You wouldn’t think twice about washing your dishes after dinner before using them again, but what about your pet's food and water bowls?

There's an assumption that when serving dry food to your pet, there isn't a need to conduct this chore. Unfortunately, by skipping this task, you're subjecting your pet and yourself to dangerous bacteria. Here's what you need to know.

E. Coli Bacteria
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Research published last month in the scientific journal PLOS One shows that there is drug-resistant bacteria lurking in our pets' food bowls. This includes E. coli, C. diff and staph bacteria. Not only that, but out of 32 different household objects that people use daily, these containers ranked the ninth highest for contamination. That's because most pet owners wait days, if not weeks, to wash these items.

While you may be thinking 'my pets have survived this long,' pause for a second to think about where you prepare their food, likely on a kitchen surface where you also prepare your own, as well as how often their mouth comes in contact with you. Everyone loves those affectionate kisses from their fur babies. However, while dog saliva does have some antibacterial properties, additional studies have actually found the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in our pet’s saliva that can make us and our pets sick.

That's not to say you have to avoid those slobbery kisses from Fido, but it would behoove us all to be a bit better at keeping our pets' bowls clean.

Photo by Chewy on Unsplash
Photo by Chewy on Unsplash

According to the Food and Drug Administration, you should be washing these containers as frequently as you would wash your own – after every use. This is especially important when serving them raw and wet pet foods that are more prone to bacteria growth.

Additionally, in terms of the water bowl, washing should be done once daily. While it can be tedious to hand wash any dish, there's a simple solution: invest in a handful of dishwasher safe dog bowls. Brands like Frisco and YETI make options that can be easily rinsed and then thrown in a load, saving you the trouble of scrubbing.

Moreover, if you use snuffle mats, buy a few and wash them all in one big load to save water. Finally, wash your hands before and after serving your pets their food. This ensures that you and your pets stay healthy and happy.

RANKED: Here Are the 63 Smartest Dog Breeds

Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

More From Awesome 98