To keep your pooch healthy and happy, cleaning and sanitizing his water and food bowls are a must. Even though stainless steel dog bowls are less likely to grow bacteria on the surface, you should still do this. If you neglect the bowls, bacteria may collect on them and contaminate your dog's food, which may lead to illness. Plus, gunky food bowls are no fun to look at.
Items You Will Need
• Mild soap
• Plastic sponge
• Rubber gloves
• Bleach OR Baking soda & salt
• Measuring spoon and cup
Wash the bowl daily with soap and hot water to prevent bacterial growth. Sanitize the bowl weekly as follows:
Empty any leftover food from the dog dish. It's best to throw it away instead of putting it back into the food bag. This can cause bacterial growth in the food container.
Rinse the bowl with warm water. Scrub the bowl with a couple drops of dishwashing soap, hot water and a plastic sponge. Take your time and scrub all surfaces of the bowl. This means inside, the sides and the bottom. Rinse the bowl again with water. Examine the bowl to make sure all food residue and odors have been removed. Clean it again if need be.
Select one of the following deep cleaning methods.
Bleach method: Fill a wide bucket with 1 gallon of warm water and 1 tablespoon of bleach. With gloved hands, submerge the bowl into the solution and let it sit in there for a couple of minutes.
Salt and Baking Soda method: If you prefer not to use bleach, combine equal parts of baking soda, warm water and salt and use a sponge to scrub the surface of the dish in a circular motion. Rinse well.
WARNING: Never use full-strength bleach to clean your pet bowl. Always dilute it as instructed and make sure the bowl is completely rinsed and dried before using it again to feed your pet.
Pull the bowl out and place it upside down on a clean, dry towel. Let the bowl air dry completely before using it again.
By Susan Revermann
About the Author
Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.