Would you stand eating from a dirty plate for even one meal? Why should your pet go through that? When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your pet’s bowls? Most of us are victims of ignoring cat litter for pet hygiene and odor control.
A significant number of pet parent’s wash their pet’s bowls as an afterthought. Doctor Jerry Klein, a critical care veterinarian from Chicago, recommends cleaning food or water bowls daily using hot soapy water.
You should wash the food and water bowls daily since they are fourth on the list of germy things in our houses. This is by NSF International, a public health & safety organization.
Why you should clean your pet’s bowls often
The digestive system of a pet, especially dogs, is well-equipped to handle bacteria. Therefore, common pathogens such as salmonella barely survive in the highly acidic environment of our pets’ bodies. Forgetting to clean the bowl after your pet eats will probably affect the people living in the house, not your cat or dog.
Nonetheless, your pet can also be affected by the microbes in their bowls. Some dogs also develop acne around their chin due to unclean bowls. The bacteria that accumulate in the bowls can also cause infections in the pet’s body, conditions which can be avoided by regular cleaning.
How often should you clean your pet’s bowls
Wash the bowls daily and also clean the mat where you place the bowl using hot soapy water. It is even better if you can clean the bowl after each meal. Veterinarians recommend setting aside a specific sponge for cleaning the bowl. After washing, you should disinfect your sink, and then set the bowls aside for drying to prevent contamination of kitchen towels. If you cannot manage to clean the bowls regularly, then consider sanitizing the bowl weekly.
Methods to sanitize your pet’s bowls
Washing the bowl using hot soapy water using your dish detergent will work to remove the food particles as well as pathogens. However, to get rid of stubborn debris, you need to sanitize the bowls.
You can sanitize using a bleach and water solution. We recommend a gallon of water and a ¼ cup of your preferred bleaching agent. After sanitizing, ensure you thoroughly rinse and dry the bowls before its next use. Alternatively, you can toss your pet’s bowl in a dishwasher, and set it to the highest setting.
The best bowl for your pet
To ensure your family remains safe, use stainless or ceramic bowls. Plastic bowls, which are the most common, harbor a lot of bacteria, hence increasing the chances of contamination. Besides, plastic containers are difficult to keep clean. If you must use them, clean them daily, and consider replacing them after every month.
We recommend ceramic and stainless steel since they are easier to sanitize and non-porous than plastic bowls. They are durable and can last as long if properly maintained.
Be cautious with ceramic bowls since they can crack or break when dropped. If the bowl happens to crack, consider replacing it to prevent harboring pathogens. Consider buying several sets of ceramic bowls to prevent your pet from waiting for their dishes to dry to have their meal.