How Often Should You Wash Your Dog's Bowl?

Have you ever wondered how often you should wash your dog’s bowl? It’s normal for us humans to wash our dishes after each meal, but this step is often forgotten when it comes to our furry friends.

We’re sure your pup is the first to remind you when it’s feeding time, but they’re not likely to remind you to clean their bowl - because let’s be honest, they’re more concerned about whether it’s full or not! However, you should wash your dog’s food bowl regularly to keep it hygienic. Don’t worry if you don’t already practise this, we’re here to inform you why and how often you should wash your dog’s bowls.   

Keep reading as we dig into the following: 

  • Should I clean my dog’s food bowl after each meal?

  • How dirty is my dog’s bowl?

  • What happens if I don’t wash my dog’s bowl regularly?

  • Does my dog’s age affect how often their bowl should be washed?

  • Yappy’s top tips for cleaning your dog’s bowl

  • Which is best: plastic, ceramic or stainless-steel dog bowls?

Should I wash my dog’s food bowl after each meal?

The short answer is yes, it’s necessary for you to wash your dog’s food bowl after each meal. Research has found that pet food bowls are the fourth most contaminated household item. Yuck! This is because pet food bowls offer the ideal place for bacteria to breed, which can spread throughout your home, making you and your pup unwell. Of course, this is something you want to avoid, so it’s strongly recommended to regularly clean your pet’s bowls thoroughly with soap and water.  

How dirty is my dog’s bowl?

Do you ever wonder how mucky your dog’s bowl is? Even if your dog always licks their bowl clean, it’s probably dirtier than it appears. This is because your dog’s saliva is transferred to their food bowl when they scoff down their food, which then creates an environment for bacteria to breed.

The type of bacteria that’s passed onto your dog’s bowl can be affected by things such as their oral hygiene, or anything your dog has recently been exposed to. Do you remember everything your pup was sniffing on your last walk? Chances are that all those germs will be transferred to their food bowl too. While your dog is exposed to germs on their daily walks, it’s best these aren’t left to linger in their bowl, therefore it’s good practice to regularly clean their bowls.

You may notice that unclean dog food bowls can start to develop a strong smell, which is especially noticeable during the summer months - even more reason to clean your dog’s bowl often!

As well as cleaning your dog’s bowl regularly, it’s important that your dog’s pawsonal hygiene is kept up too! With Yappy’s furbulous range of dog grooming accessories, you can treat your pooch to the pawfect pamper session. Whether you’re after personalised dog shampoo, cologne, or even dry shampoo for a quick freshen-up, we have everything you need to keep your dog looking and feeling wagnificent. Check out our full dog grooming range now!


What happens if I don’t wash my dog’s bowl regularly? 

Luckily, your dog has an incredibly strong digestive system, which is prepared to handle all types of germs and bacteria. So, if you’ve ever wondered why they aren’t poorly after eating their own poop or vomit – that’s probably why!

Forgetting to wash your dog’s bowl now and again shouldn’t cause any problems, however, the sooner you can get into a routine of washing your dog’s bowl after every meal, the better.

What’s more, young children are at risk of picking up nasty germs from pet bowls if they’re left unclean – all the more reason to give your dog’s food bowl a good soak and scrub!

Does my dog’s age affect how often their bowl should be washed?

Older and younger pups tend to have weaker immune systems, therefore they’re likely to be affected more by bad bacteria in their food bowls. If you have a young pup or senior doggie, be extra cautious and keep on top of cleaning their food bowls after every meal.

So, how often should I wash my dog’s bowls? 

Sometimes it can be difficult to stay on top of cleaning your dog’s bowls, which is why it’s a great idea to get into a routine and stick to it.

As a rule of thumb, follow these guidelines for how often you should wash your dog's bowls, as it can vary depending on what they’re used for:

Your Dog’s Wet Food Bowl:

These bowls need to be cleaned with soap and water after each meal.

Your Dog’s Dry Dog Bowl:

These food bowls can be washed at the end of each day.

Your Pup’s Water Bowl:

These bowls should be cleaned a minimum of once a day and replenished with fresh water.

Your Dog’s Feeding Mat:

Regularly wipe this down throughout the day and clean it at least once a day to protect your floor or carpet from spillages.

Cater to your dog’s mealtimes

You can never have enough dog food bowls, right? They’re something your pup uses every single day, so it’s handy to have a few of them. To save time in between meals, it’s always a great idea to have spare so your pup isn’t waiting for you to clean or dry them when it’s dinner time.

We know that dinnertime is one of your pup’s favourite times of the day, so to make it even more tail-waggingly exciting, check out Yappy’s pawsome range of personalised dog bowls! From heavy and durable ceramic bowls to stainless steel bowls, we’ve got a huge choice of fun and colourful designs to choose from.

Why not pair your dog’s new bowl with a personalised feeding mat too? Available in a selection of vibrant designs, including photo-upload, they’re not just perfect for minimising mess at mealtimes, but they look fantastic on display in the home.

Yappy’s top tips for cleaning your dog’s bowl

First, start by checking that your dog’s bowl is dishwasher safe. If not, then always make sure you hand wash your pup’s dog bowls.

When handwashing, always use a non-scratch sponge to clean your dog bowls and keep this away from any sponges you use for your own plates and cutlery, you don’t want to mix them up and spread germs!

Always use plenty of soap (ideally anti-bacterial) and warm water. And there you have it, squeaky clean bowls, ready for your dog’s dinner!

Which is best: plastic, ceramic or stainless-steel dog bowls?

Plastic dog bowls are known for being the most difficult to clean because they accumulate tiny scratches which allow bacteria to grow. When using plastic bowls, it's recommended to replace them every few months.  

If you’re searching for a more sustainable option, then ceramic and stainless-steel dog bowls are your best bet. Not only are they much easier to keep clean, but they’re also much more long-lasting which means you won't have to replace them every couple of months, pawfect!

Yappy To Help

If you have any questions relating to this article or need any support with your order, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Contact us at for all customer service-related queries and we’ll be more than happy to help.

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