Slime on Dog Dishes – What is it?

Slime on Dog DishesWe have a joke in our family that our dogs lick their bowls so clean that we may as well just put them right back in the cabinet.

But, if you’ve ever felt the inside of a dog bowl after it’s been licked clean you know there is a thick, slimy build-up that gets left behind.

This slimy build-up is called biofilm which is a makeup of various types of bacteria that bind together and adhere to the surface. There are good and bad types of bacteria, but did you know that the bad types can actually make your dog sick?

When NSF International conducted a study to find the germiest places in the home, they concluded that pet bowls should be placed at #4 on the list!

Most dog owners admit that they do not wash their dog’s bowls on a daily basis. Especially with dry kibble it’s not uncommon to just refill the existing bowl time after time, nor is it uncommon to just top off the water already existing in a bowl. It’s not that people are out to intentionally harm their dogs, rather they are just unaware of the risk unclean bowls present.

When dogs continue to eat and drink out of the same unwashed dog bowls day after day, the bacteria from their mouths will continue to build and eventually contaminate their fresh food and water (think…E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella, yuk!). It can also be unsafe for you and your family if hands are not washed after touching dirty bowls.

Typically the best types of dog bowls are those that are stainless steel or ceramic since those are the easiest to clean. Plastic bowls will tend to scratch and harbor germs, mold, and bacteria so these are never any good.

Best Way To Clean And Disinfect Dog Bowls:

  1. Wash bowls daily in warm/hot soapy water (as hot as you can tolerate!)
  1. Use a cloth or sponge designated solely for your dog’s bowls
  1. Wash in the dishwasher at least once per week to thoroughly disinfect

To disinfect without the aid of a dishwasher…

  • Let the bowls soak in a 1:50 ratio of bleach/water for approximately 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.


  • Combine baking soda, with equal amounts of warm water and salt. Mix to create a thick paste that will gently scrub the bowls clean. Rinse well with warm water.

And, don’t forget to clean your dog’s food mat! You can probably guess, after slobbering food and water onto them, it too ends up with bacterial build-up.

Happy scrubbing! 🙂

Slime on dog dishes


  1. Pat S December 7, 2016 Reply
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