Pet owners warned over mysterious pink substance in feeding bowls

Published date17 March 2023
Publication titleDublinLive (Ireland)
Washing your pet's bowl is part of the daily routine all owners have but if you're particularly busy during the day, or if you're living with other people, it might be easy to forget to wash it or to assume someone else has done it. However, sometimes it can lead to the formation of harmful pink slime in their water dish which can also sometimes be seen on shower curtains and other parts of the bathroom

DSPCA spokeswoman Gillian Bird told Dublin Live that while being lazy and just pouring water in their pet's water dish is something every pet owner has been guilty of, it should not become a habit. And if you find a mysterious pink substance in your pet's bowl, it's probably a combination of airborne bacteria (called Serratia marcescens), mould, and yeast spores that thrive in damp environments. While washing pet dishes thoroughly every morning is the most obvious and effective way of preventing the attack of the pink slime, here are some other ways to avoid it.

Don't place your pet's dishes near the heater

Fortunately , the 'pink slime', as some call it, is not that common in Ireland. It would normally be something that builds up over time if pet's bowls aren't washed regularly. However, if there is something there that grew overnight, like "a bit of a freak thing", a very warm environment could be a factor. Gillian said: "It could have been a whole combination of different things. [Pet bowls] shouldn't be close to a radiator anyway. Especially if you're wet feeding, you could end up with the food going stale or going off quicker."

Don't fill the bowl with hot tap water

Ms Bird says: "The pink water may appear more from you running it from hot tap or from water that's coming from a tank in the attic because that water is sitting there longer than the fresh tap could even a situation where you haven't ran the tap for long enough to get the fresh water through.

Just because there's still water in the bowl, doesn't mean you shouldn't change it

If you've got a large pet and a small water bowl, then you may be filling up that water bowl two or three times a day. But if you have a very large water bowl and a...

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