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Prevent Slime In The Dog Water Bowl With Copper

Dog drinkingEating off the floor, rolling in the smelliest thing they can find - dogs might not be the cleanest creatures in the world. After bringing a dog into your home you’ve probably added more than one thing to the list of household cleaning tasks.

Even though your pooch might be happy to eat scraps from a bin or drink water from a dirty puddle, there is actually a risk they might catch some nasty bugs from unhygienic conditions. Similar to us, your pup can be susceptible to waterborne diseases such as cholera, E. coli, salmonella or other gastrointestinal problems, these can cause vomiting and diarrhea – among other symptoms – which can lead to dehydration and in extreme cases, death.

There’s no need to create a protective bubble around your four-legged friend, most healthy dogs are generally quite resilient and can cope with reasonable levels of bacteria or pathogens. But there are some simple steps you can take to minimise the chance they might catch something (it’s never nice cleaning up dog’s vomit or diarrhea anyway).

For example, how often do you clean your dog’s food and water bowls? A study by NSF International actually showed that pet bowls come fourth in the most germy places around the home. NSF encourages washing your pet’s food and water dishes daily with hot soapy water to keep the levels of E. coli and salmonella in check. If you don’t wash the bowls regularly, you might notice a slippery film coating or some discolouration – these are both signs of thriving bacteria colonies.

What is that slimy coating in my dog’s bowl?

A build-up in your dog’s water bowl - it feels pretty gross to touch and is sometimes difficult to clean. If you find this slippery film inhabiting your dog’s bowl it’s time to take some steps to sort it out before your dog does get sick. The slime coating is actually called biofilm and is caused by bacteria colonies living in the bowl. These bacteria can also infect people so don’t forget to give your hands a wash too if you’ve picked up or touched the bowls.

A copper dog bowl can keep the water clean

Copper CuBowlNothing can beat a thorough soapy scrub – but in between washes you can harness the natural power of copper to help keep the bacteria growing in your dog’s water bowl at bay. It’s called the oligodynamic effect, which is the ability of certain metals to passively destroy germs. So, when water is held in a copper container it stays much cleaner with less bacteria, fungi, mold and viruses living in it. These bowls from CuBowl show how successful the anti-microbial effect of copper can be at keeping dog’s water clean. So if you want a constantly working germ fighter, try ditching the ceramics, plastics and even the clean-looking, (but actually dirty) stainless steel in favour of a copper bowl.

Unfortunately, copper can react with and leach unhealthy amounts into food or liquids that are acidic (pH less than 7), so copper bowls are only suitable to be used for water (dog foods can be about pH 5-6). Silver also has oligodynamic properties and can be safely used as a food dish since it is an inert metal and will not react or leach into any foods – it’s a good substitute, but not quite as effective at killing germs as copper.

Is copper safe for dogs?

Copper is actually a vital and essential micronutrient that dogs (and people) need for many bodily functions, such as red blood cell development and formation of bone and connective tissue. Many pet foods manufactures even add copper as a supplement to fortify the servings and ensure a complete and balanced dog meal.

For a 15kg adult dog, the recommended daily copper intake is 1.5mg, whereas the average leach rate for a 1kg block of copper in a water rinse is just 0.387mg per week. This shows that holding water in a copper bowl will contribute almost nothing to the actual amount of copper your dog ingests or needs to be healthy.

Copper has been used throughout civilisation such as ancient Egypt and India for thousands of years to purify, hold and transport water, and recent studies have confirmed the germ-fighting mechanisms.

So, if you’re looking for a simple and safe way to get rid of that nasty slimy goo and reduce the germ exposure of your dog (and the chances you or your family might pick something up as well), you can’t go past a copper water bowl. There is lots of ongoing research for copper’s use in hospitals, public areas, around the home and food industries to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, so maybe we’ll be seeing copper used more frequently in the near future.

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