Water, Dogs and Bowls!

Some folks love their dogs, some folks obsess over their dogs, yet others believe dogs to be invincible in resisting cold, heat, thirst and pain. The latter type of individual should never have a dog, or at least be locked in a cold dark cellar for 10 years with only bread, water and enough light to read an endless supply of dog magazines.

For the rest of us, those who love dogs, I want to talk about water and bowls. Let’s look at myths and tips.

It is very important to change a dog’s water often and clean his/her bowl. If you think your dog can just drink any water, think again. There are many organisms and parasites in water that can make your dog sick, cause blindness, organ failure and even death. You might be shocked to find out that the water in your dog’s bowl and even the bowl itself might be more unhealthy and dangerous than water out of a puddle, pond or lake.

When you first pour your dog’s water from the tap, there is chlorine in it. Chlorine kills bacteria and other harmful organisms and keeps puppy water, and people water safe. Unfortunately, chlorine begins to dissipate as soon as it is poured into a bowl. Not long after there is not enough chlorine in the water, which allows things like bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and more to begin growing in the water and on the surfaces of the bowl. So here are some tidbits to keep your puppy drinking safe, delicious water.

  • After 16 – 24 hours, your dog’s water should be discarded.
  • After 48 hours your dog’s bowl should be washed in hot water and detergent. Ideally Fido’s water bowl should be scrubbed well or put into the dishwasher daily.
  • Stainless Steel bowls allow bacterial slime to form on the inside surface. If the inner bowl surface feels slippery to your touch, then th6e bowl is contaminated with bacterial slime. New chlorinated water will not kill this. If you suspect bacterial slime either go to the dishwasher or clean it manually with a cleanser like Ajax. Make sure to rinse and wipe it thoroughly before putting new water in it.
  • Porcelain bowls are very porous and can harbor and protect harmful organisms in all the microscopic nooks-and-crannies found in their surfaces. For sure porcelain should be put in the dishwasher daily. Once a week it is a good idea to fill the bowl with hot white vinegar and let it sit for about 30 minutes. After you empty the vinegar, fill the bowl with hydrogen peroxide and let that sit for 30 minutes, Afterwards rinse and return to Fido. Porcelain is especially prone to contamination when left outdoors.
  • Plastic bowls are the safe but degrade over time. The plastic gets scratched and provides nooks and crannies for organisms to grow.
  • If you carry water for your bow-wow in a container, remember, after 24 hours once opened, that water also will be subject to contamination. Make sure you follow the guidelines for bowls with containers as well.