Cleaning Pet Dishes

It’s hard to picture oneself eating a fresh meal from a dirty plate. Even worse, imagine licking a dish clean and then using it again the next day. Many of our pets eat out of dirty dishes daily. While it may not seem as gross when they do it, pets should eat out of clean dishes just like us. Cleaning pet dishes regularly is an integral part of meeting our pets’ needs.

Cleaning Pet Dishes: Why Clean Dishes Matter

pet care katy, texasAs busy humans with lots of responsibilities, most of us are guilty of letting too much time pass before washing our pet’s bowls. Often, we look down at the bowl in our hands and are instantly filled with guilt at the thought of our beloved pets eating out of something so nasty. 

It is easy to forget to clean pet dishes, especially when they don’t look crusty or sticky.  Many of our pets eat dry food that doesn’t leave much residue until it starts to accumulate. Those that feed wet food tend to visibly notice when their pet’s bowls need a wash. Yet, most pet parents aren’t washing their pet’s bowls often enough. 

No matter what we’re feeding our pets, studies suggest that pet bowls and dishes are one of the top 5 dirtiest spots in our homes. If we’re not careful, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria, bugs, and germs. It can also lead to unwanted odors in and around our pets’ feeding areas, which can impact our enjoyment of our home but also may discourage pets from eating, even when they are hungry.

Cleaning Pet Dishes: How Often To Clean Pet Dishes

pet care katy west houstonIdeally, pet bowls and dishes should be washed after every meal, just like ours. If that’s not possible, washing pet bowls at least once a day should suffice. If your pet is very young, geriatric, or in any way immunocompromised, however, washing their bowls after every meal is not negotiable.

Cleaning Pet Dishes: Ways to Clean Pet Dishes

Our pets are important members of our family. Keeping their dishes as clean as ours is a great way to keep them healthy, happy, and cared for.

Our favorite ways to clean pet dishes include putting them in the dishwasher, scrubbing them in a homemade baking soda mixture, and using pet-safe cleaners. 

Washing Pet Dishes in the Dishwasher

pet care tip katyUsing the dishwasher to wash our pet’s bowls and dishes is, by far, one of the easiest ways to tackle this task. Just throw your pets’ dishes in the dishwasher then run them in a regular wash or use a sanitizing setting as needed. 

Using a dishwasher is not only an effective way to clean pet bowls and dishes, but it’s also more eco-friendly because running a small load in an energy-efficient dishwasher can save more water than hand washing, especially when dealing with things that are exposed to germs.

Washing Pet Dishes with Baking Soda & Salt

pet care tips katyMost of us want to avoid the use of harsh chemicals around our families, especially when we have pets and young children. If you’re not a fan of using harsh chemicals like bleach but want to keep bacteria at bay, using equal parts baking soda and water with a few pinches of salt is a great way to scrub pet bowls clean. Baking soda is a natural cleanser and the salt is abrasive enough to loosen nasty microbes and clean the dishes without chemicals. Adding fresh lemon juice or juice from another citrus fruit can also address and prevent odor build-up. 

Washing Pet Dishes with Pet-Safe Cleaners

dog sitter katy texasMany companies now make pet and child-safe cleaning products that ensure our pets and kids are safe from harmful chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances. When purchasing products for your home and pet, we recommend you consider downloading the EWG Healthy Living app, which will help you make the best choices. 

When shopping, whip out the app and find ratings for more than 120,000 food and personal care products, including cleaning products. From soap to all-purpose sprays, it’s really important to remember that our pets inhale and absorb chemicals at higher rates than we do, therefore, keeping them in mind when we make purchasing decisions is a great way to keep them safe and prevent accidental poisoning

Using Bleach to Wash Pet Dishes

pet sitting katy texasA surefire way to get germs out of your pet’s bowls and dishes is to soak them in equal parts water and bleach for 10 minutes once a week. While this is a great option when pet bowls are highly neglected, bleach can leach into certain materials therefore this approach should be used sporadically and only when necessary. 

Especially if you’re using plastic dishes and bowls, bleach can be a necessary evil but can prove toxic when used long-term. Instead, we always recommend food-grade stainless steel or silicone for pet bowls and dishes.

Animal Admiration Pet Care Services Katy, TX

Once you get into the habit of cleaning your pet’s bowl as you would your own, it’s quite easy to keep up.  Plus, there is no denying that pets appreciate clean dishes to eat from, just as much as they appreciate snuggles and playtime.

At Animal Admiration, we clean pet bowls during visits. It’s one of the steps we take to ensure the pets in our care enjoy top-notch service. To learn more about our in-home pet care services in Katy, Fulshear, Richmond, Energy Corridor, Memorial, West Houston, and Cypress, contact or (281) 391-1015.



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