Not cleaning the dog bowl enough ‘poses significant health risks’ to pets and owners

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Research undertaken by the FDA has found only 12 percent of the 417 dog owners they surveyed washed their dog bowl daily.

Meanwhile 22 percent cleaned it once a week and 18 percent washed it every three months or not at all.

While it may not seem to matter much as only dogs will be using this appliance, the FDA has recommended regular washing of the bowl to avoid the spread of bacteria.

Specifically, listeria and salmonella; bacteria that can cause serious illness.

The FDA writes that not cleaning the dog bow regularly “poses significant health risks to pets and pet owner”.

Furthermore they said: “It was found that the vast majority of dog owners were not aware of, and did not follow, FDA pet food handling and storage guidelines.

“Response to individual recommendations varied, however hygiene-related practices (washing of hands, bowl, and utensils) showed low levels of compliance.”

One may argue in this regard that few have time to follow FDA guidelines while carrying out a relatively simple and basic task.

Nevertheless, the FDA continued: “Additionally, studies in humans regarding self-reported hand washing show an overestimation of hygiene and similar forces, including the effects of social desirability bias, could be expected in this study.

“Exposure to contaminated dog food can have implications for canine and human health.

“For example, there have been multiple outbreaks of both humans and dogs becoming ill after exposure to dog food contaminated with pathogenic bacteria.

“These risks may be amplified in households with children and/or immunocompromised individuals, which were over a third of respondents’ households.”

Therefore, in order to protect close family members, it is crucial to make sure the dog bowl is regularly cleaned.

Cleaning the dog bowl regularly will help reduce the risk of a salmonella infection.

According to the Mayo Clinic the main symptoms of a salmonella infection are:
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Abdominal cramps
• Diarrhoea
• Fever.

The NHS says of food poisoning: “You can usually treat yourself or your child at home. The symptoms usually pass within a week.

“The most important thing is to have lots of fluids, such as water or squash, to avoid dehydration.”

As well as the spread of bacteria, food poisoning can also occur if food isn’t cooked or reheated thoroughly, isn’t stored correctly, or is left out for too long or is handled by someone who’s ill.

Food must also not be eaten if it is past its “use by” date says the NHS.

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