How to clean your dog bowls is essential for their health and hygiene. They need to be washed regularly and thoroughly too.
Vigilant hygiene of your dog bowls is important for your dog's health as there can be nasty bacteria lurking in the bowls.
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HOW OFTEN SHOULD DOG BOWLS BE CLEANED?
Your dog food bowls should be cleaned after every meal, especially if you are feeding freshly cooked food or raw food. Salmonella and E.coli can be contained in raw food. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your dog's bowls.
If your dogs eat dry food, their bowls can be cleaned at the end of the day. Clean it before refilling the bowl too.
The dog water bowls should also be cleaned daily. We do so because we live in a hot, warm climate in addition for the cleanliness of the dog bowls. If we don't keep an eye on the water bowls mosquito larvae will appear. It's a good incentive for regular cleaning!
CAN DOGS GET SICK FROM DIRTY BOWLS?
In short, absolutely. Especially water bowls. If you have ever run your finger inside of your dog's water bowl and felt a slime it needs to be cleaned. That slime is called Biofilm and is a collection of organic and inorganic materials on the bowl surface. The bacteria bond together to form the sticky substance.
The slimy surface in a dog's water bowl can cause various microbial infections such as urinary tract infections, middle-ear infections and bladder infections.
HOW TO CLEAN SLIMY DOG BOWLS
Slimy dog bowls may occur if you don't clean them daily. A natural way to clean them is to mix baking soda, salt and warm water into a paste. Use this paste to scrub the bowls. Then rinse the bowls thoroughly with warm water and then dry with kitchen towel. Not the drying cloth for your dishes!
WHAT SHOULD I CLEAN MY DOG'S BOWL WITH?
The sponges or clothes that you wash your dog dishes with should be separate from yours. Do not wash your dishes with their sponges! If your dog's bowl is plastic use a non scratch sponger because scratchers can cause bacteria breeding grounds.
You can give the dogs bowls a daily regular clean with dish soap or a homemade dog-friendly cleaner and hot water.
Disinfect the bowls weekly with a dog friendly cleaner. White vinegar is a good natural and safe cleaner but you could make a homemade solution with hydrogen peroxide, bleach or use alcohol wipes.
Another option is to buy a premade cleaning solution or make a disinfecting solution at home with strong chemicals like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and more
SHOULD YOU WASH DOG DISHES WITH HUMAN DISHES?
If you are using a dishwasher, the high temperature of the dishwasher is a great cleaner as it's hotter than anything you would clean by hand. However, keep your dog (and cat) bowls separate from your own. Just ensure that the dog bowls are dishwasher safe. Plastic and stainless steel are okay but ceramic are not suitable for the dishwasher. Any plastic dishes should be place on the top rack to stop melting.