American Morkshire Terrier Club®
Did you know that, according to an NSF study, dog dishes are the fourth "germiest" things in our home? It's true. That slimy coating that grosses you out each time you pick up your pet's dirty water or food bowl is called "biofilm," and it's made up of hazardous microorganisms that threaten your pet's health — and yours. It doesn't matter if you feed wet food, kibble, or the occasional treat; dirty dog bowls contain harmful bacteria such as:
Most healthy animals and people can tolerate small amounts of harmful bacteria. But the quantities found in dirty dog bowls can pose a severe risk to animals and people with compromised immune systems.
Dog water dishes are just as unsanitary as food bowls. When your dog drinks, they transfer germs from their mouths (and possible contamination from their food), and dog water at room temperature is an excellent habitat for bacteria. Could you be sure that you are giving your pet fresh water at every feeding?
According to veterinary nutritionist Dr. Emily Luisana, DVM's new study on pet food handling and sanitary practices, you're in the majority if you've let your dishwashing duties slide. In her report, she found that out of 417 surveyed dog owners, less than five percent were aware of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines regarding safe storage and feeding practices. Also, only a third of respondents claimed to wash their hands after feeding their pets. Here are some more facts from Dr. Luisana's findings:
So, let's attack those disgusting dog dishes, shall we?
The FDA recommends that dog owners wash food dishes between each feeding and the water dish every day or so. However, we suggest you go ahead and wash your dog's water dishes and food dishes after each mealtime to help rule out possible bacteria at all:
To avoid cross-contamination, never use the same cleaning scrubs and sponges on your dog bowls that you use for other dishes or household cleaning. Instead, you can keep your dog bowl cleaning tools in a separate container, preferably in a different room from your kitchen.
The following tips are FDA guidelines and recommendations from the CDC
Both strongly advise against feeding store-bought or home-prepared raw diets due to their high risk of contamination to dogs, pet owners, and their families.
Cleaning dirty dog bowls might be different from your idea of living the dream. But from your pet's point of view—you're there to serve their needs, and they need to be healthy too!
It’s essential to be aware of the potential risks that come with feeding your dog from dirty bowls. Bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and MRSA can all be present in unkept dog dishes and cause serious health problems for your pet, as well as your self. The best way to prevent these harmful bacteria is to use stainless steel, ceramic or even glass bowls instead of plastic. While these materials may be more expensive upfront, they will save you money in the long run by keeping your dog healthy and avoiding trips to the vet.
So what type of bowls do you use for your dog?
Let us know in the comments below.
Article provided by
American Morkshire Terrier Club,
Animals Matter, Pet Education
We are a team of avid dog lovers 😍. Our blogging will be all about Morkies, Yorkies, Biewers and Maltese and what we think you may need to know!