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Disposable Dishes for Pets

These handy tricks make meal time clean up easy staff
The good, the bad and the ugly of disposable food dishes. If you are totally swamped for awhile, if you are planning on leaving your pet with a sitter or if you are traveling with your pet, you may want to consider disposable food dishes.

If your amateur sitter is your neighbor's teenager, the bowls will, most likely, never be scrubbed or see the inside of a dishwasher. If you are traveling, you may not have easy access to soap and water. Disposable dishes can be the answer to keeping things clean and tidy.

Inexpensive, dessert or snack-sized, single layer paper plates may be just what you want for a small dog's or cat's moist food. A large dog will need a salad-sized plate. If you are 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. Aluminum foil sheets used by delis can be very handy. Shape them into bowls or use them to keep the inside of bowls clean.

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 for someone else to pick up.

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 a few cents apiece.  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 tortilla shells. A bread dough shaped and baked inside muffin tins makes a small cup that fits all manner of things. What works for you depends on your pet's diet, table manners and your own creativity.
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