I know many Cruisemates have furry members of the family and we like to keep them and ourselves healthy.
Your pet can become sick from bacteria and virus' the same way that we can.
A major way your pet can get sick is right from the bowl or dish you feed them. Many people will go days, weeks or months without washing their pet's bowl. Bacteria, molds, virus' and other "things" can be growing in there and make your pet and you VERY sick.
You should wash your pet's feeding dish every day. The same way you wash your dishes.
If you don't wash it every day then at least every few days is the maximum. EVERY DAY if you use canned food.
Also wash the water dish at least every couple of days but every time you refill it is best.
NEVER!!!!!!!!!! Use your pet's dish as a scoop for it's food. Use a clean and dedicated scoop to fill the dish.
If you think: "Why should I bother he licks his butt and is just fine." A dog or cat's metabolism can handle that but cannot handle mold or other bacteria.
This all came about from a client (Pomeranian) of my daughter's who died a very slow and very painful death from a staph infection of the lungs. The staph was traced directly back to the dog's dish. This staph could also have infected the owners and children in the house. The owners couldn't remember the last time it was washed. It didn't look "dirty" but it was deadly.
A good suggestion is what I do is: When you start the dishwasher grab the pet dishes and stick them in. Fido or Fifi can go without water long enough for the cycle to complete. You can also have two sets of feeding dishes and alternate.
Though we love our furry friends sometimes we don't think about the cleanliness of their stuff the same way we think about the cleanliness of what we eat off of. Do you eat off of the same unwashed plates each day? I don't think so and why should your pet.
Take care and take care of your pets,