Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Feb 18, 2013 11:12 AM

Cleaning the plates

Anyone who knows me KNOWS I'm practically a germaphobe and my kitchen hygiene habits are impeccable. That being said (hate that phrase), I allow my dogs to "clean" the plates before going into the dishwasher. I figure they hit the hot soapy water and sanitation cycle before going to the table, so I have no problem with it. HOWEVER, from an outsider's POV, is there an ick factor? Should I refrain from doing this when guests are over?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Dishwater temps are good for killing germs, I have experienced less colds etc when washing drinking glasses in the dishwasher, especially in the winter during flu season. As for dogs licking dishes, I've seen worse when dogs lick their owners face after a drink in the tolilet bowl!

    1 Reply
    1. re: treb

      One of the nice things about English Bulldogs - they cannot usually reach the toilet bowls, and especially if they are ADA.


    2. I do the same with my cat when she is very interested in my dinner, and my sister-dog gets to clean every ice cream dish used in my parents house. I don't think it's a problem in terms of sanitation, especially if you're using a dishwasher. Still, I wouldn't do it with guests over.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mpjmph

        So, the dog learns to bark at the guest to get him to leave.... because he knows that, when there's guests, he gets no table scraps.....

        1. re: zippypinhead

          In this case, the dog is never in the room when people eat, even immediate family. She goes to her own room during meal times. When it's just immediate family, she joins us in time to "clean" the dishes. If guests are over, she stays in her room until everything is put away. If she behaves through dinner and there are no dishes to lick, she gets a different treat. She really only makes a fuss if she perceives we are holding out (i.e. three people in the room, but only two ice cream bowls). Even then, she knows the phrase "no more" means she's out of luck, and she'll move on to other things.

          1. re: mpjmph

            good training. also why I have zero patience with a friend who gripes about her dog begging, as she slips bits from her plate.

      2. It wouldn't bother me but I avoid the practice because I don't want our dogs to associate our plates with anything that they are allowed to eat.

        5 Replies
        1. re: kengk

          Years ago I would not have agreed - most of the dogs of my acquaintance over the years were routinely given table scraps anyway - until we got our first whippet, who came with stern instructions from the breeder concerning the need to keep dog food and people food strictly separate. This was for both health (the dog's) and discipline reasons; we followed it faithfully, and did our best to keep anyone else from offering tidbits as well. This did not, however, prevent her from showing up whenever I was doing something with chicken, and staring at me with hope in her eyes …

          1. re: Will Owen

            This has been the same for 40 years of English Bulldogs - people food one thing, doggie food a totally different thing, and never shall the twain meet.

            Every itinerary that I print for our house/pet-sitter has a two paragraph section on "dog food" vs "people food."

            I know when she's been bad, as the Bulldogs sit by my chair, salivating, while I eat - a total give away.


            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Eliminating human food also makes for a less gassy pooch!

            2. re: Will Owen

              good practice, some breeds have very delicate systems. a friend had a great whippet who was diabetic, food was definitely an issue. we wanted to be 'nice' to Cato, but also knew it was not in his best interest.

            3. No ick factor to me. My dogs often lick the plate. I do draw the line at keeping the licking confined to the kitchen, never at the table.

              But I think this is one of those "know your audience" type things. If you don't know your guest feelings about animals I would save the sharing for a more private time.

              1. I don't have a problem with it. The more curious of my 2 cats sits on the dishwasher door while I'm putting the dishes in and sniffs everything. He licks the more interesting prospects. However, I keep him away when I'm unloading clean dishes.