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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Have a Community Water Bowl at Your Pet Business?

A variety of factors go into the decision to have one and to not.




dog drinking from water bowl

No: 54%

  • We do not encourage community water bowls for the same reasons we wouldn’t use the same water glass. We do have disposable bowls for a dog that needs a drink. — Sandy House, Paws N Effect, Hamden, CT
  • In the summer, we offer a bowl if a customer arrives with a panting dog. We don’t leave a bowl out because it gets filled with leaves, gets peed in and some dogs slobber in it after drinking. We don’t have the manpower to watch it and clean/refill it often enough (to avoid complaints and bad social media reviews.) — Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA
  • Giarrdea passes too easily from dog to dog. We have an indoor dog park here with a water fountain. If people ask for a bowl for it, we tell them that we sell two kinds: one travel bowl for $4.99 and one bottle bowl for $14.99. — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT
  • We used to keep one outside the front door, but it was constantly getting debris in it from the city. — Jamie Judson, City Bark, Detroit, MI
  • We find it to be a hazard since dogs often spill the water and it causes an issue with a slippery floor. — Esther Foster, Pawsitively Sweet Bakery, San Antonio, TX
  • We did every day for 17 years. Then the pandemic came and people weirded out about water, so now we provide on request. — Lorin Grow, Furry Face, Redlands, CA
  • Water bowls are breeding grounds for bacteria! We do not allow shared water bowls in our facility unless pets are in the same family. All water bowls in the facility are changed out daily. — Deana Deitchler, Dogs Paw, Park Rapids, MN
  • We do have disposable bowls for clients who ask for water, but in general for safety reasons, we do not offer communal water. — Teresa Hogge, Belly Rubs Pet Care, Ashburn, VA
  • Easy way to spread disease, parasites and viruses. Looking into disposable dog dishes and bottles of water. — Corey Heenan, Corey’s Canine Creations, Altamont, NY
  • Too many diseases can be carried through a community water bowl. We have single-use paper bowls available for customers who forgot their travel bowl. — Sue Hepner, Cool Dog Gear, Warrington, PA
  • Possible slip hazard and cross contamination from dog to dog. — Jessica Cooke, Yuppy Puppy, O’Fallon, MO
  • Anyone who comes into our lobby is fair game to not be fully vaccinated. It’s this area that we turn clients away if their pet’s vaccines are no good for boarding or daycare services, where we handle grooming pets who may only be vaccinated against rabies, and where pets that are just coming in to shop the retail area with their owners may or may not be fully vaccinated. For this reason, I feel much safer allowing our day care dogs in the back (who I know are all up to date on all of the core vaccines and have had their owners sign our liability paperwork) to share a water bowl in play group. — Natalie Bosch, Albany Pet Hotel, Albany, OR
  • I used to, but stopped once COVID hit. — Pam Alerine, Style Mutt, Cleveland, OH
  • Not since it being kennel cough season. — Nicole Cammack, NorthPoint Pets, Cheshire, CT
    Before COVID, we had a giant water bowl on the sales floor. We removed it in March and have not put one back out yet. No plans to. — Janet Cesarini, Pupology, Georgetown, TX
  • For health and sanitary purposes, we don’t have a public bowl, though we will offer water in a clean bowl to anyone that needs it. — Jennifer Moore Baker, Grateful Dog Bakery, North Ridgeville, OH
  • We used to before COVID. — Steven Iannuzzi, Percy Paws, North Conway, NH
  • The dogs that come with their owners to shop are not in the store all that long, and the weather in our area is not overly warm. The hassle of keeping a communal bowl clean just isn’t worth it for us. We do put out water in our dog park, but like our day care, these buckets are washed and sanitized daily. — Dana Rice, Dog Wild Pet Supplies & Resort, Cooperstown, NY
  • We do our best to keep all of the water in our fish tanks. Some folks wander in with pooches, but not enough to warrant hospitality. — Liz Harris, Creatured Featured, Madison, FL
  • It is not sanitary for animals. Just like you sharing a bowl with many people, you would not. If a person wants water, we will get fresh water in a clean bowl. — George Davenport, EarthWise Pet, Turnersville, NJ

Yes: 37%

  • We change it out numerous times per day. It’s messy but we are always cleaning anyway so it’s not a nuisance. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT
  • We change water continuously throughout day. — Roncy Roehm, Canyon Pet Lodge, Puyallup, WA
  • We do in-store and on our patio during the summer months. We monitor them multiple times a day, keeping the water fresh and the bowls clean. It’s appreciated, especially in the summer months. They’re also in low traffic areas so accidents are not an issue. — Jeff Jensen, Four Muddy Paws, St Louis, MO
  • We dump, clean and refresh with bottled water each morning and refresh as needed throughout the day. — Becci Johnson Scott, Fetching Dog, Scottsdale, AZ
  • We wash it out every night at close and fill it with fresh water each morning. We will rinse it and refill it periodically throughout the day, if necessary. — Sheila Spitza, Wet Nose, Geneva, IL
    We put a water bowl outside by our front entrance and a water fountain inside of our business on a waterproof mat. We have a dog customer who insists on coming by every day to drink out of that fountain, and his dog mom ending up buying him his own. — Victoria Park, Park Pet Supply, Atlanta, GA
  • Yes and no. In the summer, there’s a water bowl just outside the store. In the winter months, no bowl because we usually don’t see quite as many dogs in the store. If there’s a dog who looks like he’s needing a drink, we offer and bring out a bowl. I don’t leave a bowl out on the sales floor only because of the possibility for spills and falls! — Lisa Boegl, Eldorado Country Pet, Santa Fe, NM
  • We offer two bowls (one large and one small for our customer pups.) We sanitize the bowls every morning and fill halfway with fresh water — after each dog slobbers in it by drinking we clean again and refill. — Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI
  • We have a bowl outside for passersby, and we refresh/refill as necessary. We have a Drinkwell fountain inside that gets cleaned at least once per week, if not more often. — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • Fill twice a day. We also have water bowls available in our dog park. — Frank Frattini, The Hungry Puppy, Farmingdale, NJ
  • It is cleaned and refilled daily. — Pennye Jones-Napier, The Big Bad Woof, Washington, DC
  • We clean and refill every morning. — Michael Moore, Yarn and Bone Pet Supply, Camden, DE
  • Every time a dog uses the bowl, when they leave the bowl is cleaned and fresh bottled water is replaced. We also give bottled water to humans. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL
    Keep bowl clean and filled with fresh water. — Laurie Wilson, Teca Tu-A Pawsworthy Pet Emporium, Santa Fe, NM
  • Clean it every day. Haven’t had a single issue with the pandemic and issues with sanitizing/etc. — Matthew OLeary, Felix & Oscar, Springfield, VA
  • Changed every hour. — Nancy Napoleon, Heartland Veterinary and Boarding, Cream Ridge, NJ
  • We keep a stainless steel bowl of fresh water at our front door. It is refreshed throughout the day and washed daily. — Amy Schiek, Lucky Dogs, Skaneateles, NY
  • We refill when empty and wash it at the end of each day. — Wendy Megyese , Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • It’s a very large bowl that we clean and disinfect after every pet gets a drink of water. — April Meier, Pawsitively Scrumptious, Crestview, FL
  • We have water bowls in-store and outside at the front entry. They are sterilized twice daily and kept filled. — Denise Strong, Pawz On Main, Cottonwood, AZ
  • We do this only in the warmer/hot months. We put a 2.5-gallon waterer out in the mornings and change the water/freshen it up halfway through the day. — Diane Marcin, Benny’s Pet Depot, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Wiped out & refilled daily. — Ron, Keller, Captivating Canines, Westerville, OH

N/A: 9%

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