Winter is upon us! While we won’t usually get snow in Southern California, we are getting rain. As tempting as it may be for your dog, it’s important to remember that rainwater is not always safe for your dog to drink.
When rainwater hits earth, it comes in contact with several contaminants or chemicals that aren’t safe to drink. If you are near a chemical plant, the rain could contain all the chemicals they are putting out into the air.
Water that comes off of your roof could come in contact with tar or bird feces. If this is the case, there is a chance your dog could get Giardia, which is the number one cause of diarrhea in dogs worldwide. Your dog can get Giardia by swallowing food or water that is contaminated by feces. The infection can be present in your dog’s system without signs or symptoms. However, if there are symptoms, they include watery feces that most likely contains blood and mucus, a decreased appetite, weight loss, and vomiting.
If you think your dog could have the infection, make sure you take them to the vet with a stool sample. The vet will be able to examine the sample for the parasite by performing a number of tests. If after your visit to the vet he diagnoses your dog with having the parasite don’t worry, Giardia can be treated with antibiotics, a de-wormer, or in severe cases hospitalization.
Remember, while the rain may be good for and very much-needed in California, it is not always good for your dog.