What Causes Slime On Dog Bowls?

What Causes Slime On Dog Bowls

I was washing my dog bowl one day, and I felt a sticky-gummy substance on the inside surface of my dog’s bowl. I was so worried about it and started researching about the same immediately. When I did the research, I found that it is slime. There are many reasons that cause slime on dog bowls.

To begin with, let me tell you, that slime is technically called biofilm which is both organic and inorganic. It is a collection of living and dead materials on your dog’s dish surface.

To know more about it, keep scrolling!

Is Biofilm Harmful?

Yes and No!

Biofilm is both good and bad! It holds both good and bad bacteria.

The good ones can benefit your canine while the bad ones can risk your pooch life. Simply refilling your pet’s bowl is not a rare thing. Many pet parents indulge in these behaviors, but little do they know that those biofilm and slime is very harmful.

Is Biofilm Harmful

Microorganisms such as Legionella, Listeria and E. Coli are formed in your dog’s bowl because of biofilm. All of these are very harmful substances, and can make your canine ill, if consumed. These biofilms can damage your pooch health as well.

Biofilms are often known to spread microbial infections like bladder infection, urinary tract infection as well as middle ear infections. These can even make your dog highly agonizing.

How to Prevent Biofilm from Forming?

No matter how dangerous these slime or biofilm are, they can easily be prevented by taking small measures. Frequent and proper cleaning of your dog’s bowl can lead you to a happy place where there is no biofilm.

Let’s discuss the 4 most easy yet effective ways of preventing biofilm from forming.

1. Clean Your Dog’s Dishes Bowl

Clean Your Dog's Dishes Bowl

Being a parent of 3 dogs who drink a lot of water, I give all three of them water in separate water bowls. I even have to serve them water atleast 3 times a day. But before, I do so, I wipe the dishes and bowls with paper towel. At night when my dogs go for their beauty sleep, I wash all the dishes and bowls with hot water and soap.

This makes the dishes and bowls look like a brand new one every morning. No more slime on dog bowls!

2. Clean Regularly

It is very important that you regularly clean your dog’s dishes. Even when you just clean the dog’s dishes with soap and warm water, it is more than enough. The only thing you need to do is, wash and clean it every day.

Clean Regularly

However, instead of using sponges, I find it much easier to clean the dog bowls and dishes with paper towel.

If you have a dog dish that is safe to toss in dishwasher, you can even use dishwasher to clean your dog’s dish. Just make sure that you have kept the temperture at the highest setting.

3. Use Stainless Steel Dishes

This is one of my favorite tip, although it is not a cleaning tip. But using stainless steel has proved no less than a boon for me. As compared to plastic dishes, stainless steel dishes are much better. It i because they are long lasting and quite durable. Whereas, plastic dishes, get strached very easily and are porous.

Porous materials can very conveniently store bacteria, organisms and molds.

Say Good-Bye to Slime on dog bowls!

4. Wipe the Dishes

This tip wont take much of your time and I have forced myself with this one for quite a long time now. And trust me when I say this, this tip has saved me a lot of hard work later.

I have made the habit of quickly wiping dog’s water bowl and dishes everytime I have to refill it. You can either use a wet cloth or a paper towel. When you do that, what happens is that it will break all the biofilm before they even start forming.

Do try this one, and thank me later.


Is slime bad for dogs?

A Big Yes!

Slime and Biofilm are awful for dogs. Not just bad, they are fatal too. If your dog ingests slime or biofilm by mistake, it can risk his life. It contains so many harmful bacteria and germs.

Those bacteria can lead to formation of dental plague which can even call forth periodontal disease, systemaic disease, or dental caries. However, if you clean, sterilize, and disinfect your dog’s dishes and bowl regularly, you can easily make sure that your dog’s health is not compromised.

What is the pink slime in my dog’s water bowl?

The pink slime in your dog’s water bowl is Serratia Marcescnes!

Serratia Marcescnes can spoil your dog’s immune system and make him sick. One can even find these bacteria in other places in the house as well, such as Kitchen. The illness that these bacteria can cause are meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In order to reduce the chances of slime and other bacteria try to use stainless steel bowls.

Why does my dog’s water dish get slimy?

The thick and slimy remains in your dog water bowl and dishes is slime.It is technically known as biofilm.

The reason why your dog’s water bowl get slimy is because there is a bunch of bacteria that is in your dog’s tongue, and when your dog licks the dishes and bowl those bacteria gets attached with the surface of the dish and bowl. If pet parents do not clean their dog’s dishes regularly and properly, those bacteria will build-up in the dishes.

Some bacteria are good whereas the bad ones can risk your dog’s health.

How do I keep algae from growing in my dogs water dish?

The perfect way to stop algae from growing in your dogs water dish is by cleaning it every day.

Other prevention tips that you can follow are:
1. You can use a stainless steel dish.
2. Wash the dog’s water bowl and dishes at temperature more than 60 °C as most bacteria don’t die below this temperature.
3. You can add one spoon of vinegar to clean the dog’s dish as it will prevent algae formation without harming your dog.

Final Verdict

There can be various reasons that cause slime on dog bowls. But the soultion to the problem is just one! Clean the dog dishes frequently and regularly.

When you do so, you will make sure that your pooch’s hea;th is not compromised as well as save yourself from frequent vet visits. The most scary of all, you will save yourself from losing your lovely canines.

That’s it from my side.

I hope you found this guide helpful. Do let us know in the comments how was your experience trying these tips.

See you, until next time!


  1. How to Stop Slime in the Water Bowl. (2017, January 8). RedWhiteandBulldogs. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://www.redwhiteandbulldogs.com/how-to-stop-slime-in-the-water-bowl/
  2. Staff, S. X. (2018, September 19). Life-threatening bacteria thrives in pets’ water bowls, experts discover. Phys Org. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-life-threatening-bacteria-pets-bowls-experts.html

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