Source: Mirror (Extract)
Posted: March 24, 2023

Veterinary expert Dr Sean McCormack is advising pet owners to wash their dog’s food bowl every single day, as it can cause potentially harmful bacteria to spread among humans.

With all pets, it’s important to keep their belongings and environment clean to prevent diseases from spreading. One item that is often forgotten about by dog owners is their pooch’s food bowl.

In fact, research undertaken by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year found that 22 percent of pup parents clean their dog’s dish once a week and 18 percent wash it every three months or not at all.

The study stated that this “poses significant health risks to pets and pet owner” as it creates an environment where harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and listeria, can thrive.

Both salmonella and listeria can cause diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps and nausea in humans, with symptoms more severe in pregnant women, children, adults over the age of 65, and people with weakened immune systems.

Dr Sean McCormack, head vet at, is reminding pet owners to wash their dog’s food bowls after every use to keep illnesses at bay.

He told the Mirror: “Just as we wouldn’t eat repeatedly from the same plate with leftover food remains nor should our pets.

“Residual food can lead to bacterial growth over time, and some of those bacteria are potentially harmful not only to our pets but also ourselves.

“Our pets also don’t tend to have the best oral hygiene unless we are brushing their teeth daily, so allowing food and water bowls to go days without washing can make for some pretty unpleasant and unsanitary surfaces for them to eat and drink from.”

Dr McCormack recommends cleaning your pup’s dish and scooping utensils “every day to be on the safe side”.

“Washing them with hot, soapy water and a scrubbing brush daily is a good idea,” he explained.

“It’s probably a good idea to separate pet washing utensils from our own, again due to the risk of cross contamination of bacteria our pets may cope with just fine but could cause illness in humans.

“This is particularly important if you have young, old, immunocompromised or pregnant people in your household.

“This is another reconsideration whether you wash your pets dishes in the family dishwasher or separately.

“Some people don’t mind mixing them in, but we all have our own hygiene ‘icks’, and if you want to be totally safe I’d recommend washing pet food and water bowls separately.”