Clean water is clean living!

In our context "what is clean water?" is a fair question. A more common question is "how often should I change my pets water?" Part of the answer to these questions has to do with whether your pet is drinking the water or living in it!

Drinking water

Lets start with the pet that drinks water. Is clean water an issue for them?If you have a dog or cat as a pet, I am sure you have noticed them drinking from some really weird places if they can. Cats seem to have a fascination with toilets and baths while dogs will often drink from puddles on the ground, or a dam or river if they are out and about. If you or I tried that there is a good chance that we might not feel so great a few hours later.

So it would seem that clean water, or fresh water, are relative terms and animals are more tolerant when it comes to the quality of water they drink than we mere mortals are. However, I think the important point is that, given a choice, no animal will voluntarily drink water of a quality that is potentially harmful to it. The important word here is CHOICE. Given no choice, an animal will either drink unsuitable water and suffer the consequences, or refuse to drink and suffer those consequences!

From a practical point of view, pets kept in cages such as mice, hamsters and birds usually only have a single source of water and the freshness of that water is dependent on their human. Caged animals also generally have an absolute gift for fouling their water with droppings, food, bits of bedding and anything else that is not secured to the cage. So clean and fresh water in these circumstances is always a challenge.Changing the water every 24 to 48 hours should be your aim here, presuming of course that the water holder holds enough water to last that length of time. Giving the container itself a good scrub every week should be enough to prevent the build up of all sorts of wonderful slimey plant life.

Living in the water

If your pet(s) live in the water, then obviously the management of that water becomes even more crucial.

What needs to be done to maintain water quality really depends on the number of fish being kept (and the size of the aquarium).

If a small number of fish are involved,and the tank is not too large, you can probably get away without any filtration system. Regular partial changing of the water(about 25% of the water every 2 weeks) combined with removing waste matter from the bottom of the tank should do the trick.

More fish and bigger tanks usually require some sort of filtration system.There are a range of filtration systems available and it is probably best to find someone who is already using a system and see what the advantages and pitfalls of the system are.

Other factors that need to be taken into account when considering water quality include: dechlorinating tap water, the pH of the water, and the specific gravity of the water in salt water tanks.

Water is life

"Water is Life" is how the saying goes and it is very true. Fresh and clean water should be a non-negotiable for your pet at all times.