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A Shockingly Easy Way to Keep Your Pet Healthy


Your Pet Sitter Can Help Keep Your Pet Healthy in Unexpected Ways

Most people, even the most loving and responsible pet parents, don’t clean their dog’s and cat’s bowls daily. To be honest, 15 years ago we didn’t either. But one day it dawned on us- not cleaning a dog’s bowl every day is the same thing as not cleaning your own plates after eating, with all that muck and grime piling up on the sides. Would you eat off the same dirty plate, twice a day, day in, day out? Heck no! So why is it safe for the dog?

It’s not, according to a Huffington Post article; germ theory does indeed apply to dogs.  NSF International, a non-profit, non-governmental public health safety organization, conducted a germ study in 2011 among 22 families. The study found that pet bowls were the fourth “germiest” place in families’ homes (the worst was, ironically, the kitchen sponge/dish rag). How do you keep your pets’ bowls from becoming germ nirvana? NSF International recommends the following:

1. wash pet dishes daily in a sanitizing dish washer, or

2. scrub bowls by hand with hot soapy water

3. once a week, soak dog and cat bowls in a 1:50 bleach rinse for 10 minutes (1 cap bleach, 1 gallon water). Rinse them thoroughly and allow them to air dry

An alternative cleaning method would be to combine equal parts water, salt, and baking soda and scrub it into your dog’s bowls in a circular motion, then rinse well. Do you see that sparkling white dish in that photo? Your dog’s bowl should be clean enough for you to eat off of it!

All that cleaning for dog bowls? Really?

Yes! It’s not so hard; we scrub our dog bowls after each meal at home, and during pet sits at our clients’ homes. We do this for both food and water bowls, mind you- another perk to hiring a pet sitter! One positive change you can make toward cleanliness is using stainless steel or ceramic bowls for your pets. They are less porous than plastic, so they harbor less germs- and they’re rust and corrosion resistant.

Why get rid of plastics? Scientific studies are showing increasing correlations between the chemical bisphenol a and health problems in human beings; better to be safe than sorry, we say. Some theories suggest that if a plastic bowl becomes scratched, it is easier for the toxins to seep into your pets’ food. While we wait on the final word on the toxicity of plastic, we do know that those little grooves and scratches that accumulate in plastic bowls are the perfect breeding ground for germs, a danger which increases when you don’t wash the bowls daily. One more tip: only use the diluted bleach mixture for 10 minutes; the chloride can pit the corrode the stainless steel.

We hope this helps you improve your dog’s health! Let us know how you keep your baby’s area clean in the comments, below!

Image courtesy Ilovebazoombas. Yes, really.

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