Living in Berkshire means hard water emerges from your taps every day and that has some familiar consequences. The taste of it, the filmy effect on your skin and hair when you bathe with it and the build-up of limescale in your kettle will all be common issues. 

All those are good reasons to get water softeners in Berkshire. But if you own pets, you may have another big one.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Gene Fitzgerald, home water treatment expert at BOS, said hard water can be very harmful to our furry friends.

While acknowledging that the UK has a reputation for some of the safest tap water in the world, she said: “In most places, tap water is perfectly fine for humans and animals to drink. But if you live in a hard water area, it may be making your pets ill.”

Ms Fitzgerald explained that the high levels of calcium and magnesium found in hard water can be harmful to pets.

She listed “urinary tract and / or bladder infections, cystitis, urinary obstruction, crystalluria and stone formation” as the kind of problems dogs can develop if they drink a lot of hard water.

The expert said water softeners can help eliminate this risk, but warned that those using sodium will only produce other health problems, so the best option is to get reverse osmosis or distillation filters.

According to Scaleguard, Berkshire has some of the UK’s hardest water. It is on the list of counties with ‘hard to very hard’ water, while the list of the top ten towns and cities for hard water includes Reading and Slough.

This means your pets are clearly ta risk of developing serious health problems in this part of the UK if they drink tap water, unless you have the right kind of softener in place.