Q: There are people I know who give the family dog dishes or mixing bowls to lick when they have finished with them and then place the “licked clean” items in the dishwasher. I’m not certain that these dishes are rinsed before being placed with other “non-licked” items. Sometimes tidbits are offered to the dog from what is being eaten, given from the fork or spoon being used. The food given is nothing harmful, but I question the sanitation and reasonableness of these practices. I have not voiced my concerns since I am not sure whether they are valid.
What readers have to say:
o “The dog thing is just gross, even though it happens in my own home. Choose your battles.”
o “I think a scouring in the dishwasher will take care of any dog germs. And when I lean down to nuzzle the dogs, they have been known to give me a sweet kiss on my mouth. I just try to forget where I have seen their tongue or mouth.”
o “Control your own house and quit worrying about other people’s homes. (I can’t guarantee that all the people that have eaten at my house have NOT eaten a dog hair or 12.)”
o “When I asked my vet about about this concern, he said that he hoped the dog wouldn’t catch anything from us.”
o “As long as they’re not asking you to give Fido a lick off your personal spoon, I say quit being a giant baby.”
o “Of all of the world’s, this country’s, as well as our personal tragedies, someone is consumed with angst over whether someone else allows a dog to lick their plate. I don’t know whether it was crazier to write to you about the issue or to actually print this as a serious subject. “
o “I’ve never fed a pet from my silverware, nor have I eaten from a person’s fork and spoon, and I never let my children do so either. It’s not healthy. But dishes that are washed in the dishwasher or hot, soapy water are CLEAN. What happens to the dishes after the guests leave is mine and kitty’s business.”
o “When offered a swig of some cold water on a hot day and asked if I would mind drinking after them, I would always answer that I have kissed worse, not to say that I kissed many dogs — that would leave me open to the opposite sex mentioning me in saying you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince — that would open another can of worms, but we are talking about dogs here, not worms. The fact is, the dog probably cleanses the plate far better that most do before it goes in the dishwasher, and the harsh chemicals and heat involved in a dishwasher will sanitize the worst of the potty mouths, dog or human.”
o “I would never feed them with my fork or spoon, although I witnessed a very good friend feed one with his fork. I cringed.”
o “While these items the dog licked are probably cleaner than what some people put in their mouths, for me there’s just a huge ‘ick’ factor!”
o “I’d be more worried about the utensils used by thousands of people in restaurants versus one dog licking some bowls. Additionally, I guarantee this lady puts her hands on door knobs, money and tons of other stuff that’s been touched by people with various germs and then puts her hands to her face later. That has got to be far worse than one dog. But hey, I love dogs and I’m not a germaphobe.”
o “Voting yes in favor of the dogs. They do a better job than rinsing before putting in the dishwasher, and they so enjoy the treat. They don’t understand it’s a job. Shouldn’t we all have jobs that are fun (and tasty)? I’m conserving water, saving on my water bill and being the greatest dog mom in Roswell. Lily and Zee send regards.”
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Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of “The Cracker Queen — A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life” and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at www.thecrackerqueen.com.