Invisible Monsters in Your Pet’s Bowls?

Editorís note:†This post is a Care2 favorite, back by popular demand. It was originally posted on June 9, 2014. Enjoy!

If you simply top off your pet’s water dish, you could be creating a monster that will attack your pet from the inside out.

If indoor bowls aren’t palatable, pets won’t hesitate to drink rainwater from unsafe sources

Many of us are guilty of simply refilling the water bowl when it gets close to empty, but the water that sits around will form a slimy residue that hosts dangerous bacteria and fungus that can begin to grow. Some pet guardians may not even notice that their pet will start shying away from a dirty water bowl and become mildly dehydrated or, worse yet, seek water from unsafe areas indoors or out.

And what about the food dish? No, licking the bowl ‘clean’ isn’t a possibility. Please be kind.

Plastic Bowls Are a Bad Idea

Plastic bowls trap odor and bacteria and can also leach BPA, a carcinogenic compound.

Food and water dishes should be made from stainless steel, heavy glass or ceramic and should be washed daily. Plastic dishes may contain a hazardous substance called BPA which leaches into your pet’s water and is a known carcinogen. This can break down further in the dishwasher. Plastics also absorbs odors and become unpleasant to a pet’s sensitive sense of smell.

Three Best Ways To Wash Your Pet’s Bowls Daily

Food and water bowls should be cleaned daily. Do NOT use harsh cleaners that can leave behind residue and odor.

If you have bowls that are already beyond salvaging, why not start fresh with a new set of bowls and choose from one of these easy daily washing techniques.

1. Run them through the hottest cycle of the dishwasher to get them really clean and sterilized.

2. Wash and thoroughly rinse with dish detergent and a clean abrasive sponge to release all organic material from the sides of the bowls.

3. Try scrubbing with a mix of equal parts baking soda, salt and warm water.


Danuta W
Danuta Wabout a year ago

Thanks for posting.

Marigold A
Past Member about a year ago

No plastic dishes, please!

Peggy B
Peggy Babout a year ago


Debbie C
Debbie Crowe1 years ago

I have about 20 plastic bowls, that I feed my cats in. They go through the dishwasher just like my plates, glasses, cups, and bowls do to sterilize them. I will start looking for ceramic and metal bowls from now on!

Yolanda Aguilar
Yolanda Aguilar2 years ago

Washing my dog dishes is an important part of my daily routine.

Dianne D.
Dianne D3 years ago

All my water dishes are ceramic, one water fountain is ceramic and 2 other water fountains are plastic. I like the ceramic bowls as they seem to be easier to clean, but my cats favorite fountain is an old plastic one. Because I have 5 water dishes to clean, I wash them every other day, and take apart the motor's to the fountains and clean them once a week. They get really gummy by the end of the week.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Thank you

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H3 years ago

Good reminders for proper hygiene. Thanks for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the useful article.