Is your dog’s bowl hiding nasty germs? According to a recent study, the majority of dog owners don’t follow proper pet food and handling guidelines as outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In fact, less than 5% knew the guidelines event existed.
The study surveyed 417 dog owners about their pet feeding and hygiene habits. Researchers found that almost half (43%) of participants stored dog food within five feed of human food and 33% prepared their dog’s food on surfaces intended for human use. Both practices are discouraged because they can spread bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. Only about one-third of participants (34%) washed their hands after feeding, which the FDA recommends.
Most participants also didn’t follow recommendations for cleaning dogs’ food bowls. Although it’s a best practice to wash dog food bowls with hot water and soap every day, only 12% of participants did so. Another 22% said they clean their dog’s food bowl once and week and 18% said they wash it every three months or less.
Researchers also conducted an experiment on overall bacteria levels on 68 dog food bowls. Participants were separated into three groups: Group A (FDA guidelines for pets), group B (guidelines for both pets and people) and group C (no guidelines). After a week, researchers discovered that bacteria levels for groups A and B significantly declined and were much lower than group C. Unfortunately, only 8% of owners in groups A and B said they would stick to the guidelines after the experiment.