Drinking Water For Reptiles? (Filtered vs Distilled check)

Just like humans, pet reptiles also need a constant supply of water. They need it for digestion and various body processes. However, the type of water you give to your pet reptile could impact it significantly.

So, is filtered water good for reptiles? Filtered water is ideal for pet reptiles because it doesn’t contain any impurities that can cause infections to your pet. Filtered water is water that has undergone several purification procedures, making it ideal even for human consumption. Its good taste also encourages easy consumption.

The type of water your reptile consumes can impact its health. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the kind of water your reptile consumes has the essential nutrients and is free from contaminants.

Tap water is ideal for pet reptiles. As much as there are many other options, tap water is preferred because it is clean and safe for consumption. However, some reptiles require specialized water that is either treated or bought from an aquatic shop. Therefore, you can also choose to use re-mineralized water from an aquarium supply store, distilled water, and RO water.

Tap water is a good pick for reptiles because it is not contaminated. It is exposed to filters that remove particulate contaminants and help improve its taste. Tap water is also a reliable option because it is readily available. The type of water you use to mix food for your pet reptile also matters. It is recommended that you use tap water for mixing food, filling water bowls, or misting plastic tubs. It will also help if you had an under-sink filtration system that will always keep the water free of impurities.

Distilled water is also a good pick if you choose to mix it with a reptile diet. The reason behind it is that it doesn’t have minerals that cause hard water deposits. If you want to obtain distilled water for your pet reptile, a simple filter will do the job. However, this can be affected if you use borehole water or have pipes discharging waste into water. You should also note that bottled water can contain chlorine. Therefore, if you have concerns about chlorine affecting your pet reptile, you should opt for reverse osmosis water or distilled water.

Some reptile pet owners also think of reverse osmosis (RO) water as a good option, but you don’t have to use it if you can’t access it easily. RO water is only good if the purification process used to make it doesn’t cause any water spots. Keep in mind that many water dispensers use reverse osmosis, making the presence of water spots highly likely.

Why Is Water Important to Pet Reptiles?

Just like humans or any other animal, reptiles too need water to survive. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your pet reptile has access to clean drinking water. However, how does water impact your reptile’s life?

Water is vital in various processes of reptiles, including cooling down their body temperatures, keeping their skin elastic, lubricating their joints, keeping various parts of their bodies moist, and flushing out various waste materials. Therefore, depending on the type of pet reptile you have, you should provide the required amount of water to meet its needs.

Water helps cool down your pet reptile’s body temperature. Even though reptiles don’t move around much, their bodies can increase in temperature, especially during the hot months. Excessive heat makes it very uncomfortable for pet reptiles; therefore, giving them water will help bring the temperature down.

Pet reptiles also need water to keep their skin elastic. Just like most animals, water is essential for the skin of reptiles. Dry skin can be quite uncomfortable for them due to the exposed pores. You can notice dry skin by the changes in color and condition of body scales. A well-hydrated pet reptile has elastic skin in its natural color.

It is worth noting that some reptiles enjoy soaking their bodies in water to soften their skin. This is mainly done before or during skin shedding. Soaking is an essential step for better health or a successful shedding process. Therefore, in such circumstances, you need to provide a shallow pool of water that is just enough for your reptile to soak in.

Also, the joints of your pet reptile need water for lubrication purposes. Just like is the case for humans, dehydration can cause discomfort in the joints of your pet reptile. Even though reptiles like lizards don’t run around often, they still need their joints to move. If you are fond of playing with them, this need is even more because their body muscles and joints are stretched out.

Reptiles also need water to keep their eyes, nose, lungs, and mouth moist. Reptiles have a complex body structure that requires sufficient hydration to operate normally. They have a pair of eyes that can be affected if the water supply is low. Similarly, their noses have to be moist for free air circulation. Breathing is essential because they use oxygen to produce fuel for their bodies.

Furthermore, water is needed to flush out waste products from the body. Reptiles ingest different types of food and require water to complete the digestion process. Water plays a vital role in flushing out toxic waste from the body of your pet reptile. Dehydration can result in an incomplete digestion process, something that can cause problems for your pet reptile.

Providing your pet reptile with more significant water receptacles will offer them refuge, especially when there is excessive heat in their cages. Therefore, it is important to routinely change the water at least twice a week. You also replace it immediately it becomes cloudy-looking or soiled. The source of tap water you give your pet reptile also matters.

Some unhealthy sources contain fluoride and chlorine, minerals that could be harmful, especially for young lizards. This is why you should go for filtered drinking water readily available at home if you have a filtration system or from aquarium supply stores. Avoid using distilled water that doesn’t contain any essential minerals vital for your pet’s health.

If you feel that the distilled water doesn’t contain sufficient minerals, you can use home water improvement remedies to add essential minerals. You are warned against adding water to existing water levels in the enclosure. Instead, you should dump out the water, clean the water bowl, and replenish it with fresh water. This prevents your pet reptile from consuming contaminated water that can cause infections.

Is Distilled Water Good for Reptiles?

Distilled water is free from any impurities because it is has been subjected to various purification procedures. With reptiles being vulnerable to water with harmful chemicals, it is essential to ensure that you give them risk-free water.

Distilled water is beneficial for pet reptiles; however, there are several concerns about using this type of water. Usually, distilled water is obtained by boiling water into vapor and letting it cool down. This gets rid of any contaminants and renders it safe for consumption.

The process of creating distilled water is almost similar to that of making rain. The concern is that, during boiling, some essential minerals that could be healthy for your pet reptile are also eliminated. Therefore, distilled water can be fine for consumption but not necessarily healthy and nutritious.

Several nutrients are eliminated during the boiling process. For instance, minerals, which can help keep the muscles of your reptile healthy, are eliminated. You will also not find carbohydrates in distilled water; they help maintain the physical condition of reptiles. Boiling water also gets rid of vitamins. This is what makes distilled water different from traditional tap water.

In comparison, tap water is more beneficial for your pet reptile because it contains all the essential minerals. This means that it is safe to give distilled water to your reptile, but they won’t get any minerals from it. While distilled water lacks the necessary supply of nutrients, it can help your pet reptile in several ways.

Distilled water is extremely safe, and when kept in the right temperatures, it can be very tasty for your reptile. The thorough purification process means that distilled water can not cause any allergies. However, there are extremely rare cases of reptiles being allergic to water. This is called aquagenic urticaria, a condition that can affect both humans and reptiles. The condition causes the development of hives or causes itching after the skin touches distilled water.

Although an incredibly small number of reptiles can develop this condition, it is important to have your pet checked just to be sure. If there is an existing condition that hasn’t been discovered yet, drinking or getting in contact with distilled water will not worsen it. This is because distilled water is free of any minerals or chemicals.

Is Chlorinated Water Good for Reptiles?

Water that contains chemicals can be harmful to your pet reptile. Therefore, it is important to use water that has important minerals and free from any harmful impurities.

For young reptiles, chlorinated water can cause infections. Chlorinated water can also penetrate the bloodstream of reptiles and lead to various challenges. Furthermore, it contains an unpleasant smell that makes it uncomfortable for consumption. It can also contain sediments and other dissolved solids that negatively affect the health of your pet reptile. For safety purposes, it is recommended that you use water that is approved for human consumption.

Chlorinated water is a common cause of infections for pet reptiles. The reason behind it is that some spigots, outdoor pipes, and garden hoses tend to contain impurities. This can react with chlorine and harmful elements that can be deadly to your pet reptile.

Another concern with chlorinated water is the fact that it can corrode the reptile’s mouth. Young reptiles are more vulnerable in such cases because of the fragile state of their bodies. This is why giving chlorinated water to your reptiles is not recommended.

Chlorinated water can also reach the reptile’s bloodstream, leading to various complications. Traces of chlorine can find their way into your reptile’s bloodstream and make them sick. This makes chlorinated water unhealthy for your reptile. Chloramine, a combination of ammonia and chlorine, can also be very toxic to young amphibians and reptiles.

These chemicals can damage the lungs of reptiles, making it difficult for their body to perform some functions. While amphibians can find a way to adapt to chlorinated water, reptiles suffer the most damage due to the lack of adaptability. Common amphibians like toads, frogs, and salamanders are equipped with semi-permeable skin that allows chemicals to directly access their bloodstreams. The only risk to them, in this case, is if they regularly soak in such waters, allowing the chemicals to sip through the cloaca.

If you have chlorinated water and looking to purify it, there are several ways you can do so. For instance, you can dechlorinate it using the distillation process or get another water source altogether. You can also let chlorinated water sit out in an open container and get exposed for about 24 hours, dissipating the chlorine. Another way of getting rid of chlorine is by repeatedly pouring water from one container to another for about ten times. This will agitate the water and get rid of regular chlorine.

Also, boiling it for about 15 minutes can deliver the same results. However, if the safety of water is still a concern, you need to do more than just boiling. This is because boiling doesn’t necessarily get rid of all the impurities. It can cook up some germs and parasites, but some chemicals could still survive. In fact, in some cases, boiling water can make it more dangerous for your pet reptile. This is why tap water remains a better option.

Final Word

Just like humans, pet reptiles need water to survive since they use water for essential processes like digestion. Therefore, as a pet parent, you need to provide clean water to your pet reptile. Among other choices, tap water will work great for your pet lizard.

This is because it contains all the essential minerals that are vital for good health. Another alternative is distilled water. However, as much as distilled water is safe for consumption, it does not contain essential minerals. This is because the distillation process takes out all the impurities and other vital minerals.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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