How Often Should I Clean My Pet’s Food Bowl?

Cleaning your pet’s food bowl is just as important as cleaning your own dishes after every meal. Bacteria grows on bits of food left in your pet’s bowl, causing harmful growths that are dangerous for both your pet’s health and yours. You should clean your pet’s food bowl after every meal or at least once per day. You should also clean your pet’s water bowl at least once per week.

What kind of food bowl should I use?

Metal or stainless-steel bowls are recommend over plastic because small scratches and bite marks appear in the plastic overtime and can harbor bacteria.

How should I handle my pet’s food?

Food safety is always questionable when food is left out. Do not leave open canned/moist food sitting unrefrigerated for more than two hours. This is when bacteria in food can multiply rapidly and lead to illness.

Dry food and dishes should be handled similarly. Store dry pet food in its original bag inside a clean, dedicated plastic container with a lid, keeping the top of the bag folded closed. Store in a cool, dry place. Wash your hands after handling dry food and use a scoop dedicated just for pet food.

It is recommended to keep your pets away from food storage and preparation areas and trash areas. Consider a food mat for your food and water bowls if your pet is messy. It will catch any stray food bits before they are contaminated on the ground and it helps keep your pet’s eating area cleaner.

What type of cleaners should I use?

A common question that pet owners have is whether or not to use bleach on pet dishes. Regular dish detergent or dishwater detergent is fine. Always use hot water when hand washing bowls. You can use a diluted solution of bleach as an extra precaution to sanitize surfaces and utensils. The dishwasher is a useful alternative to hand-washing for dishwasher-safe bowls, but if there is any food residue remaining on the food bowl, it can still harbor bacteria that can go on to multiply after washing.

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