It's easy to neglect doing the dog's dishes when they drink out of toilet bowls and happily eat off the floor.
Your dog's questionable sanitation standards aside, the majority of dog-owning households have a dirty little secret. The average family dog has one bowl from which they eat their breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It gets a lot of use, but compared to the rest of the dishes in the house, it spends the least amount of time in the sink.
Dog bowls commonly get skipped over when it comes time to wash the dishes, but new findings from the National Science Foundation (NSF International) show dirty dog dishes affect more than the dog.
According to the study, pet bowls are the fourth germiest place in most pet-owning homes. Many dog owners assume they don't need to worry about washing their dog's food bowls or water bowls because their dog honestly couldn't care less. They gobble and slurp up whatever's inside and lick the sides clean no matter how dirty the dish is. A dog isn't likely to complain, but that doesn't mean a dirty dog dish is harmless.
The canine mouth is awash with bacteria, and licking the bowl clean of dog food might leave it looking good, but it doesn't do anything for the microscopic organisms clinging to the surface. A dirty dog dish is a potential breeding ground for everything including germs, yeast, and mold, especially if your dog is on a raw diet. Your dog is the one most likely to be affected as he sticks his snout in his food on a daily basis, but humans are also at risk.
Diseases like e.coli and salmonella live in pet food dishes. They make dogs sick, and they can also infect humans, especially the young and the old with weaker immune systems. If a family member comes down with an illness with no clear source of infection, a neglected dog dish could be to blame.
The good news is, there's a simple solution for your entire family's well-being. Instead of washing the dog's bowl only when it starts to look especially grimy, make it a habit to throw it in the kitchen sink on a daily basis to hand wash in hot soapy water. Treat the pet food bowls like any other dish in your kitchen cabinet, and it'll be easier to keep things clean and the family healthy. If you're not up for doing the dishes every day, invest in more than one dog dish and provide your pup with a clean bowl for every meal. Stainless steel bowls and ceramic bowls are easier to keep clean than plastic bowls.
How often do you wash your dog's dish? Let us know in the comments.
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