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Dog Bowl: Importance of Cleaning

Did you know that your dog’s bowl is one of the “germiest” items in your home? It’s true!  According to a 2011 study, your dog’s bowl comes in at number 4, and is only preceded in “germiness” by the toothbrush holder, the kitchen sink and the kitchen sponge as the “germiest” home items! Gross, right? Yuck, Yuck, Yuck.

So, here’s the question: How often do you clean your dog’s bowls?

Be truthful. Does your dog’s bowl get a good scrub once a day? Once a week? Once a month? Or ….worse? If you’ve been a little negligent in keeping your dog’s bowl clean, you’re, unfortunately, part of the majority. For some reason, we tend to think that our dog’s bowl doesn’t need to be as clean as the dishes we eat off however, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

What happens if I don’t clean my dog’s bowl regularly?  

By not cleaning your dog’s bowl regularly, you are inviting bacteria to build up in their bowls not to mention bugs and mold. Not only can these germs dissuade your dog from eating or drinking, it can put him at increased risk of developing infection and even pneumonia. You’re probably surprised. Most people are when they learn of this!

How often should I clean my dog’s bowl?

At the very least, you should rinse your dog’s water bowl every day however, that’s really not enough. Your dog’s bowls should be washed with warm, soapy water EVERY single day.  Simply put – wash your dog’s bowls in the same manner that you wash the dishes you feed yourself and family off of. Don’t wait for the bowls to “look” unsightly because by then your dog has already been exposed to germs and bacteria.

Are all dog bowls created equal?

All dog bowls are NOT created equal!  While plastic seems like a logical choice due to the fact that it doesn’t break, it’s actually a breeding ground for germs and a multitude of bacteria! In fact, so is ceramic material. Stick strictly with stainless or porcelain, please. You may even consider an electric water fountain for your dog. The constant circulation will keep the water fresher in between each time that you fill it up. You can find dog water fountains like this one from a Seattle based company, or visit your usual pet supply store. 

Anything else I need to know?

Avoid topping off your dog’s water supply. Slime forms in the bowl rather quickly so each and every time you put water in your dog’s bowl, it should be fresh water. Be diligent about keeping your dog’s food and water bowls clean. Doing so will encourage your dog to eat and drink regularly which will keep him hydrated and healthy and will also keep him free from the dangers associated with germs and bacteria. All of these tips also apply to your cat, bunny, or other furry friend who eats or drinks out of a bowl that stays in the same place all day long.

Our staff at Tailored Pet Services always fully refresh your pet’s water supply during each visit, so you don’t have to worry about bacteria buildup over the days you are at work. Check out our dog walking page if you’d like us to visit your fur baby for a potty break or stroll outside.