My hands touch a lot of bowls every day. Dog bowls. Cat Bowls. Stainless steel bowls. Plastic bowls. My pet’s bowls. My client’s bowls.
At home with my own furry gang, bowl sanitization is at the top of my list. My personal rule of thumb is to treat my pet’s bowls as I do my own tableware… I would never use a dirty dish or cup, GROSS!
Bacteria Love To Grow
You see, those tiny bits of food that get stuck to pet bowls attract bacteria and the microbes in our pet’s saliva create an ideal environment for growth.
Here’s the scientific jargon from the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration:
“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.”
I think it’s especially important to sanitize bowls in homes with multiple pets; as these pets either share bowls or can’t help but lick their mate’s bowl potentially leading to cross-contamination. Pets who eat raw food, canned food or fresh food should especially have a clean and sanitized bowl at every meal.
Go take a look-see at your pet’s bowls… Do you see leftover bits of food? Does the bowl feel slimy to touch? Yup, that’s a playground for bacteria!
The Best Ways To Wash Bowls
Bacteria are sneaky, so it’s super important to wash food bowls after every meal. Water bowls should be washed and wiped dry every day or so, as they also are an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish.
Some basic hot and soapy water will do the trick, either by hand or dishwasher. Bleach or harsh chemicals are not needed or recommended; I for sure wouldn’t use them on my own dishes, so please stay away for pets as well.
I Like These Bowls Better
Quick note on the best pet bowls, stainless steel! Porcelain and glass bowls are also great. Stainless steel, porcelain and glass all can be easily sanitized and withstand hot water. I highly recommend away from plastic, as it breaks down, cannot be sanitized and can leach toxicity into your pet’s food and water.
I hope this post is informative and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.