“In a nearly unprecedented about-face, U.S. health officials recently admitted that Americans are getting too much fluoride, “ said Dr. Mercola, founder of Mercola.com, one of the most popular alternative health websites in the world and promoter of Fluoride Awareness Week. “Coupled with disturbing new studies showing the detrimental effects fluoride can have on children, we thought this would be a perfect time to help educate the public on the dangers of fluoride,” Mercola added.
The practice of adding fluoride began in 1945 after about 40 years of research indicating that fluoride may reduce cavities. First started through an experiment by adding trace amounts of fluoride to the water supply in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the five year study of the benefits of adding fluoride to the water supply concluded in a reduction in cavities in that area. By 1951 fluoridation became a policy of the U.S. Public Health Service to the point now that over 60% of the US water supply is fluoridated.
But within the past years individuals, governmental agencies and scientists have begun to understand that the fluoridation of the US water supply may do more harm than good.
According to the National Toxicology Program, "the preponderance of evidence" from laboratory 'in vitro' studies indicates that fluoride is a mutagen (a compound that can cause genetic damage). It is generally accepted that if a substance can induce genetic damage there is a heightened risk that it could cause cancer as well. (source: FluorideAlert.org)
So what can you do?
Here are some tips to keep your dog's (and your) water healthier and safer, and reduce the amount of dangerous chemical ingestion, as well as how to utilize best overall drinking water practices:
- Utilize a water filter for your dog's water that filters out both chlorine and fluoride.
- Avoid distilled water or water treated with reverse osmosis, as it lacks beneficial minerals and nutrients normally found in water.
- Never reuse plastic water bottles for your dog's water, the bottles can leach dangerous chemicals into the water.
- Purchase safe reusable water/beverage bottles - Safer choices include bottles crafted from safer HDPE (plastic #2), low-density polyethylene (LDPE, AKA plastic #4) or polypropylene (PP, or plastic #5). Best bests are made of stainless steel.
- Provide your dog with a stainless steel pet water fountain to encourage more drinking of fresh, filtered water; which can discourage them from drinking from potentially harmful sources.
- Replace any plastics dog bowls with stainless steel to further prevent leaching.
- Keep your dog's water bowl full and clean at all times and provide water often. (Clean the bowls at least once a day with hot water and vinegar, and rinse very well).
- Don't allow your pup to drink out of potentially harmful ponds, streams, rivers or puddles to avoid contamination with unhealthy bacteria and viruses.
- Utilize safe lawn care practices, organic and all natural fertilizers, and avoid areas with your dog where dangerous lawn chemicals are used to help keep your dog and you safe, as well as the water supply.
- Don't allow your pet to swim in chlorinated pools, or stagnant contaminated rivers, streams or ponds.
- Don't allow your dog to drink out of public or shared dog water bowls.
- Get a filtered bath/shower head for your dog's bathing area.
- Utilize environmentally friendly shampoos, conditioners, cleaning products, laundry detergents, non-chlorine stain removers and other items to keep your water cleaner in your community, around your dog and you.
- Keep your pup from drinking out of the garden hose, the combination of leaching plastic, chlorine and fluoride can be dangerous.
- Take your own filtered water on trips and outings, avoid bottled water and utilize a bpa-free water container or dog water bottle.
- Read up on other safety measures to help keep the water your dog drinks, healthier.
These are a lot of guidelines. But by taking part in as many of these tips as possible you can help your dog (and you) live a longer, happier and environmentally friendly life.