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How To Keep Your Dogs Food Bowl Safe

As most of us live busy lives and with convenience everywhere, we can sometimes forget the simple things to do, like properly cleaning the dog’s food bowls after meals.

It is not something that most of us think too much about as we all do it. However, you would be surprised by what is hiding inside the food and water bowls if not washed correctly. Depending on how often you wash the bowls and what they are made from they could be petri dished in disguise breeding bacteria and germs.

The worst culprits are a dog’s water bowls because a lot of people wash these less often than the food bowls.

It also depends on what material the food and water bowls are actually used to serve in that could be a breeding ground for germs, whether the bowls are plastic, ceramic or stainless steel.

Therefore, to keep your dog healthy it is important to choose the right type of bowl and to wash them thoroughly daily and disinfect them at least once per week.

Plastic Bowls 

The cheapest and very popular bowls are the plastic bowls which come in varied range of colors and styles. Sadly, though due to scratches that build up over time the plastic bowls register the highest levels of bacteria.

These plastic bowls may also contain 98 harmful chemicals including Bisphenol A, or BPA, a synthetic estrogen frequently used to harden plastics and known to cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes and impaired brain function.

plastic bowl

If ever wondered why some dogs have pink marks on their black noses, some plastic bowls have a substance called p-benzylhydroquinone it stops melanin being produced in the body that produces pigment. This is a known condition called Plastic Dish Nasal Dermatitis

Ceramic Bowls 

If you like to treat your dog to a ceramic bowl there are plenty on offer to choose from are usually often beautifully made.

You can get some great options for ceramic bowls and they keep the food and water fresh. The only concern is that all not all ceramic bowls are made to the same regulations and some contain unhealthy levels of lead especially bowls made in China.

ceramic bowl

While ceramic bowls are good choice you would just need to check they are lead free and food safe. If any chips or cracks appear get rid of them and get new ones as this would be a perfect place for bacteria to breed.

Stainless Steel

The next choice and my own personal use for Max is stainless steel. I like that it is easy to clean and is safe and sturdy for my dog. However, here too we need to take care as a biofilm, which is a filmy collection of organisms, can form on top of the water.

stainless steel bowl

Serratia Marcescens, is a slightly pink or brown scum that can breed in standing water. So, washing often and well can keep our furry friends on good health.

How to Properly Clean Your Dog’s Bowls 

Getting rid of bacteria and germs is no easy feat if the incorrect cleaning products and techniques are not followed, a quick rinse under warm water will not cut it.

No amount of cleaning will eliminate bacteria and germs if you don’t use an effective cleaning product and technique. Just a quick rinse isn’t going to do the trick.

It is recommended to wash in the dishwasher on the hottest setting, and at least once per week soak the dishes in a solution of 1 tablespoon bleach and 1 gallon of water for 10 – 15 mins. This will ensure that all harmful bacteria are killed including Parvo.

The dishes should be washed thoroughly after each use with hot soapy water and every time the water bowl is filled.

Lawrence Pryor
Lawrence Pryor
Hi everyone, I am a dog lover/owner and a blogger for many years and I created this website to share fun and interesting stories about our wonderful dogs. They truly are our best friends.


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