Is it okay for dogs to share bowls? A Comprehensive Guide

When Pets Shouldn’t Share a Water Bowl

Specific pets, however, should not share water bowls with other pets, even if they’re in the same house. Generally, if a pet has its own separate environment, such as a cage or enclosure, for example a turtle, snake or bird, those animals should have their own individual water.

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When you’re out and about at a dog park or on an outdoor adventure, it’s convenient to spot a communal water bowl available to hydrate your precious pup.

However, communal water bowls come with some hidden risks. Your dog may be lapping up bacteria, viruses, or parasites when they quench their thirst after an outdoor adventure.

Obviously, it’s really important to keep your canine companion hydrated — dehydration can lead to heatstroke, a dry nose, vomiting, loss of appetite, and more. But are communal water bowls the best option for your dog?

Here’s what you need to know to keep your dog cool and hydrated safely when you’re out and about.

All communal or public water bowls pose a potential health risk to your canine companion. It is possible for dogs drinking out of communal bowls or fountains to be infected with diseases or parasites.

While contagious diseases in dogs are more commonly spread through coughing or sneezing, it is possible for dogs to be exposed to pathogens when communal water bowls are contaminated. In general, it is safer to have a separate water source for your dog.

Food safety concerns when sharing dishes with dogs

Many human foods are not safe for dogs, so your pet can become sick or even die if they ingest a food thats toxic to them. But in addition to foods that are known to be toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, there are other hazards to consider, such as choking hazards from leftover bones or pieces of food that are too large.

Human food can also contain high amounts of sugar, fat, and salt, which could be detrimental to your pets health. Therefore, if your dog even just licks your plate after youre finished eating, they might be in danger of ingesting something they shouldnt.

Properly sanitizing your dinnerware can be difficult if you share it with your dog, so this might put your familys health in jeopardy. If you arent able to thoroughly clean your dishes before feeding your dog, your pet might consume something harmful.

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Having two dogs is twice the fun. It’s twice the companionship, playtime and love. However, with two dogs you may have rivalry. This can lead to fights and twice as many vet bills. Having two also requires being twice as observant, especially when it comes to noticing signs of an early illness. Having two bowls can help with these as well as other potential problems.

Even when two dogs get along wonderfully, food can spark a fight. It is an inherited instinct for dogs to protect their food, especially if a dog had to compete for it in his past. A dog being protective of the food bowl is not uncommon in multi-dog households. Feeding dogs in separate bowls can help combat this problem. However, it’s not always a solution. Consult your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of moderate food aggression toward you or other pets. If ignored, this behavior may escalate.

When it comes to food, separate bowls are essential when you have dogs of different sizes, ages or breeds. Caloric intake varies if one dog is pregnant, or if one is an adult and the other a puppy. Certain breeds also have special requirements. Growing large or giant breeds require a diet that helps keep their growth at a slow rate so their bones can develop properly. Small or toy breeds typically have higher metabolisms, and often require diets higher in certain nutrients in order to maintain healthy blood-sugar levels.

If one dog has a health concern and is on medication, two bowls are imperative. Separate bowls allow you to make certain one dog gets the medication he needs, while your other dog doesn’t digest medication that is potentially harmful. Having two bowls also makes it easier to notice if one dog has a decrease or increase in appetite. Either one of these can be an early warning sign that something is medically wrong, and your veterinarian should be consulted.

Having two bowls for water is also beneficial to your dogs health, especially in hotter weather. For optimal nutrition, dogs require approximately 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. Two bowls help to make sure dogs of different sizes or needs get their fair share. If you have a large house, having bowls in different areas is helpful, especially if one dog is older or has trouble walking. Also, its just as important to monitor water consumption as food intake, since an increase in thirst is a common symptom of diabetes as well as liver and kidney diseases.

Slone Wayking worked as a professional in the veterinary field for 20 years. Though her interest in animal health led to this path, Wayking initially studied creative arts. She has been article writing for more than a year and is currently working towards her degree in multimedia. Her certifications include business writing and basic web design.