The sponge is one of the most germ ridden objects in the home. It contains more bacteria and disease that a toilet. For most homes, it wins the prize as the title holder for the grossest thing in the kitchen.
But for pet owners, the sponge may have a competitor: your pet’s food bowl.
One study reviewed all household items and found that pet food bowls ranked in the top 5 most diseased household items, often with some of the more dangerous bacteria, like salmonella. There are many reasons for this:
Even dry kibble gets moisture. Dog slobber and heat cause moisture that feeds bacteria.
Dog slobber is filled with its own germs that may be harmless in the mouth but are not if the bacteria grows.
Many people throw non-kibble in the dog bowls, such as raw meat leftover from cooking.
But perhaps the greatest contributor to dog food bowl “grossness” is that parents of pets simply do not wash them very often. Dogs may seem like they can eat just about anything (and often they do!) so pet owners do not think that they need to wash their bowls.
Yet not only is it important to wash bowls. Because of the potential for harmful germs and bacteria, you should not only wash the bowl – you should strongly consider washing it once per day with soap AND disinfecting it once per week with a trip to the dishwasher.
It’s easy to forget that your dogs are sensitive to many of the same things humans are. Although they may seem fine eating things like old meat out of the trash at the park, they can still get food poisoning and other illnesses just like people can. You can also get sick from accidentally touching their bowl as well. Clean their bowl often and the risk decreases.