How safe is it for your dog to drink from a public dog bowl?
When you’re on your daily adventures, it’s easy to use a shared water bowl to hydrate your dog. Although convenient, public water bowls can have some serious hidden risks. While your pup is getting hydrated, he or she can be taking in bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
Here’s what you need to know to keep your dog cool and hydrated safely when you’re out and about.
Public dog bowls hold much more than water. Shared bowls in parks or in front of businesses may not be cleaned regularly. They could also be filled with stagnant water, that’s not safe to drink. Stagnant water can easily get contaminated with debris that hold bacteria and parasites.
Believe it or not, public water bowls can also be contaminated with feces. You will likely not see a dog poop in the bowl, but if they put their paws in it after stepping in another dog’s poop, that is enough to infect the water. Rodents can also contaminate water by urinating or pooping in an unattended bowl. Especially when bowls are left outside for longer periods of time, in areas where there’s food on the ground that will attract critters.
Here are some examples of what can linger in public dog bowls
Intestinal Worm Parasites
Parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms that when infected live inside the animal’s gastrointestinal tract. Causing irritation to potential serious risk.
Giardia is a microscopic parasite that causes inflammation of the intestinal tract and subsequent diarrhea that can be very serious. Giardia can be passed from dog to dog, and is spread through fecal contamination. It can often be found in standing water like puddles or bowls.
Commonly known as “lepto,” is a contagious, bacterial disease that can cause serious damage to the kidney and/or liver. The bacteria that causes "lepto" is spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and survive there for weeks or months.
Canine Papilloma Virus
This highly transmissible virus causes dogs to acquire warts on their oral mucous membranes. The oral papilloma virus is present within the wart itself, so the transmission can occur through direct contact and indirect contact with things such as food, water bowls, toys, or bedding.
Kennel Cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Dogs can spread it to one another through airborne droplets, direct contact (e.g., touching noses), or contaminated surfaces (including water/food bowls).
If your dog has a healthy immune system, they may not contract any of these diseases from a shared bowl. Puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with compromised immune systems are more vulnerable. But why risk it, if there is an alternative option?!
We know the risks of drinking from public bowls first hand. As our four-legged bestie Briggs, was getting ill with Giardia too often after drinking from bowls at a park, or while visiting public places where communal bowls are available.
This is when we decided there must be a better way to help keep Briggs hydrated and safe while we are out.
So, we designed and created the first re-usable #togobowls that are made in the USA out of a durable, lightweight material that is safe, non-toxic, and anti-bacterial. Each bowl holds 24 oz. of water and/or food. They are small and slim, making them the perfect option to use during your daily, weekend, or week long adventure!