Images Source: Static.pexels.com/Pets have the habit of gobbling anything that crosses their path unsuspectingly. Insects, food crumbs that fall on the floor, and beverages that gets spilled on the floor are a few things they eat. There was a study in 2011 conducted by NSF International that looked at the dirtiest, germiest, and grimiest places in households. Guess what came in fourth place? The pet’s water bowls. The water bowl is probably the most neglected at home. We are all guilty of topping off the water bowl for your pet when it is almost empty. Have you ever wondered the impact it will have on their health and well-being? Here are 5 things you didn’t know about feeding unclean water to your pets.
- Serratia Marcescens – You would have seen this bacteria before. It is commonly known as the pink stuff. You know what this dreaded bacteria can do? It can cause infections and pneumonia. You definitely don’t want your dog catching any of that, do you? It's difficult to take them to the vet as it is.
- Bisphenol A – Using a plastic bowl for your pet? Bad idea, especially if you don’t clean it every day. Bisphenol is a carcinogen and it leaches into the water. It will break down further in the dishwasher. This is extremely harmful to your pets.
- Salmonella – This sneaky little germ is harmful to both humans and pets. If you are feeding meat to your pets, it is common to find them. They can cause a variety of implications which can severely impact the health of your pet.
- E. Coli – This deadly bacteria can be present in the water bowl of your pets if you don’t clean it regularly. The effects on your pet can be devastating as it causes lethargy, vomiting, dehydration, lack of appetite, and depression to name a few.
- Cyanobacteria – It is toxic to your pets, period. The level of toxicity is generally moderate to severe. It is commonly found in lakes, ponds, and streams. If you don’t clean the water bowl regularly, the chances of having cyanobacteria growing in the water bowl are increased. They can cause difficulty in breathing, shock, coma, blood in stool, jaundice, seizures, to name a few. There aren’t any antidotes for the toxins produced by this deadly bacteria.
You would have also noticed a slimy layer on the water. It is called biofilm and it is a collection of living and dead material. Bacteria find it easy to stick on to it. Clean your pet's bowls regularly. Use hot water to clean them thoroughly and to ensure it is sterilized. Use detergents and an abrasive sponge to release any organic material which might get stuck on the sides. You can also use a combination of baking soda, salt, and warm water to clean the bowl. Also, remember that pets are sensitive to smells and chemicals, so avoid using too much detergent.