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

food bowls
  • 18 June 2017
  • Pet Wants

Giving your dog or cat great pet food is one of the best things you can do to support their health and overall well-being on a daily basis. Since pet owners want their dogs and cats to get full value from the food they are fed, one question that regularly comes up is how often food bowls should be cleaned. Although that sounds like a relatively easy question to answer, it only takes a couple of Google searches to see that the information on this subject is all over the place. To help you get a straight answer, we’ve compiled everything you need to know:

The Safest Approach

If you want to be fully confident that you’re protecting your pet, washing its bowl after every meal is the way to go. It’s also best to wash water bowls every couple of days. The reason this consistency is so important is it will ensure no unwanted bacteria begins growing on the bowl which could then get onto your pet’s food as they’re eating. Pets eat directly from their food bowls, so it’s easy to understand how microbes that normally live in your pet’s mouth can be transferred to a food or water bowl.

Examples of bacteria that can end up growing in pets’ food bowls are Staphylococcus aureus, Pasteurella multocida and different species of Corynebacterium, Streptococcus, Enterobacteria, Neisseria, Moraxella. And even though they’re not as common, Bacillus, Salmonella and Pseudomonas can also develop. This list includes some very nasty bacteria, and is not something you want your pet to be exposed to.

How to Do It

The next question is how to best clean so that bacteria isn’t an issue. The answer is with hot, soapy water. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands with hot water and soap before and after handling your pet’s food to help prevent passing any contamination.

Leaving Food Out

By putting your pet on a consistent feeding schedule, you can maximize the likelihood of them eating their food in a timely manner. However, some pets are quite picky about eating, while others have days when they aren’t in the mood to eat right away. This brings up the question of how long to leave food out for your pet.

The most common recommendation is to limit the period that food is out to less than two hours. This is especially important for canned/moist food, but is also considered a best practice for dry food. By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to keep your pet’s eating experience safe and healthy.

For more information on pets or to try one of our nutritious formulas, please contact Pet Wants Tucson at: 520-909-9770.

Due to personal circumstances we are closing the Pet Wants Tucson location February 28, 2019. Please call to check product availability before ordering. Dismiss