The good, the bad and the ugly of disposable food dishes.
If you're totally swamped for awhile, if you're planning on leaving your pet
with a sitter or if you're traveling with your pet, you may want to consider
disposable food dishes. Let's face it, it isn't always possible to
clean food bowls after each meal. If your amateur sitter is your
neighbor's teenager, the bowls may
never see the inside of the dishwasher.
If you're traveling, you may not have easy access to soap and water.
Disposable dishes can be the answer to keeping things clean and sanitary.
Inexpensive, dessert-sized, single-layer paper plates may be
just what you want for a small dog or cat's moist food. A large dog will need a
salad-sized plate. If you're a member of a warehouse club that caters to small
restaurants, you may be able to find those rectangular paper bowls used for french fries
or hotdogs. These are great for kibble and other food that tend to roll off flat
plates. In a pinch, aluminum foil formed into a small bowl can also work.
Canned and other moist foods can leave a residue in the
bowl. Especially in the warmth of summer, bacteria can grow quickly leaving smells
throughout the house and attracting flies if left out in the backyard. Many dogs
will lick their bowls clean leaving a very thick saliva residue that can be
difficult to clean off. Cats are likely to eat a bit and then leave bits and pieces
lying around. Contrary to popular expectation, many cats we know are the messiest
eaters we have ever seen! They pick at their food, taking unappetizing pieces out of
their bowls and dropping them wherever.
The bad part of disposable dishes is that they can feel
wasteful and the ugly part is thinking about overflowing landfills. However, they
can be a useful temporary solution and if you shop around a bit, they can be had
for less than 10 cents each.
You should always try paper dishes before you leave.
Some dogs may eat the plates in which case they have to be disposed of before he ingests
them. A little paper will probably not be a problem but why take any chances?
Edible plates? Another time-saving solution is to use edible plates.
Our more imaginative friends have used large lettuce or cabbage leaves, large
slices of melon with the rind intact and even tortilla shells. This all
depends on how cooperative your dog is and just how delectable the plate is.
Experiment and enjoy!