Have you ever rubbed your fingers on the inside of your pet’s water bowl, and you feel or see a slippery slime? Most of us think that we are doing a good job of cleaning our pet’s water bowls. Well think again!
The clear, invisible goo is called Biofilm. This is a collection of organic and inorganic, living and dead materials collected on a surface. It is made up of various types of bacteria bound together in a thick substance that acts as a glue to hold the bacteria together and it adheres to a surface. There can be good and can help a pet’s stomach. BUT BAD BIOFILMS have been involved in a wide variety of microbial infections in a pet’s body and can cause urinary tract infections, middle-ear infections, and bladder infections. Levels of the slime which are
thick or the green is very visual, then the organisms like Listeria, E-Coli, and Legionella can get into a pet’s body
The green slime is ALGAE and can have the same organisms as in the Biofilm. And, if you have a dog with some immune problems as well as anyone in your household, then this is one problem that can be remedied.
Does the type of food or type of bowl make a difference?
Yes, when it comes to food, the type does make a difference for your pet’s food bowl. If you are feeding kibble, then you will still need to clean the bowl, not only for the crumbs left but for the bacteria left behind by your pet’s saliva from licking the bowl. Same is true for those owners feeding a raw diet, especially if any raw meat is left behind. You could be adding Salmonella to the Listeria. For those owners who “free feed” and the food is left in the bowl all day, then the above will apply even more in creating digestive problems in your pets.
When it comes to bowl choices, it does make a rather large difference. The preferred bowl types for pets are either stainless steel (make sure it is truly stainless--- American made is preferred), or ceramic bowls. Plastic bowls can be easily scratched leaving areas where bacteria can dwell. You can usually see algae in the cracks. Plastic is also porous, giving bacteria hidden places to collect. Also, some plastics can leach its composition into the water, mixing with other gross things and making it into your dog's insides.
SO HOW DO YOU PROPERLY CLEAN AND STERILIZE YOUR PET BOWLS?
Clean with hot soapy water then place in dishwasher for further cleaning
Clean in hot soapy water and then use a combination of BLEACH and water at a rate of 1:50 and soak for 10 minutes and rinse well.
Clean in hot water. Combine Baking soda, Salt and warm water in equal amounts to create a thick paste. Scrub the bowl with the paste and rinse well.
CAN YOU PREVENT IT FROM COMING BACK?
The best way to help prevent this is to do thorough cleanings of your bowls, OFTEN AND THOROUGHLY, choosing stainless steel or ceramic in the first place but also know that from time to time, ceramic bowls may crack and have to be replaced.
With warm, sunny weather coming --- this is very important – so keep up the good work!