US study proves: Dog bowls are as dirty as toilets

At every meal, we humans take clean dishes. But when it comes to the feeding bowls of the four-legged friend, dog owners often do not take hygiene very seriously. This was shown by a US study. This has fatal consequences – for dog and owner!

A dog can go longer without food than a cat.

Where is the dog food stored? how is it done? And how often was the bowl cleaned? Researchers at North Carolina State University wanted to clarify these and other questions. The team asked 417 dog owners about their eating habits. The result is shocking: Almost 95 percent have no idea about the hygiene recommendations of the US health authority FDA.

The study shows: 22 percent of owners clean the dog bowls once a week, only twelve percent clean them daily. Hard to believe: 18 percent of those surveyed wash the dog’s bowl less than every three months or not at all. The researchers say: This is why dog ​​bowls are dirtier than toilets. Because there are far too many germs and bacteria in it.

Only one in three washes their hands after feeding

Another result shows that only 34 percent of those surveyed wash their hands after feeding their dogs. Health experts strongly recommend that dog owners wash their hands after feeding to avoid cross-contamination with germs and viruses. This is especially true for immunocompromised individuals and children, as they are at greater risk. 

Dog eats from bowl
Photo: Envato Elements (icon photo)

The problem with this: raw dog food is susceptible to contamination, among other things. The Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (LAVES) examined dog food between February 2018 and June 2020. The result: there were no enterobacteria in only eight of 65 samples of such feed. At around 40 percent, the finds were in some cases well above the permitted maximum value. These bacteria can cause intestinal diseases.

Dog bowls: Danger to life for immunocompromised people

At that time, contamination with listeria was also detected in 20 samples. In the worst case, these lead to listeriosis in both humans and animals – and this can be life-threatening for immunocompromised people.

But how do dog owners properly handle the food and the feeding bowl ? Open cans of wet food should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. It is better to fill it immediately into a sealable container and refrigerate. Dry food is best stored in an airtight plastic container in a dry and cool place. And above all: The feeding bowls should be cleaned after every meal.


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