If you have a watermaker on your boat, you probably know that it makes very pure water. So pure, in fact, that it doesn’t contain the usual trace minerals that tap water does. And many of these trace minerals aren’t otherwise present in food.
And so, the generally accepted practice is to take a multi-vitamin every day if you’re using watermaker water, to make up for not getting the minerals in your water. NOTE: I’m not a doctor, so check with your physician if you have questions.
But what about your dog (or, I presume, your cat)? When we were cruising Mexico, Paz’s vet put her on supplemental vitamin drops a couple of times, but I never connected it to her drinking watermaker water.
A recent email from Alice McKenzie on Puffin hit me like a ton of bricks. I’d met Alice at LoretoFest earlier this year, and she had me sign her copy of The Boat Galley Cookbook. She wrote to say that her dog, Cruiser, had become chronically ill this year and part of the treatment was putting her on a vitamin/mineral supplement, which Alice connected back to the lack of trace substances in the water — and Alice wanted to get the word out to other cruisers with pets.
Well, duh. How stupid had I been?
It only makes sense that if humans need to take supplements for substances that are missing in the water (and not in other food), the same holds true for our pets. So, if you are on a extended cruise and using a watermaker, check with your vet about whether your dog or cat should be taking a daily multi-vitamin.