Why Is There Algae In My Dog’s Water Bowl

Why Is There Algae In My Dog’s Water Bowl?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Unclean water bowls provide a perfect environment for other germs to thrive. Germs such as E.coli, salmonella, and MRSA can live in dirty water bowls. Therefore, keeping your dog’s water bowl clean is crucial.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Why Is There Algae In My Dog’s Water Bowl?“.

It is undeniable that dogs are mans best friend.

Why Is There Algae In My Dog’s Water Bowl

What should you do if your dogs water bowl is dirty and there are algae growing in the water? What can happen if your dog drinks the water?

We will explore the topic of algae in dog water bowls in this article.

What is Algae?

Freshwater as well as saltwater algae grow. They are green brown and red colored plants. Algae are found in more than 16000 different types throughout the world. It is usually found in or near water and some aquatic plants need it to survive.

Obviously if algae start growing in your dogs water bowl you’re not cleaning it regularly. Eventually it could lead to a gastrointestinal infection.

Why is that?

Unclean water bowls provide a perfect environment for other germs to thrive. Germs such as E.coli salmonella and MRSA can live in dirty water bowls. 

Therefore keeping your dogs water bowl clean is crucial.

Why is water so important for dogs?

Dogs need water in order to function properly. 

Staying hydrated and functioning properly requires water. Not only that but water also plays an important role in your dogs health. In the summer it helps to keep your dog cool. It helps to regulate the temperature of your dog.

The following are some of the health benefits of water for your dog:

  1. Digestive aid – Canines are made up of 70 – 80% water just like humans. Therefore keeping your dog hydrated depends on his fluid levels. Water also breaks down food in your dogs digestive system.
  2. Keep your dogs body cool – Water keeps your dogs body temperature at a comfortable level. In the summer heat water helps lower your dogs body temperature. You should keep your dogs water bowl clean and fresh at all times.
  3. Flushes out wastes and toxins – Dogs need water to flush out their bodies of toxins. Dogs that drink a lot of water are usually clean. A dog that is properly hydrated is also less likely to get sick.
  4. Orients and alerts your dog – Water is essential for the brain of your pet. A dog with a water deficit may become extremely stressed. Be sure to provide your dog with a clean and fresh water bowl every day.

What are the algae in a dog’s water bowl?

It is a plant-like substance that is rapidly growing in your dogs water bowl.

Many factors influence the rate of growth.

Sunlight nutrients and air oxygen content are all factors that affect growth.

As soon as these conditions are met the algae will begin to multiply rapidly.

The longer this process goes without proper care the more rapidly it happens.

The type of algae that grows in your dogs water bowl is known as green algae. These are the different types of green algae you can find in your dogs water bowl:

Green water algae

Dogs’ water bowls are likely to have green algae growing in them. It has a whitish tint that gives it the appearance of green slime. Your dogs water bowl usually has a thin layer of green slime at the bottom or near the surface. The algae are generally harmless to dogs. Ingesting it however can cause your dog discomfort itching and redness.

Blue-green algae

Algae can poison humans and animals. The algae look like the standard green algae but are more harmful to dogs than the green algae. When your dog consumes blue-green algae it may experience vomiting diarrhea and incoordination. You can find blue-green algae in lakes and ponds.

How does it appear?

Depending on how old the water is green algae may appear in your dogs water bowl.

The bowl should be filled with fresh water.

It is unlikely that green algae will appear.

The water in the bowl should be discarded if it has been sat for a while. 

Green algae will begin to grow.

Warm water tends to form blue-green algae.

Temperatures that are warmer encourage these organisms to grow.

Check your dogs water bowl every day to ensure that it is not contaminated.

What parasites or bacteria might your dogs catch?

Your dogs water bowl will be filled with many microorganisms.

These include protozoa viruses bacteria fungi and other microscopic organisms. These organisms are so tiny that we cannot see them. To reproduce themselves only one cell is necessary. Since they reproduce so quickly they are extremely dangerous.

The following are some of the most common diseases caused by these organisms:

  1. Giardia- is a disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting
  2. E. coli- It also causes diarrhea and vomiting
  3. Salmonella causes diarrhea vomiting and sickness.
  4. Campylobacter – This bacteria causes severe diarrhea and vomiting.
  5. Pseudomonas – This bacteria causes pneumonia.
  6. MRSA- is caused by Staphylococcus aureus attacking your dogs healthy tissues

Even if your dog appears to be fine at the moment remember that.

The animal could still be infected if it consumed contaminated water.

If this occurs you must act immediately. Get in touch with your vet right away so that they can treat your pet properly.

What is the best way of cleaning a dog’s water bowl?

The water bowl of your dog needs to be cleaned.

Ensure that all foreign objects such as toys bones etc. are removed before washing. Next wash the outside with hot water and soap.

Each time you use the product rinse well. Be sure to thoroughly clean the interior of the bowl as well. Baking soda or dishwashing liquid can be used for this. Thoroughly dry the surface after washing.

Can a water bowl be cleaned with a natural product? (without using bleach dish soap or detergent)

Absolutely! You can use natural products at home instead of harmful chemicals.

Baking soda vinegar and lemon juice are some examples.

All of these methods are effective at removing stains and odors without harming your pet. Natural products are the best because they do not harm your dog.

As a result there is no reason why you should not use them in your dogs water bowl. Is it necessary to change my dogs water bowl on a regular basis?

One of the benefits of using a natural product is that it has many beneficial effects on your dogs health and well-being.

How often should a water bowl be cleaned?

 Your dogs water bowl should be cleaned every day at the very least. Whats the reason? The main reason is that dogs like to eat dirt around their water bowls. If you do not clean your dogs bowl regularly they will ingest all the bacteria and germs present in the water. Ensure that your dogs water bowl is checked at least twice a day.

What is the best way of keeping a dog’s drinking water clean?

Let the water breathe before algae grow or the water smells. Your dog should not drink from it until it has breathed. It is always a good idea to remove all of the water from the bowl before giving your dog new water. You should replace your dogs water if you notice that it has been drinking dirty water. Your dog must drink the same amount of water each day.

You can use it to determine whether your dog needs more water. Dehydration can lead to severe problems including kidney failure if too little water is consumed.

You should also keep in mind that some breeds of dogs require more frequent water changes than others.

What is the best material for a dog’s water bowl to be made from and why?

Stainless steel is one of the most common materials for dog water bowls. 

The following are some of its advantages:

  1. Will not rust
  2. Stable and does not break easily
  3. Maintains hygienic conditions and is easy to clean
  4. Contains no toxic materials and is pet-safe

Water bowls made from stainless steel will withstand hot or cold weather. This material is only susceptible to scratches if your dogs nails are long and sharp

What are the advantages of stainless steel?

In terms of hygienic and non-toxic water bowls for dogs stainless steel is the best option. The stainless steel can be easily cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Before placing it in your dogs room do not forget to rinse it thoroughly.

What are the disadvantages of stainless steel?

This material has the disadvantage of being prone to scratches. For instance suppose your dog has long and sharp nails. Stainless steel can also be scratched by rocks or other hard objects. Furthermore stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat or cold. It would not keep water cool on a hot summer day if you keep the stainless steel bowl outside.

Filtered vs tap water vs spring water- which is better for your dog?

Depending on where you live you may use different kinds of water. In some places the water has a high chlorine level while in others it does not. There are also places that add fluoride to the water supply.  The following are some advantages and disadvantages of filtered tap and spring water.

Advantages of filtered water

Lets say you live in an area where chlorine is added to the water supply. There are filters available at your local store. Your dog will be able to safely drink from the water bowl without being exposed to high levels of chlorine.

Disadvantages of filtered water

Water that has been filtered can be expensive. Compared to straight tap water filtered water costs more per jug. Filtration systems must be maintained regularly and they need to be replaced. 

Advantages of tap water

Water from the tap is the cheapest option. When your dog lives in an area where there is little or no chlorine added to the water it can drink tap water. Please be aware that the water coming out of the hose may taste different from what you’re used to.

Disadvantages of tap water

Minerals and chemicals added to tap water cannot be removed before it is delivered to your home. Consequently your pet can be exposed to these harmful substances. Additionally tap water cannot be filtered to remove chlorine.

Advantages of spring water

If you live in an area without tap water or if the quality of the tap water is questionable you can purchase spring water. There is no chemical or mineral contamination in springwater and its quality is consistent. Especially if you live in an area with little or no tap water this might be the best option for your pet.

Disadvantages of spring water

It can be costly to purchase spring water. Jugs of spring water cost more than jugs of straight tap water. Because the filtering system has to be maintained and it needs to be replaced frequently.


The water bowl is an integral part of your dogs health and safety. One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to keep their water clean. A dirty water bowl can be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. You can keep your dogs water clean and fresh by following the steps listed above.

You should also keep your dogs water bowl away from direct sunlight. Algae spread more quickly in direct sunlight. Last but not least be sure to check your dogs water bowl every day to ensure it is not smelling foul. If it does your dogs health will suffer.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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