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Potty Mouth: Why do Pets Drink From the Toilet?

toilet drinkingToilets and pets are never a combo you want to encounter; however, seeing a pet take a sip of toilet water is a common scene. Drinking from the toilet seems like a pretty disgusting way to stay hydrated – particularly when you offer your pet multiple bowls of fresh water around the home.

So, what’s with this obsession? Why do pets drink from the toilet, and is it safe? The team at West Park sets out to address this unsavory attraction to the “toilet bowl beverage.”

Why do Pets Drink From the Toilet?

Common sense says that animals in general are not the germaphobes most humans have come to be. In fact, you’ve likely seen your furry friend drink from a number of yucky water sources – from ditch drains to mud puddles and everything in between.

If pets aren’t so discerning about what they eat or drink, should we expect them to snub the bowl?

Actually, there are some pretty compelling reasons Fido or Fluffy may be interested in the toilet bowl flow, including:

  • Cool water – Pets, like humans, prefer their drinking water to be cold or cool, and the porcelain bowl helps to maintain a cooler temperature.
  • Running water – Have you ever noticed how fixated your kitty companion is with the bathroom sink tap? Most animals will seek out running water in preference to stagnant – and for good reason since stagnant water sources often carry more parasites and other nasties.
  • Forgetful pet owner – On a hectic Monday morning, it can be easy to forget to check a pet’s water bowl before running off to tackle another busy day. Your pet may just view the toilet as a back-up when the drinking bowl becomes too low (or too dirty).
  • Because they can! – The simplest explanation for why pets imbibe from the bowl is simply because the lid remains up and they can access it.

Is it Safe?

One of the biggest concerns – aside from the embarrassment factor – of catching a pet lapping at the loo is whether or not it is safe. For us, toilets represent bacteria-filled water that needs to be disinfected often.  Yet, toilet bowl water contains less bacteria than you might find on a kitchen counter or toothbrush.

However, toilet water becomes a concern when household cleaners are used. Make sure your cat or dog is not in the area while you clean, and keep the lid down when toilet bowl cleaners are in use. You can also switch to safer cleaners, such as white vinegar and baking soda.

So what’s the final verdict? Ultimately, the decision is up to you. If your pet is sneaking sips from the toilet, remind all family members to keep the lid down. Encourage your pet to drink from his or her own water bowl by keeping the bowl clean and changing the water frequently. Add ice cubes to keep the water cool during warmer months.

If you have any questions about this behavior or any other pet health concern, please call us!

The post Potty Mouth: Why do Pets Drink From the Toilet? appeared first on West Park Animal Hospital Blog.