldn’t a constantly, mechanically refreshing source of water seem akin to Evian’s finest?

Then there’s this to consider: eau de toilet (loosely speaking, of course) seems colder than the average bowl of water (porcelain is good that way). It’s a place most humans will deign to maintain under pristine conditions. And we tend to leave the lid up so invitingly. Otherwise, how would pets ever get into the habit? (Ahem...on this latter point I direct my comments most pointedly to the men in this audience.)

But it’s not all that bad, I’ll submit. Indeed, I’ll readily confess to having left the lid up to ensure my dogs got their fix — when my dogs were big enough to reach, anyway (my current family members are too puny to partake of the magic waters). After all, it’s only H2O.

Unless you go in for the 2,000 Flushes-style products (something I’ll  never recommend to pet owners whose charges might lap up this creepy blue stuff — or to anyone, really), toilet water is (almost) every bit as hygienic as tap water. Studies actually show that toilet water has a lower bacterial count than other bathroom surfaces. Your average household door handle, in fact, offers a more populous cluster of bacteria than your basic toilet water — and yet we freak when our hairbrushes take an unfortunate dive.

As someone whose cell phone recently took a fatal dip, I can tell you that the Geniuses at the Apple store had a fit when they learned of the toilet fiasco (after they had all but licked it in their efforts to revive the thing).

In response to all this collective commode-related hand-wringing, I can’t help but think we humans need to get over this irrational fear of toilet water. 'Ain’t nothing to fear but fear itself ... and perhaps an empty bowl of water.

Dr. Patty Khuly

PS: Dolittler readers, please let me know how this format feels. I'm very much aware of your need to feel comfy and am SO willing to make any changes that'll help you get there.

Patty Khuly, DVM
Vet Reviewed


Patty Khuly, DVM


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