- Why A Clean Pet Bowl Is So Important
How often is often enough?
Not only should you wash your pet's food bowl with hot, soapy water after every meal, and wash water bowls every couple of days, but it's also recommended that you wash your hands with hot water and soap before and after handling your pet's food to help prevent passing any contamination.
Animals eat and drink directly from their bowls so it's possible that microbes that normally live in your pet's mouth can then transfer to leftover pieces of food and create an atmosphere where bacteria can flourish.
According to VetStreet "What kind of bacteria grow in the bowls depends on factors like the environment, exposure and oral hygiene of the animal, but possible examples include Staphylococcus aureus, Pasteurella multocida and different species of Corynebacterium, Streptococcus, Enterobacteria, Neisseria, Moraxella, Bacillus and, less frequently, Salmonella and Pseudomonas." Okay, I can't say or even begin to think about those nasty things but I know enough to be cautious and I agree that cleaning my pet bowls daily is a good thing. I know I wash my dishes after each meal so why wouldn't I wash theirs?
Experts recommend disinfecting the pet bowls at least once a week to kill germs after regular cleaning.
What's the difference?
How should I clean the bowls?
Gather your dog and cat safe dishwashing detergent and a few sponges, and rags only to be used for cleaning the pet bowls. It's a good thing to use a mild detergent, just be sure of the ingredient list for chemicals or additives that may be toxic to dogs and cats. Tea tree oil and peppermint can sometimes be added to the detergent stay away from those. Also, consider color coding your sponges so there's never a mix-up between Fido and Fluffy's sponge and the one you use for family. Buying a uniquely shaped sponge like a bone or fish may also help avoid using the incorrect one after dinner.
Give it some elbow grease!
Step 1 – Let it soak if you have dried foods, fill your sink with hot water and dish soap to loosen all the caked-on food.
Step 2 – Use the dishwasher or hand wash depending on the type of bowl they have most have manufacturer instructions on the bottom. Keep your pet bowls separate from your own in the dishwashing cycle, many dishwashers have a Sanitize cycle consider using it for your weekly disinfection.
Step 3 – Dry thoroughly with your reserved dog/cat towel then repeat the above steps daily and weekly.
Now relish the fact that your pets are eating and drinking from germ free bowls and keep up with the good work!