Have you ever felt a slimy substance in your pet’s water bowl and wondered what it was? This dangerous slime lurking in your pet’s water bowl is called biofilm, and it can have harmful effects on your pets. Here’s how you can prevent it!
What is 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 that are bound together. This forms a thick sticky substance that acts as a glue to hold the bacteria together and adhere it to a surface.
This is what produces that slimy invisible substance you feel lurking in your pet’s bowl.
Is Biofilm Harmful?
Biofilm has a mixed reputation. It can often hold a collection of good bacteria benefiting your pet. But there is also the risk that the bacteria collecting is bad. The harmful bacteria can cause issues for your pets.
Many pet parents, myself included, just refill our dog’s water bowls and call it a day. In reality, we should be changing out and cleaning their bowls every week. Physically washing their bowls at least once a week with just water eliminates the build-up of biofilm from forming. Even a simple wipe down with a paper towel can reduce the formation in their bowls. Without these simple wipe downs, we create an excellent place for biofilm to lurk and form.
These breeding grounds for biofilms provide a haven for organisms like Listeria, E. coli and legionella to form, making them harmful substances for our pets to consume. If regular cleaning is not followed, these contamination levels can increase and harm your pet’s health. Harmful Biofilms have been involved in various microbial infections in the body, such as urinary tract infections, middle-ear infections and bladder infections. These infections can leave your pets feeling very uncomfortable and would require a visit to the vet to get checked. This would add more stress to your day and cause a lot more hassle than a simple rinse of their water bowl.
How can I prevent biofilm from forming?
Biofilm build-up is entirely preventable. Simple frequent cleaning is all it takes to stop biofilm from forming or lingering.
Some ways to reduce biofilm are:
- Remember to clean your pet’s water bowl at least once a week if you can and change the water daily.
- For pet daycares where a host of different bacteria float around in water bowls, wash the bowls daily!
- For best results, run your water bowls through a hot cycle in the dishwasher with an eco-friendly, non-toxic soap to clean out the biofilm!
These simple cleaning tips can protect our furry friends from getting sick and ensure their long term health.
For more information about biofilm and to read the full article, check out this link.
You can also contact us for more information about our home care, or pet sitting services, where we ensure top quality services are always administered, and biofilm never has a chance to form on our watch!