In detail

Is it harmful for dogs to share a water bowl?


When it is warm, restaurants and shops often have a water bowl for dogs. Many four-legged friends also take advantage of this offer. But can the animals actually get sick if they share a bowl with other dogs? Especially in summer there are community bowls for dogs in front of shops and restaurants - Image: Shutterstock / Ezzolo

A water bowl for dogs is a nice touch in restaurants, in the beer garden and even at the vet. But is it really that good to have your animal drink from it, or is there a risk of germs spreading through the bowl? After all, usually several dogs already had their tongues in it.

Are community bowls harmful to health?

Basically, there is no danger for dogs when it comes to community bowls. Provided the animals are healthy and not immune-compromised. "Dogs also drink from streams and puddles, and nothing happens," explains Astrid Behr from the federal association of practicing veterinarians at "dpa".

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The American veterinarian Dr. Eric Barchas gives the all-clear on the "Dogster" portal: "It may seem very logical, but only a few communicable diseases are spread orally." According to the expert, the water gets directly into the dog's stomach, where germs have little chance due to the stomach acid. Infectious diseases are said to spread more often in other ways - for example via the respiratory tract.

Prefer to play it safe?

If in doubt, dog owners should always take a look at the communal bowl first to determine whether the drinking water is clean and not dirty. It can also help to inquire in restaurants or the veterinarian when the water was last changed. It is best to change the water several times a day.