Many pet bowls these days are dishwasher safe. However, some pet owners aren’t comfortable mixing their dog or cat bowls in the dishwasher with their own dishes. Because I don’t necessarily want to wash my dog’s dish by hand on a daily basis, I looked into this.

See also: 7 Ways to Recognize a Perfect Pet Superfood for Dogs (and Cats)

How Clean Is Your Dog’s Mouth?

I’m sure you’ve heard the urban legend that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.

It’s false.

Seriously, think about where your dog puts his or her tongue. According to an ABC story, when dogs lick their wounds, they heal quickly. This may cause people to think that dog saliva has antibacterial properties, unlike humans.

Vets argue this is not the case and that a dog’s mouth can contain bacteria that might make humans ill (again, remember where and what your dog licks). However, if you have a cold you won’t spread it to your dog as viral bacteria is species specific and vice versa. So that’s good.

See also: 7 Ways To Green Your Pet

Does The Dishwasher Kill Pet Germs?

Given that dogs and cats use their tongues for grooming (ahem), my concern was whether or not my dishwasher would really kill the germs. I have a Bosch dishwasher (that I love) so I decided to ask them.

At Bosch, we care about all of the members of your family—from mom and dad to kids and pets—and we know that you don’t always have time to separate different types of dishes before your run your next load of dishes. That’s why it is important to look for sanitization features on your dishwasher.

Organizations such as the National Sanitization Foundation (NSF), a non-profit that creates standards for public health for food, water and consumer goods, can be helpful in identifying dishwashers, like those from Bosch, that deliver the most hygienic results. In fact, each Bosch dishwasher made in the US has one or more cycles that are NSF certified and have been German engineered to kill 99.9% of bacteria, so that we can offer our customers the ultimate peace of mind.

And of course, you’ll also want to make sure that your pet’s food or water bowl is dishwasher safe. We recommend that you do not wash plastic items unless they are marked “dishwasher safe” or the equivalent.

– Stephanie Hutaff, Senior Product Manager for Bosch Dishwashers

How To Find Out If Your Dishwasher Is NSF Certified

Visit NSF International. Enter your brand of dishwasher and select “dishwasher” as a category. Hit search. Alternatively, just select dishwasher as the category and all NSF certified brands will pop up. Select your brand and see if your model is listed.

See also: What To Do When Your Dog Has Cracked Paw Pads

Mine is. So, Scooby’s stainless steel bowls go in the dishwasher and I do actually still let him give kisses. I can’t help the latter.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. This is so helpful! I’ve often wondered about this myself. You’ve just saved me from one of my least favorite chores!