Cleanliness is Next to Dogliness: Keeping Your Pet’s Bowl Clean

Day 11 of our 30 Days to the Best Pet Home is focused on cleaning your pet’s bowls & the easiest pet bowls to keep clean.

If you are anything like me, you are a really busy pet parent. You try to keep the house as clean as you can, but sometimes it’s really hard to keep up with all of your chores. Additionally, I will always choose to take Rooney for a walk over doing my laundry, which means that I am often behind on my daily chores. Therefore, when the weekend rolls around, and we are busy cleaning up our kitchens and backyards, we might forget that it’s also time to clean the pet bowls. But that has to change.

Last week, we shared some important information about proper pet food storage. In many of the articles that discussed pet food storage, authors also mentioned that regular cleaning of your pet’s bowls is just as important as proper pet food storage for preventing your pet from consuming unwanted bacteria. As a matter of fact, according to the Huffington Post, the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International rated pet bowls as the 4th dirtiest spot in our homes.

Are there real dangers lurking in my pet’s bowl?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. If you haven’t cleaned your pet’s food or water bowl in a while, you might be surprised to learn that there are a variety of potential health hazards lurking in their bowl. Here are 5 threats just to give you an idea:

  1. Serrate Marcescens “Pink Stuff”
  2. Yeast
  3. Mold
  4. Coliform (same family as E.Coli and Salmonella)
  5. Insects

So the question is, what is the recommended frequency for washing your dog or cat’s bowls?

Every day.

That’s right. Dr. Marty Becker’s co-author and pet professional, Gina Spadafori, recommends washing both the food and water bowls every day. Additionally, she recommends washing them in the hottest cycle of the dishwasher to make sure they are thoroughly sterilized (Vetstreet).

What should we use to wash the dishes?

Hot water and soap if you are washing the dishes every day. There are a few articles out there that suggest using bleach, but I wouldn’t use bleach. Bleach can be so harmful if not properly rinsed.

Cleanliness is Next to Dogliness: Keeping Your Pet's Bowl Clean

If you are at all concerned about harsh chemicals in your dish or dishwasher soap, you can always switch over to a more natural alternative. I really like Meyer’s Dish Soaps. Not only do they smell great (their lavender household cleaner smells awesome!), but they are free of the following chemicals:

  • Phthalates
  • Glycol Solvents
  • Chlorine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Artificial Colors
  • Parabens
  • Animal Derived Ingredients
  • MEA
  • DEA

What are the best types of bowls?

Several different sources stated that stainless steel or ceramic bowls are best for cleaning. Here are a few of my favorites!


As a result of my research, I will be washing Rooney’s bowls daily, and placing them in the dishwasher with each available cycle. What changes will you make?

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5 Comment

  1. Reply
    April 28, 2016 at 6:29 am

    As a bird, I take some of my food and put it in my water dish. It’s like a game to me and I always win!
    Kismet recently posted…Identical twinsMy Profile

    1. Reply
      May 9, 2016 at 7:33 am

      Sounds like fun Kismet! Do the dogs in the house do the same?

  2. Reply
    M. K. Clinton
    April 28, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I feed the boys homemade meals so they get washed after eating. I usually stick them in the dishwasher when we run it too. I wash their water bowl daily because Bentley drools. LOL!
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…It’s Time to Liv-a-Littles #ChewyInfluencerMy Profile

    1. Reply
      May 9, 2016 at 7:32 am

      Lol….all that backwash 🙂

  3. Reply
    Groovy Goldendoodles
    April 29, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I use stainless steel and all bowls are washed with hot water and soap everyday. Water is replaced several times a day as well.

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