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What About Communal Bowls?

Can communal bowls water dishes and food bowls spread disease?

Communal Bowls

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines recommend that pet owners wash their pet’s food and water bowls with hot/soapy water on a daily basis. But what about food and water bowls in a multiple pet environment such as a shelter, boarding kennel or communal bowls commonly found at outdoor kennel play areas or dog parks?

Bacteria found in dirty food and water bowls cannot only cause illness to pets, but to us humans as well. The most common illness that is derived from dealing with pet food bowls is Salmonella, but that’s not the only one: E Coli, yeast, mold, fecal coliform and staph infection are all potential concerns as well. Communal water bowls can be a breeding ground for giardia, an intestinal parasite.

  1. Wash hands before and after handling pet food and water bowls.
  2. Store dry pet food in an airtight container to avoid growth of bacteria.
  3. Wash pet dishes using the following “Foodservice” style protocol.
  1. Wash: In sink or tub #1, prepare a solution of dish detergent and water. Dip the bowl into the solution and scrub to loosen and remove soil.
  2. Rinse: In sink or tub #2, rinse the bowl using clean water to remove any remaining soil or detergent residue.
  3. Sanitize: In sink or tub #3, prepare a solution of “Dish Sanitizer” and water. Dip the bowl into the solution, remove immediately and place on a rack or flat surface to dry. Do not hand dry!

The same Wash, Rinse & Sanitize protocol can be used to clean and sanitize rubber dog toys, cleaning utensils and rubber mats.

CAUTION: Do not soak or leave bowls to soak overnight in the sanitizer solution and especially in a bleach solution. The solution will damage stainless steel and aluminum bowls and penetrate plastic bowls (avoid plastic bowls if at all possible).

Here’s what the AKC thinks about it.

For more information, please call 1-800-869-4789 or visit www.provetlogic.com