As dog owners, we are probably all a little guilty of not washing our dogs’ feeding and drinking bowls as often as we should. Given the ease with which it is just to fill them up, it can be so easy to forget that they do actually need pretty regular cleaning despite how clean our dogs may lick them after they have been emptied – particularly their food bowls!

Here we look at how often you should clean your dog’s bowl as an owner. We include some tips and reasons why you should clean it regularly – it will give all of us motivation to do it far more often than most of us do.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Bowl 

Quite simply, we all need to clean our dogs’ bowls far more than we initially think. Without doing so the bowls can be a breeding site for invisible bacteria that your dog keeps on licking day after day. Bearing this in mind, it’s a good idea to wipe your dog’s bowls down at least once day, every day. This will help keep any nasties at bay and help protect your dog’s health and well being.

Bear in mind that you also have to take into account the type of food you give your pooch. For most of us, we will give our dogs kibble. The dry nature of this food stuff means that a daily wipe or clean is more than sufficient. However, some dogs will be given a diet of wet food or even raw dog food. If this is the case for your dog, it is imperative to clean your dog’s bowl after every meal. The moist nature of wet food and the bacteria that breeds on raw food when not refrigerated properly means that the proliferation of germs is much faster than with kibble or dry dog food.

Other Ideas To Take On Board

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of putting your dog’s food and water bowls through the dishwasher at least once a week. The heat of the water that is reached in a dishwasher is so high that it will completely kill off any unhealthy bacteria that may have bred there. Obviously, if your dog has a wet or raw food diet, it is advisable to put their bowl through the dishwasher far more often. Every other or every third day should suffice.

Once you start getting into the habit of putting your canine friend’s bowl into the dishwasher, you will find it easy to maintain as you will see the difference in how clean, or rather how unclean it is, almost immediately. In fact, it will probably make you hang your head in shame when you do start doing it from the get go. They come up so sparkly and shiny, especially the traditional metal bowls, that you will realise just how dirty your dog’s bowl had become over time.

Additionally, it is a good idea to avoid the use of strong soaps or powerful detergents when cleaning your dog’s bowl. Furthermore, try to ensure that the cleaning product that you do use does not have a strong smell either. Such strong smells have been known to put dogs off their food which is obviously not what any dog owner wants to see, particularly as it is quite out of character for most dogs out there. Instead, find a detergent that is able to kill off any bacteria whilst being gentle on stomachs and noses.

When you put your dog’s bowl through the dishwasher, you can actually just put it through with no tablet in whatsoever. The heat of the water does the most work in this case and is the most important part of the cleaning process. If you just put the dog bowl in, and set your dishwasher to an economy or eco setting, this will be more than enough to achieve the necessary results on your dog’s bowl whilst keeping your electricity bill down and not wasting too much water. Plus, by putting your dishwasher on while it is practically empty, you are actually helping the effectiveness of all future washing cycles as it helps clean out any muck that the machine may have had a build up of with no chance of getting rid of it.

Also bear in mind what your dog’s bowl is made from. Ceramic bowls are porous so require far more cleaning than others. Stainless steel bowls are sturdy, but show up dirt easily. This can be both a good and a bad thing as it is easy to see when the bowl needs cleaning, though hard to clean so that is shines like new every single time! Plastic bowls are easy to clean though they are so light that they can be difficult for your dog to eat from.

Lastly, do you use a dog food mat to put your bowls on? If that is the case, remember that this will need to be wiped down and cleaned too. Your dog will have licked it to get any splashed over food so it’s just as susceptible to harbouring bacteria as the bowl itself.

puppy eating

The Bottom Line Of Cleaning Your Dog’s Bowl

It is therefore a good idea to get into the practice of cleaning your dog’s bowl as often as possible. It is easy to get out of the habit of doing it as feeding our dogs soon becomes like second nature to us  so that we forget we are doing it – the result is that we take little notice of the bowl itself.

As discussed, this can have negative repercussions on the cleanliness and hygiene of what your dog is eating from and therefore can have an impact in their overall health. It is good to remember that dogs actually have a much more sensitive digestive system than we often credit them with so it is an idea to remember why it is beneficial to wash their bowl regularly.

When we keep their general health in mind, we are much more likely to clean their bowls often so that they stay at the peak of fitness at all times. This way we are free to enjoy their devoted and unique company which is why we love them so much.

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Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!

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