Q: A houseguest watched me refill my canine’s meals and water bowls with out washing them, my traditional process until there’s apparent grime on them. She identified the slime overlaying the within the water bowl and advised me it’s harmful since the slime harbors micro organism that could cause sickness. Is she proper? Ought to I do as she advises and scrub each bowls every day?
A: Sure and sure.
A current research discovered that your observe, which will increase the chance of sickness for each you and your canine, is widespread.
Researchers surveyed 417 canine homeowners and examined 68 of their pets’ meals bowls for micro organism. Two findings stunned me. First, bacterial counts from steel and ceramic bowls had been as excessive as these from plastic bowls. Additionally, meals bowl bacterial counts had been as excessive from households with youngsters and immunocompromised members as from wholesome households, indicating that high-risk households aren’t taking important precautions.
Bacterial counts had been excessive as a result of few research members adopted the Meals and Drug Administration’s pet meals dealing with pointers, revealed at www.fda.gov.
The slime in your canine’s water bowl additionally poses an issue. This “biofilm” consists of micro organism embedded inside a slime produced by the microbes themselves. Biofilms adhere to residing and nonliving surfaces.
When a biofilm varieties on enamel, it’s referred to as plaque. A biofilm that adheres to the within floor of the bladder could cause persistent urinary tract infections. When an an infection includes a catheter or orthopedic implant, it’s often on account of a biofilm.
Biofilms defend micro organism from the surroundings, together with the animal’s immune system and antibiotics. As a biofilm grows inside the physique, some micro organism break off and set up recent infections — and recent biofilms — elsewhere.
Whether or not your canine’s water bowl slime is dangerous is dependent upon what sorts of micro organism are embedded within the biofilm. Because you don’t know what they’re, scrub all water bowls with scorching, soapy water every day. Do the identical together with your meals bowls and kibble measuring cup after every use, or clear them within the dishwasher as I do.
Lastly, all the time wash your arms earlier than and after feeding your canine.
Q: After I purchase a recent bag of kibble for my cats, ought to I depart it within the bag, or could I empty it right into a giant, coated meals container?
A: I do each. I depart the kibble in the unique bag and set the bag right into a meals container with a sturdy base and a safe lid. I retailer all pet meals within the pantry with the door closed.
I favor leaving the meals within the bag for a number of causes. First, the container stays cleaner. I nonetheless wash and dry it between luggage of meals, however the method is simpler.
Pet meals luggage are designed to maintain kibble contemporary, so eradicating meals from the bag and storing it elsewhere could scale back its shelf life. Even meals in the unique bag needs to be saved in a cool, dry location to reduce spoilage and stop the fat from turning into rancid.
It’s additionally essential to maintain pet meals in the unique bag in case of a recall, for the reason that bag shows the meals’s title, producer, lot quantity and expiration date.
Lee Pickett, VMD, practices companion animal medication in North Carolina. Contact her at https://askthevet.pet.