How Clean Is Your Pet’s Water Dish?

Serratia marcescens: the pink film that forms on the sides of water bowls can cause infections and pneumonia

A study by the NSF* rated pet water bowls as the fourth dirtiest spot in a home. Water bowls are the breeding grounds for all sorts of nasty bacteria including Serratia marcescens, a pathogen found naturally in water, soil and the digestive tract of humans and animals. That’s not all that can be found in a dirty bowl—mold, yeast, Salmonella, E. coli and other coliform bacteria happily thrive there as well.

You know that slimy film you can sometimes feel on the surface of the bowl—that’s biofilm, another potentially disease-harboring substance.

So how do you help keep your pet’s water safe? Clean the bowl daily with hot soapy water (or in the dishwasher). Refill the clean bowl with fresh water.

*www.nsf.org/newsroom_pdf/2011_NSF_Household_Germ_Study_exec-summary.pdf