Editorial

Dog Tip Tuesday: How to Effectively Clean Your Dog’s Bowl

How to Effectively Clean Dog Bowls | Vanillapup

Pet bowls are found to be the 4th dirtiest place in homes. Dirty bowls can cause dental and other health diseases. Here’s how to clean dog bowls properly.

Did you know that pet bowls are rated the fourth dirtiest place in the homes studied by public health organisation NSF International?

And did you know that if you clean dog bowls with warm tap water, it does not kill most germs? Most pathogens only start to die off at around 60°C to 70°C!

It is recommended that you wash your dog’s food bowl after every meal and water bowl every day to get rid of bacteria, mold, and bugs.

If you rub your finger across your dog’s bowl and it feels slimy, then you are dealing with biofilm. It is a buildup of microorganisms that stick together to form a sticky surface to help them survive.

Biofilm can be hard to remove so people usually turn to bleach. But, mama doesn’t use bleach at home because of me. If bleach is not rinsed off properly, it can pose a health risk.

The best way to combat biofilm is to prevent it from forming in the first place. Hence, washing every day is important.

How to disinfect and clean dog bowls

1. Wash the bowls daily with water and mild soap to get rid of residue

2. If there’s biofilm, scrub it off with hot soapy water and a soft sponge, and then disinfect the bowl. Be careful not to scratch the bowls. Scratches can harbour germs

3. Disinfect the bowl weekly by either:

  • soaking it with white vinegar, or
  • rinsing it with boiling water, or water more than 60°C. You can also put it in a dishwasher at the highest heat setting

Even though vinegar is not a registered disinfectant with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and is not as effective as bleach in killing germs, it works well as a general disinfectant.

Unless you suspect that there is a high risk of dangerous bacterial contamination, the above approach should be sufficient.

If you are not sure of how to choose a suitable dog bowl, here’s a guide.


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Latte is the happy Westie behind Vanillapup, a website for dog lovers. Discover latest products and services, dog-friendly hangouts, helpful tips and advice, and exclusive perks.
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