How to Choose a Dog Bowl

Understanding canine nutrition and tailoring your dog’s diet accordingly can go a long way. However, there are some factors, the time of their meals, number of meals, feeding methods, type of bowls, etc. that can adversely affect your dog’s health and well-being if not done right.

Out of all those factors, we are going to focus on bowls at this time. A wrong choice can make your efforts go in vain after all.

How to Choose The Right Dog Bowl for Pooch

When it comes to bowls, there is no one-size-fits-all. Each type of bowl has its own pros and cons. That being said, the bowl whose pros outweigh its cons for your dog is the best one. We will discuss different types of bowls in this article so that you can choose what suits your dog the best.

Once you decide what kind of bowl is perfect for you, you can read the reviews of the best dog bowls online. There you will be able to see bowls with different styles, trends, costs, safety, purpose, ease of cleaning, etc.

But that’s the next step in choosing the bowl for your dog. Read on to understand the basic types of dog bowls.

Plastic Bowls

These are the most commonly used bowls among pet parents. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Plastic bowls are generally inexpensive and less likely to break when dropped. They are dishwasher safe.

Vets usually advise against using plastic bowls as they can be easily scratched and chewed by dogs. These tiny crevices and scratches accumulate minute food particles, which can create a favorable environment for harmful pathogens.

However, some high-quality plastic bowls are scratch-resistant and heavy. This solves the problem of your dog scratching or chewing and dragging the bowl by your dog respectively. Some dogs develop rashes and red skin around the mouth due to certain chemicals present in dog bowls. So, if you decide to go with the plastic bowls, choose one that is of superior quality and non-toxic.

dog bowl height

Ceramic Bowls

These are easy-to-clean, shiny, and comparatively heavy bowls. The chances of getting scratches are negligible for ceramic material. These stoneware bowls are easily breakable so you have to be sure you don’t drop them.

Since the bowl is heavy, your dog won’t be able to topple it. Some dogs believe they are incumbent to drag their bowls before they eat. If you have such a dog, ceramic bowls can be a great choice. Also, it’s dishwasher safe. Ceramic bowls also come with a rubber bottom that makes them anti-skid if that’s what you’re looking for.

You can get handmade ceramic bowls as well to make them personalized. The downside of ceramic bowls is they can easily crack and chip and that can be harmful to your pet especially if the broken chips get mixed up with their food. However, high-quality bowls are durable and safer.

Stainless Steel Bowls

Stainless steel bowls are safe and by far the most appropriate type of material for a dog bowl. It’s definitely dishwasher safe, non-toxic, and durable. Most stainless steel bowls are inexpensive. All in all, steel bowls can easily fit into your budget and is not harmful to your dog in any way.

But there are no colors available for bowls made of stainless steel. Some bowls come with a rubber bottom to make them anti-skid. That can solve the problem of spilling due to skidding.

The downside of SS bowls is they can get rusty if left outdoors for long which is not safe for dogs. And some tough chewers may attempt to chew hard stainless steel bowls which can damage the dog’s teeth.

Elevated Dog Bowls

Elevated bowls as the name suggests do not sit directly on the ground. But before you find this idea cool, I should tell you that elevated bowls are for senior dogs or dogs with bone and joint diseases who have trouble bending their neck to eat from the ground level.

However, these bowls might seem to make eating comfortable for your otherwise healthy dog. Well, it’s not the case. Raised feeding has been associated with the deadly condition called Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV or bloat) according to some studies.

dog bowl height
Photo by Cup of Couple on

Nevertheless, there’s more research needs to be done before we can confirm the link between GDV and elevated feeding. But it’s safe to not choose elevated bowls at this time. If at all you think your dog needs elevated bowls, you should seek your veterinarian’s advice.

Elevated bowls can be made of plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel. It solves the problem of spilling and dragging the bowl.

Slow-Feed Dog Bowls

Some dogs just kill the food as soon as it is served. Kevin Ruan, Editor & Dog Lover at DogNeedsBest says, “This can be unhealthy as it can cause digestive issues as well as bloat in dogs. If this is the case, slow-feed bowls can be a great alternative for your pooch.”

Not only it slows down your dog from eating but also provides food enrichment your dog needs. The bowls have small extended plastic pieces over their entire surface so that your dog will have to make his way to grab the food from the bowl.

Usually, slow-feed bowls are made up of plastic but there are some stainless steel slow-feed bowls also available.

Collapsible Bowls

These bowls are made up of silicon and plastic material. They are useful especially when you’re traveling and don’t want to use them for storing the food. They collapse from the top and very much convenient as they take less space.

Alternatively, you can also get travel dog bowls. They are made up of sturdy material for outdoor use and comes with a cover made up of polyester or similar fabric.

The EndNote

Dog bowls are as important as the food being served in them. The right choice will make your life easier, hassle-free, and improve your dog’s health. When you finally decide what kind of bowl fits your preferences the best, you can check out online reviews of dog bowls. That way you will be able to see what fits in your budget with what features. If you have any questions regarding making the choice of dog bowls, do let us know in the comment section below.

Author: Kevin Ruan
Editor & Dog Lover at DogNeedsBest

Kevin is the brains behind the content published on DogNeedsBest. He carefully plans articles to include all the necessary information. Along with that he also builds engaging outlines that are easier to understand for the pet parents.

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