Slime in the Dog Bowl

I had a recent discussion about slime in the dog bowl and dish cleaning frequency in my private raw dog food feeders group. Did you know that slime might be good?

Whether it’s the water bowl or the food dish, you’ve probably noticed that slick, slimy coating that doesn’t easily wash off.

Maybe you find yourself hand washing it several times.

Or like the germophobe in the raw feeders group (sorry girl), maybe you soak the bowl in bleach or run it through the dishwasher several times.

Well hold on to your dog bowl a minute sparky!


Let's talk slime.



What is That Slime in the Dog Bowl?

It’s called Biofilm.

Biofilm is a collection of organic and inorganic, living and dead materials collected on a surface. It is made up of many different types of bacteria bound together in a thick substance that acts as a glue to both hold the bacteria together and adhere it to a surface.

Thank you Rodney Habib from Dogs Naturally Magazine for teaching me what it is. Now, that we know what that slime in the dog bowl is, does that mean it’s good or bad?

It can be either. As an example, If it’s bad it could contribute to a urinary infection. But if it’s good, you’ll be washing away wonderful healthy bacteria that can help your dog’s immune system and his digestive system.

How do you know?  Well, how healthy is your dog and how many dogs in your house share a bowl?

To help answer those two questions, I offer the following:

  • if your dog eats a kibble diet, I would have less faith that it’s the good bacteria.
  • if you have several dogs sharing the water bowl, that could make a difference negatively as well. (When I had 5 dogs on kibble I washed the water bowl every other day)
  • If you have one dog who has been eating raw and doesn’t take drugs, it’s a pretty safe bet you’ve got the good stuff going and growing in that bowl.



How Often to Wash Off
That Slime in the Dog Bowl

Here’s where I know I shocked some of the group members during our discussion.  With Lulu, I wash her bowls about once a. . .month.   I scrub it by hand because I think dish soap is less toxic than dishwasher detergent. I know, you're thinking I'm gross aren't you? Ah, but there's a reason for my madness which I'll explain below. 

Now that you know my personal dog dish washing habits, imagine my shock to read someone else in the group had been washing after every meal and soaking the bowl in bleach water because she was so afraid of bacteria from the raw growing like little monsters. Poor woman.



What Kind of Dog Bowl You Have Matters

Seems like a good idea to bring this up. Aside from the lovely slime, what kind of bowl your dog eats or drinks from matters.

Metal, glass or ceramic bowls are far better choices than plastic. Plastic is porous and serves as a welcome mat to bad bacteria.  The more scars and scratches, the bigger the home for bad bacteria to flourish.

But there's more. A lot more. To understand the dangers of plastic, please head over to Your Dog Food Dish. Not even curious? What if I told you a dog who has never had puppies might produce milk because of plastic. Yup. Trust me, I was shocked because it was my dog!

 * * *

Now for heavens sake, throw out the plastic and use something  environmentally friendly to wash out the slime in the dog bowl.


~To your dog's health!



› Slime in the Dog Bowl