How Often You Should Really Clean Your Pet Bowls – Best Life

If you call your pet your “child,” you are definitely not alone. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), around 80 percent of pet owners in the United States consider their pet another member of the family. Like a child, you probably spend a lot of time cleaning up after your furry family member. But it’s not just about putting toys where they belong or cleaning out the litter box. You should also practice proper hygiene for your pet’s food. We consulted experts to find out how often you really should be cleaning your pet bowls. Read on to find out if you’re protecting your pet and the rest of your household.

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Domestic life with pet. Man holding bowl of feeding for his hungry cat.

A study by animal nutritionists from North Carolina State University recently broke down the dangers of dirty food bowls. According to the study, published April 6 in Plus one“Pet food handling and pet bowl hygiene practices can have adverse effects on human and pet health,” particularly in relation to bacterial growth and exposure.

“Feeding pets involves an interaction between the pet, the owner, and the food,” the researchers wrote. “This interaction creates the potential for the mutual exchange of microbial contaminants from food or water, dishware, and the environment of food storage or preparation, which can have health consequences for humans and pets.”

Silver bowl filled with dog food on a wooden table and white background viewed from the front

Many owners are unaware that pet bowls are one of the most germ-rich places in their home. MadelynHarrisa canine expert and senior contributor to the Doodle Dog Club best life. According to Harris, these dishes like to contain bacteria E. coli or salmonella, as well as other pathogens such as mold and yeast. “For this reason, you should wash your pet’s food and water bowls more often than you probably think,” she says.

Corresponding Diana Ludwiczak, a certified dog trainer in New York City, food bowls actually need to be cleaned every day. “You wouldn’t eat your food on a plate that wasn’t washed up, so why should your furry family members be okay with that?” asks Ludwiczak.

Of course, it’s not just about treating your pet like any other family member. As Ludwiczak explains, bacteria from leftover food builds up on pet bowls if they’re not cleaned daily — and if bacteria has contaminated those dishes, you won’t even realize it.

“We can’t see accumulations of bacteria with our eyes – they’re microscopic,” she warns. “Your pet can get sick from constantly ingesting bacteria from their food bowl. Pets often lick their humans too. So if you make sure they eat from a clean bowl, fewer germs will be passed on to you.”

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Unrecognizable female hands wash dog bowl in kitchen sink.

To clean your pet bowls daily, Crystal Litzenbergera vet who has practiced in New York City for more than 20 years recommends just washing them like you would any other dishes: “Use some dish soap, grab a sponge, and get to work,” she says.

Some experts say you can just toss your pet’s bowl in your dishwasher, but Linda SimonMVB, Vet and Consultant Vet for FiveBarks, narrates best life she advises against this method. According to Simon, the dishwasher often doesn’t clean the bowls thoroughly enough and “residue can be left behind”.

The owner pours dry food for the cat and dog in the kitchen. hand of the master. closeup. Concept dry food for animals

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has official guidelines for pet owners when it comes to the safe handling of their food and the cleaning of their bowls. The only problem? Most Americans are not aware of this. According to that Plus one study, less than 5 percent of people knew there were guidelines to follow. Daily cleaning of the food bowl is part of the FDA’s recommendations, but due to the general lack of knowledge about this guideline, the researchers found that only 12 percent of dog owners wash their pets’ food bowls as often.

The agency’s guidelines also indicate that owners should wash their own hands before handling pet food and use a clean feeding spoon to protect their pets from foodborne illnesses. According to the study, only 22 percent follow the recommendation to wash hands and only 13 percent clean the utensils they use to scoop pet food after each use.

Emily Luisiana, DVM, lead author of the study and animal nutritionist at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, DC, said in a statement that the study began after she and her colleagues realized that there were, in fact, FDA guidelines on the issue. “We found that we all had different pet food storage and sanitation practices when it came to our own pets,” Luisiana explained, per AARP. “Pet owners should know that pet food bowls can harbor bacteria and there are recommendations to minimize this risk.” How Often You Should Really Clean Your Pet Bowls – Best Life

Sarah Y. Kim

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