Q: A houseguest watched me refill my canine’s meals and water bowls with out washing them, my normal process until there’s apparent grime on them. She identified the slime masking the within the water bowl and instructed me it is 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 day by day?
A: Sure and sure.
A latest examine discovered that your apply, which will increase the chance of sickness for each you and your canine, is widespread.
Researchers surveyed 417 canine house owners and examined 68 of their pets’ meals bowls for micro organism. Two findings shocked me.
First, bacterial counts from steel and ceramic bowls have been as excessive as these from plastic bowls. Additionally, meals bowl bacterial counts have been as excessive from households with youngsters and immunocompromised members as from wholesome households, indicating that high-risk households will not be taking important precautions.
Bacterial counts have been excessive as a result of few examine individuals adopted the Meals and Drug Administration’s pet meals dealing with tips, revealed https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/tips-safe-handling-pet-food-and-treats/.
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 is known 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 always attributable to a biofilm.
Biofilms defend micro organism from the setting, together with the animal’s immune system and antibiotics. As a biofilm grows throughout the physique, some micro organism break off and set up latest infections — and latest biofilms — elsewhere.
Whether or not your canine’s water bowl slime is dangerous will depend on what sorts of micro organism are embedded within the biofilm. Since you do not know what they’re, scrub all water bowls with scorching, soapy water day by day. Do the identical along with your meals bowls and kibble-measuring cup after every use, or clear them within the dishwasher as I do.
Lastly, at all times wash your palms earlier than and after feeding your canine.
Q: Once I purchase a latest bag of kibble for my cats, ought to I go away it within the bag, or could I empty it right into a giant, lined meals container?
A: I do each. I go away 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 couple 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 recent, so eradicating meals from the bag and storing it elsewhere can cut back its shelf life. Even meals in the unique bag needs to be stored in a cool, dry location to reduce spoilage and stop the fat from turning into rancid.
It is also necessary to maintain pet meals in the unique bag in case of a recall, because the 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