Let’s face it: dog bowls are dirty. Whether you feed commercial dog food, raw food, or a homemade diet, your dog dishes or plates quickly become dirty.
Our dogs both dine from flat metal plates, ones that slow down each dog a bit compared to eating from a bowl. (We have to watch that our cats, especially Felix, don’t decide to share that dinner!) Along with slowing their eating, we especially love the plates because they’re easy to add to the dishwasher every night. Each morning, we start with two clean plates for their breakfast, the plates are used again at dinner, then they go in the dishwasher.
If you don’t put your dog’s dishes in the dishwasher, it’s important to wash them with hot water and soap every day.
Similarly, your dog’s water dish also needs a daily cleaning. Your dog’s water dish can easily develop algae; it can also contain food from your dog’s mouth. We use large crock pots from slow cookers for dog water; we bought them at the thrift store for just a few dollars. We also have a dog fountain that we scrub every two days to prevent algae and bacteria:
Along with cleaning your dog’s food and water bowls, it’s also extra important to clean the area around those bowls, a breeding ground for bacteria. We mop the area with vinegar and water every few days, a natural way to keep germs in check. (Also see: Cleaning with Vinegar)