4 min read
Have you ever looked at your dog's eating area and asked yourself... is that a pet food dish or a petri dish? Unfortunately, we've got bad news for our fellow pet parents: unless you clean your dog food and water bowls after each feeding, you've got both. Ready to be grossed out? Read on! Then grab your rubber gloves because we've got tips for keeping your dirty dog bowls clean and your household safe from pooch cooties.
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 skeeves 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. Be sure to give your pet fresh water at every feeding.
*Especially if you feed a raw diet, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
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 out of 417 surveyed dog owners, less than five percent were aware of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines about safe storage and feeding practices. Also, only a third of respondents claimed to wash their hands after feeding their pets. Here are some more fun facts from Dr. Luisana's findings:
We'll get to the FDA's food handling and storage guidelines, but first... 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. We go a step further and suggest you go ahead and wash your dog's water dishes and food dishes after each mealtime to keep things simple.
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. Keep your dog bowl cleaning tools in a separate container, preferably in a separate room from your kitchen. When you clean your dog dishes daily, you'll likely only need to use a paper towel or two, anyway. But a stainless steel scrubber is easy to disinfect and dry. It's also cheap to replace if it gets... gooey.
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 not be your idea of living the dream. But from your pet's point of view—from their luxurious Animals Matter dog bed, of course—you're there to serve their needs. And Animals Matter is here to help you look after your pets' health with our line of luxury orthopedic dog furniture, mobility-friendly stairs, and car seats.
If you don't wash your pet's bowls after each feeding, accumulated residue harbors harmful bacteria that can make your pet and your family sick. Water bowls can carry the same bacteria as food bowls.
Keep up with your dog's oral health, and clean all dog bowls after each feeding. Avoid leaving water and food bowls where wildlife can contaminate them. Properly store all dog food in sealed containers at the correct temperatures.
Wash and scrub all dog bowls with hot water and soap, followed by a soak in a water/bleach solution before air drying. Alternatively, use the sanitary cycle on your dishwasher.
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12 min read
With all the available pet stair and pet ramp choices, we hope this information has helped you choose the best option for your furry friend. The health and safety of your pets are always our top priority here at Animals Matter.
4 min read
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