Have you ever wondered about what lurks beneath the surface of your dog's water bowl?
A new study has revealed that potentially fatal germs could be sitting waiting to harm you and your dog.
According to Hartpury University, potentially fatal bacteria, including E.coli, salmonella and MRSA, which can all be transferred from pets to their owners, have been discovered in different types of dishes that are commonly sold across the UK.
Specifically, there are two types of pet bowls putting pets and owners at greater risk.
Animal Science Lecturer Aisling Carroll from Hartpury, worked on the study, the first of its kind, alongside BSc Bioveterinary Science graduate Coralie Wright.
The pair investigated how much the build-up of bacteria could be affected by the material a bowl is made from and how often it is cleaned.
They also discovered that dangerous bacteria were more likely to thrive in plastic and ceramic bowls rather than those made from stainless steel.
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Aisling Carroll said, "It is clear from our study that dog water bowls pose a disease risk to both human and animal health. The increasingly close contact between humans and their pets is leading to concerns regarding bacterial transmission of zoonoses – infectious diseases that be transmitted between animals and humans.
“The dog water bowl has previously been identified as the third most contaminated item within the household, which suggests that they are capable of disease transmission.
“The aim of our study was to identify whether the material – plastic, ceramic or stainless steel – and length of use of a dog’s water bowl influences the quantity and species of bacteria present.
“Our research suggests the significant increase of bacteria found in dog water bowls with (the) length of use demonstrates the need for suitable cleaning regimes.
“We found the highest amount of bacteria in plastic bowls over time, but the most harmful bacterial species, including E.coli and MRSA, were most frequently identified in the ceramic bowls.
“While further research is required to assess the most suitable bowl materials and cleaning practices, it is clear from our study that dog water bowls pose a disease risk to both human and animal health.”
Have Your Say
Will this study make you re-think your dog's bowl or do you already take steps to prevent diseases latching onto their bowls?
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