We all know how important it is to keep our kitchens clean and tidy. Understanding how to correctly prepare food and wiping down surfaces are vital to the health of you and your family. And the same goes for our four-legged friends too. Although it’s easy to forget to clean your pet bowls.
Your dog may seem unaffected by day-to-day bacteria. They all have a habit of sniffing around in some less than savoury locations. However, it’s not just them that can be affected by dirty food bowls. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has conducted a new study which revealed the habits of dog owners that could be posing a threat to both pet and human health.
The study surveyed 417 dog owners. Researchers found that only 12% washed their dog’s bowls daily. It found that 22% were cleaning them once a week. It also showed that 18% of respondents admitted to washing it every 3 months or never washing it all. The FDA has warned that this can cause a significant health issue. A dirty food bowl provides the perfect environment for bacteria like listeria and salmonella to breed.
Bacteria like these can cause stomach cramps and diarrhoea. The symptoms of these can be particularly harmful for children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system.
Emily Luisana, the lead author of the study and animal nutritionist at the Friendship Hospital for Animals told PetsRadar.com:
“Bacteria such as E.coli or salmonella could be present and can be zoonotic, or transmissible to people.”
She continued, “Since other studies have found that bacteria can be transferred in shared kitchen sinks or dishwashers, this is potentially a real concern in the average kitchen.”
To keep your dog’s food bowl as clean as possible, it is recommended that you wash it after every meal. Use warm soapy water and scrub any leftover food from the bowl. It’s important that you use a separate cloth or sponge than the one you use for your own washing up. This will help to reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination. Rinse off all soap before drying so no chemical residue remains.
When it comes to food preparation, the study found that 43% of owners stored their dog’s food less than 5 feet away from their human food, only 34% said they washed their hands after feeding their dog and 33% used the same surfaces to prep both human and dog food.
The study reported:
“Exposure to contaminated dog food can have implications for canine and human health. For example, there have been multiple outbreaks of both humans and dogs becoming ill after exposure to dog food contaminated with pathogenic bacteria.”
So next time you are giving your dog their dinner, it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to wash your hands and make sure you clean your pet bowls correctly.
Fri Jun 17 2022