Is Water Softener Salt Safe for Pets?

No, water-softener salt is not fit for animal consumption. The salt crystals used in a water softener can be harmful to your pet. Avoid feeding water softener salt to your pet. Let alone your pet; water softener salt can be hazardous to humans.

In some cases, water softener salt can cause hypernatremia in pets. You love your pets and do not want to hurt them. It is wise to ask, “Is water softener salt safe for pets?” Read the article below to learn more about water softener salt and animal consumption:  

Key Takeaways:

  • Water softener salt is not fit for your pets.
  • Ingesting water softener salt can cause hypernatremia in pets.
  • Soft water is not harmful to pets.
  • Hard water is not harmful to pets.
  • You can feed hard water to your pets.


No, water-softener salt is not deemed suitable for humans. Your water softener salt can carry harmful chemicals. People who accidentally consumed huge amounts of water softener salt reported severe stomach pain and increased thirst.[i]  

However, those people who drank plenty of water after accidentally eating water softener salt did not experience a lot of stomach pain. Your physician might stop you from eating water softener salt.  

Is Water Softener Salt Safe for Dogs?

Generally, it is not a good idea to feed water softener salt to your dog. Your dogs should not ingest water softener salt. It can provide a range of harmful chemicals and toxins to your dog.

Vets advise against feeding water softener salt to dogs. They believe that feeding water softener salt can create a lot of complications for your dog. These complications include hypernatremia and other associated problems.

Do not be confused. Water softener salt does not make softened water toxic to dogs. Water softeners produce soft water after passing hard water through an ion exchange process. That’s why softened water does not harm your dogs.  

What is Water Softener Salt?

Water softener salt is the crystallized or sometimes granular form of salt. It usually comes in a 50-pound bag. Your water softener functions on the basis of an ion exchange process.  

In simple words, water softeners use water softener salt to replace hard minerals in your water. You have to refill the water softener salt after some time. You can say that a water softener salt is not fit for human or dog consumption.

Water Softener Salt vs. Normal Salt

Your normal salt, otherwise known as “table salt,” is Sodium Chloride. Water softener salt also comprises Sodium Chloride. There is little difference between your regular table salt and the water softener salt.

Regular table salt carries Iodine, while water softener salt is not supposed to carry Iodine. You should know that some pets, such as dogs, cannot tolerate Iodine in huge amounts of regular table salt.

Do not be surprised if you see someone using Potassium Chloride instead of Sodium Chloride as water softener salt. It is pretty common. However, it is usually better to use Sodium Chloride as water softener salt.  

Concerns with Water Softener Salt, and Dogs

Water softener salt can carry potentially harmful chemicals and toxins for dogs. Generally, water softener salt carries Sodium Chloride, and you do not want your dog to ingest Sodium Chloride.

Salt is required for your dog’s health.

Yes, it is true! Dogs do need Sodium in their diets to maintain electrolyte balance. Salt contains Sodium that can help maintain your dog’s blood pressure and neuron function. However, you should not let your dog lick table salt or water softener salt.

Too much salt is harmful to your dog.

Too much salt with little or no access to drinking water can lead to hypernatremia and other dog health complications. Your dog can experience increased thirst and dehydration after ingesting too much salt.

What happens to a dog when it ingests water-softener salt?

Ingestion of water softener salt can disturb the electrolyte balance in your dog’s body. It can lead to high blood pressure problems in dogs. Eventually, your dog will start experiencing increased thirst.

The condition known as ‘Hypernatremia” can lead to cell damage and neurological problem in dogs. That’s why you should not let your dog lick huge amounts of water-softener salt.

What to do if your dog eats water softener salt

Determine the exact amount of water softener salt consumed by your dog. Give him access to the drinking water. In severe cases, ingesting water softener salt can lead to stomach pains in dogs.

That’s why smart dog owners keep water softener salt away from small dog breeds. They cannot tolerate ingesting large quantities of water-softener salt.

Signs of Salt Poisoning in Dogs

Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and difficulty maintaining balance while standing up are the signs of salt poisoning in dogs.

Treatment for Salt Poisoning in Dogs

Vets often provide access to fresh drinking water to treat cases of salt poisoning in dogs. You should consult your nearest vet if the situation worsens.

Is Hard Water Safe for Your Pets?

Hard water is not considered toxic to pets. It carries hard minerals -mainly magnesium and calcium. These minerals in your drinking water are not considered harmful to your pets.

How Safe Is Soft Water for Your Pets?

Soft water is not considered harmful to pets. You can feed soft water to your pets. Soft water produced by your water softener does not carry toxins or harmful chemicals to your pets.

If your vet does not want your pet to consume Sodium, then you should not feed soft water to your pet. Some forms of fish do not like soft water. You should consult your aquaculture expert before providing soft water to your fish.

Final Thought

Is water softener salt safe for pets? Your pets should not ingest water softener salt because it can contain harmful chemicals and toxins. Water softener salt is used for one purpose and one purpose only – the ion exchange process.

Softened water produced by a water softener is deemed safe for your pets. But you may avoid it if your vet has specifically asked you to avoid feeding Sodium to your pet. Some pets, such as fish, may not like soft water.  


This is my blog about the ways and solutions that can help you improve your health by taking more value from drinking water. As improving health means a lot to me, I decided to create the Water On Top project with the purpose to reveal the benefits of water, the finest products to take our daily water to another level, and much more great stuff about water that I believe is on top of our nutrition.

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