You may think a dog bowl is just a bowl, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case. For most dogs, that one bowl is going to serve them for the rest of their life. Your pup is going to eat and drink out of his bowl several times daily for his entire life. We must choose the right bowl; one that is of the right size, suitable for his eating habits, and does not leach chemicals into his food.
Plastic dog bowl
Bowls made from plastic are incredibly light and handy. They are inexpensive and come in a variety of shapes, colours, and sizes. Most plastic bowls come with a non-slip bottom - a rubber ring attached to the bottom of the bowl to prevent slipping and are dishwasher safe too.
The downside to plastic bowls is that many are poorly made and can be easily chewed or scratched by your dogs. These cracks or scratches can harbour bacteria and if you’re not washing the bowls regularly, the bacteria can remain and potentially make your dog sick. Some types of plastic contain toxic chemicals that appear to mimic hormones, and if ingested, could disrupt your dog’s hormonal balance, giving rise to several negative health effects. Not to mention that some dogs may develop a sensitivity to the plastic resulting in some form of skin allergy reaction around their chin and lips from contact with the bowl.
Should you decide to go with a plastic bowl, choose only bowls made from premium quality, non-toxic plastic materials like this Stefanplast Anti-Slip Chic Cat & Dog Bowl. If your pup has a habit of scratching or chewing his food bowl, it is best to avoid all plastic bowls. Choose a ceramic or stainless-steel bowl instead.
Ceramic dog bowl
When it comes to dog bowls, the word ceramic refers to any bowl made from earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, or even bone china. These bowls often feature attractive patterns and may even be handmade by artists. Ceramic bowls are art pieces.
Ceramic bowls are the heaviest type of dog bowl and it’s not something that your dog can push or carry around easily. If your dog loves to push or carry his bowl around the house or flips his meal on the floor, these playful behaviors can be fixed with a ceramic bowl.
The ceramic bowl is super easy to clean. The smooth gloss finish prevents food from taking hold. A quick scrub with soap and a sponge will remove even the most stubborn, caked-on dog food. If you’re looking for a ceramic bowl for your pooch, here’s one to consider - Land Rover Hue Ceramic Dog Bowl.
Ceramic bowls do require extra care. Unlike plastic or stainless doggy bowls, dropping your ceramic bowl can cause it to crack or chip. Once your ceramic bowl chips, it needs to be tossed in the trash. Not only do chipped and cracked areas harbour bacteria, but your dog could also eat any loose pieces that break off.
Stainless-steel dog bowl
These are the most durable feeding bowls, and they are also dishwasher safe. Just like plastic bowls, stainless-steel bowls often come with a non-slip bottom to prevent spilling. These bowls are practical, inexpensive, and stand the test of time. Vets and dog parents alike will agree that stainless steel is the best overall option for pet food bowls.
What many doggy parents don't realise is that not all stainless-steel bowls are created equal. There are countless grades of stainless steel, and each has its pros and cons. Some grades are better for food-related applications. An average consumer can’t identify the different grades of stainless steel just by looking at the product. Your best bet is to get your stainless-steel dog bowls from reputable companies.
We have plenty of stainless-steel dog bowls for you to choose from and here’s one from a company that offers high-quality pet products - FuzzYard Doggoforce Dog Feeding Bowl. This bowl comes in 3 different sizes and is dishwasher safe too.
Travel dog bowl
Travel dog bowls are so handy when you take your pup on an excursion. These bowls are lightweight, foldable, or collapsible making them easily portable. If you are looking for an ultralight bowl that packs into itself, consider the Ruffwear Trail Runner™ Ultralight Collapsible Food & Water Dog Bowl. It's made from PVC-free, waterproof fabric and can be folded into a small pouch; small enough to be stuffed into the back pocket of your jeans!
Elevated dog bowl
Elevated dog bowls typically consist of two bowls in a stand. The stand help to raise the bowls higher and some studies have shown that elevated dog bowls may help with certain health issues. By elevating your dog’s bowl, you improved your dog’s posture while eating, causing less stress on your dog's shoulder, back, and joints. This can be helpful for senior, arthritic dogs struggling to bend over to eat. Elevated dog bowls may be on the expensive side, but for dogs with joint aches or suffering from a condition called megaesophagus, they are worth the price.
Slow feeder dog bowl
Some dogs are just fast eaters. They "gulp" down their food and this can lead to indigestion, excess gas, or even vomiting. Slow feed bowls are uniquely designed to make dogs eat more slowly. The bowls are designed with ridges or other structures that force the dog to take smaller bites. These bowls are often made of plastic, but some can be found in stainless steel.
Automatic dog feeder
Automatic dog feeders can be programmable or non-programmable. Non-programmable, basic feeders are designed to provide your pup with a steady stream of food or water. You will not be able to control the timing or the amount of food dispensed. Non-programmable dog feeders are not recommended for use with dog food. Without the scheduling and portion control option, you will be free feeding your pooch and this can lead to weight problems.
A programmable dog feeder like this PETKIT FRESH ELEMENT SOLO 3.0L Smart Pet Feeder (Orange) is a better option. With this device, you can personalize the food portions from 5 grams to 50 grams and schedule the feeding times accordingly. The other added advantage of this device is that it works with multiple types of dry dog food including air-dried and freeze-dried dog food. Most other programmable dog feeder works only with dry dog kibbles.
Dog bowls come in a wide array of styles and sizes. It can be confusing looking for the best one for your dog but with a little research and a little help from this article, you should be able to pick one that's right for your pup.
Katherine is a Pet Nutrition Specialist and GDP’s Pet Wellness Advisor. She is committed to helping pet owners make informed dietary and lifestyle choices in nurturing healthy pets. Katherine is also a practicing Nutritional Therapist (human nutrition) and has been helping hundreds of clients to heal naturally with nutrients.