Vets warning to dog owners: Don't let pets drink from shared water bowls

VETS are warning dog owners not to let their four-legged friends drink from shared water bowls when out and about, over fears it can lead to potentially fatal diseases.

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Cafes and restaurants often leave water bowls for customer's dogs to lap up while their owners enjoy a nice meal or catch up with friends. But just as you wouldn’t share the same cup with people when dining out, vets have advised against your dog drinking out of a water bowl that many other pets have also used.

Why are dogs’ noses so wet? Dogs’ noses secrete a thin layer of mucous that helps them absorb scent. They then lick their noses to sample the scent through their mouth.

As the UK sees temperatures rise, dog health experts say sharing a bowl of water could lead to kennel cough - a condition that is extremely infectious.

While not spread directly by oral contact, many other infections and viruses can find their way into a communal dog bowl that could make your pet become unwell.

Speaking to TeamDogs, Kathleen Pohl, a veterinary surgeon at Zetland Vets and My Family Vets, warned: “If your dog is at risk and you are aware of a local outbreak, it would be sensible to avoid locations where your dog might have close contact with others such as busy parks, day care or shared public water and food bowls.”

Vets issue warning to dog owners over water bowls

Vets are warning dog owners to avoid using communal water bowls when visiting cafes and restaurants (Image: Getty - Chalabala)

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Use a Food Dispensing Toy for Fast Eaters. If your dog eats too fast use a food dispensing toy (we love the Kong Wobbler & Bob a Lot), or place a few tennis balls in their bowl to slow their eating. Not only does this keep them from eating too quick, it gives them a nice mental workout.

Due to the infectious nature of kennel cough, outbreaks are fairly common which is spread through coughing and sneezing.

Posting in a community group on Facebook, one owner warned: “Been to a local vets today who advised kennel cough is rife in Chelmsford!

“Our dog has caught it. Told us don’t share public dog bowls for drinks.”

Kathleen said: “Kennel cough is very infectious and can spread both in the environment and the air. It is also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis and is an upper respiratory tract infection that can be caused by many different bacteria and viruses.

A Safe Place. Creating a safe place for your pet is crucial to its comfort. Make sure your pet has its own place of comfort where it can rest, relax and feel secure.

“Due to this, we do often see outbreaks in cases in local areas, as dogs can pick it up very easily in the park or local dog shows, or in areas where they might mix with other dogs such as day-care and kennels.”

Symptoms that suggest a dog has contracted kennel cough include a nasty cough, a fever, running nose, sneezing, loss of appetite and breathing difficulties.

Kathleen added: “There is a vaccine that can protect against some of the infections that cause severe symptoms, however some viruses that cause kennel cough cannot be protected due to their rapid mutation.

Focus on the Human-Animal Bond. “Dogs and cats have broken down the walls of our hearts. There haven’t been comparable domesticated species in 5,000 years.” For Dr. Becker, it’s clear that pets and people have evolved to benefit each other. He explains, “When you’re petting them, you both get this massive release of oxytocin, prolactin, dopamine, and a decrease in cortisol. It’s a reciprocal biochemical spa treatment.” As they age, it can be easy to take pets for granted. Make time for a little human-animal bonding every day.

READ MORE:Dog owners issued warning over pets burning paws as heatwave continues

Vets issue warning to dog owners over water bowls

Drinking from shared water bowls can cause dogs to develop kennel cough, which can be fatal (Image: Getty - Mercedes Rancaño Otero)

“Older animals or animals with other underlying health conditions may be more at risk of developing severe disease and these cases can progress to pneumonia, which can be fatal.”

To help prevent dogs from contracting kennel cough and other diseases and parasites, dog owners are advised to pack a portable water bottle to keep pups hydrated on days out.

A stainless steel, non-porous dog bowl which is the best for keeping dog bowl hygiene high while at home.

For those who own multiple dogs or regularly meet up for play dates, vets also advise to have more than one water dish available and to wash the drinking bowl everyday.

For a dog who loves to tear apart stuffed animals, make a durable activity ball with a Hol-ee rubber ball, scraps of fabric, and treats.

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