I saw something today that disturbed me greatly, and truly grossed me out. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I have seen it. I have seen what I am referring to in pet stores, and people’s homes as well and it never fails to disgust me. What is it you ask? A water dish. Not just a water dish, but a dirty, slimy, gooey one! I can’t understand why people don’t wash them, this has become my biggest pet peeve!
The question is, what is that slime in the water dish? Sometimes it just makes the water look cloudy because the dish has a layer of almost glue like goo that sometimes has a pink color to it; the slime is called biofilm.
Biofilm is a collection of organic and inorganic, living and dead material that collects in the water dish. It is made up of many different types of bacteria bound together in a thick substance that acts as a glue to both hold the bacteria together, and stick it to a surface. Biofilm can often be good bacteria but there is also the bad.
Biofilms provide a safe haven for organisms like listeria, E. coli and legionella where they can reproduce to levels contaminating products passing through that water becoming inevitable. Bad Biofilms have been found to be involved in a wide variety of microbial infections such as urinary tract infections, middle-ear infections, and bladder infections. Bacteria that form biofilm can also cause dental plaque formation that leads to dental calculus formation, periodontal disease, systemic inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, urinary tract infections and chronic kidney disease.
The American Veterinary Medical Association states that biofilm on your dog’s bowl could contain algae, bacteria and fungi that come from things dogs lick or eat while they are out on walks or in the yard, as well as from food.
Many pet parents and pet supply stores are guilty of simply refilling the water bowl over and over without washing it and this becomes a environment for biofilm to soak around in.
In your own home, run your water bowls through a hot cycle in the dishwasher with an eco friendly, non-toxic soap to really clean out the biofilm! Use stainless steel bowls, plastic bowls are harder to sanitize.
Please, clean your pet’s water bowl! You wash your own dishes and glasses, why wouldn’t you wash theirs? Your pup is a member of the family and deserves clean dishes too. Use soap and hot water to scrub it clean before filling at least once a day. For all you pet daycares and pet supply stores whose employees or managers may be reading this, where a host of different bacteria float around from many different dogs, wash it daily!
Would you serve a guest in your home out of a dirty glass?
I thank you, your dog thanks you, all the dogs who use the public water bowl thank you!
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