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Having a new puppy is exciting yet challenging. As a pet parent, it’s part of your commitment to keep your pup fed, happy, and healthy. In addition to choosing the best formula to meet the nutritional needs of your fur baby, it is important to use the right water and food bowls for her.
A feeding bowl is part of your puppy essentials checklist and while buying one seems fairly easy to do, it can be a bit challenging. Let’s admit it, some dogs have weird behaviors. Believe it or not, there are pups that would rather eat food from the floor rather than from their bowls.
Some just won’t eat out of their feeding bowls anymore because they are terrified with the way they move and sound, while some won’t eat unless they are hand-fed. Here, we handpicked the best feeding bowls for your pooch, along with tips to help you choose the right one.
What to Consider in Choosing the Best Bowl for Your Puppy
Feeding bowls come in different styles, shapes, and sizes. If it’s your first time shopping for feeding bowls and accessories, you might find it confusing to pick the best one for your dog. Like, some bowls are too cute not to buy but will your fur baby actually like eating there? Or maybe you found one that looks durable but it’s on a higher price range. To help you find the best bowl for your pup, here are the things you will need to consider:
Big is not always better and this applies to feeding bowls, too. Dr. Ken Tudor of PetMD recommends picking a bowl that is just large enough for your dog’s snout to comfortably grab or lick the food.
Ditch the idea that you will need to invest in a large bowl so your pup can still use it when he grows into an adult dog. Even giant breeds like Mastiffs do not need a large feeding bowl that is around 10 inches in diameter.
A 6-inch diameter bowl can fill up to four cups of dry dog food. Finding the ideal size for your pup will actually depend on her feeding requirements. Pups with an average maturity weight of 3-12 pounds do well with a cup of high-quality dog food during the first three months of age. Normally, this amount of food can fit in a small stainless steel bowl with a height of 1 and ½ inches and 5 inches in diameter.
Dog feeding bowls come in deep, steep-sided, elevated, and shallow types. Then there are the newer types, the interactive feeders designed for pups prone to vomiting or gagging.
For pups, mostly for small breeds like Corgis and Chihuahuas, a shallow bowl is the best type to use since it allows them to reach their food without putting pressure on their throat. Shallow bowls are also the best types to use for flat-faced dogs such as Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers.
Elevated or raised bowls come with many health benefits, but you will not really need one unless your pup is a giant breed. It’s more commonly used in senior dogs with arthritis or joint problems because it promotes better posture. For these dogs, even eating can be a tough task because they are at risk for breathing problems.
If your pup has long ears, one of your concerns is keeping her ears neat from being stained by food or water. Find a bowl that is angled inwards so your pooch will not drag his ears through the food. Examples of dogs with long ears are Beagles, English Cocker Spaniels, and Bloodhounds. In this case, you’ll benefit from feeding your pooch in a steep-sided bowl.
A deep bowl is advisable for dolichocephalic breeds or those with a long snout, like Basset Hounds and Bull Terriers.
Plastic, ceramic, or stainless steel? Each of these materials come with pros and cons so better weigh them first before making a final purchasing decision. Plastic is cheap and comes with many shapes and sizes, but they are likely to get scratches and chewing marks.
Ceramic comes in an elegant design and high-quality finish but it is prone to cracks. Once ceramic cracked, even if it’s too small, your pet’s bowl can easily attract bacteria.
Stainless steel can withstand wear and tear yet you can only expect them to have limited designs. Besides, stainless steel is not advisable if your pet’s eating spot is outdoors since it easily heats up.
Despite that, many pet parents still go for stainless steel mainly because it’s durable it can withstand wear and tear. It’s non-porous, meaning it’s very solid it does not allow liquid or air to pass through.
Stainless steel is also the material of choice for hygienic purposes since it’s very easy to clean. You can even use a mild detergent when cleaning them. Believe it or not, your pet’s food bowl can be dirtier than a toilet seat. According to research compiled by Reader’s Digest, an unclean dish has around 2,110 bacteria per square inch. This is why it’s important to choose a kibble dish made of easy-to-clean materials. Stainless steel and metal are dishwasher-safe materials.
It’s better to invest in a quality bowl with a higher price range than keep buying a cheap one that will only be good after a few uses because it easily chips or cracks. Plastic is inexpensive but be wary in buying them because some plastic products are too thin they easily crack. Once plastic is damaged, this gives germs a place to hide.
Plastic bowls only cost around $10 – $15 each. You can even find ones under $5 but they are quite flimsy and most are not BPA-free. Plastic comes in many stylish designs but as far as hygiene and safety are concerned, we cannot recommend them. They are prone to microscopic scratches that can harbor bacteria.
Stainless steel bowls cost around $10-$50 depending on the quality of the brand. Those in the higher end are made of food-grade stainless steel, also called 18-8 stainless steel. We highly recommend these types of stainless steel dishes because they are so durable they can be used for a long time.
Our Top 6 Dog Bowls
RETRO PUG Slow Feed Dog Bowl
If your pup loves gulping down his food at once and think of dinner as a race against himself, a slow feeder is your best bet! Fast chewing can result in bloat and regurgitation that is why it’s important to help your pooch slow down when eating.
The bowl’s puzzle-like interior design and conical shape slow gobbling because it encourages your pet to learn to “chase” his food and eat at a slower pace. This way of eating can also be mentally stimulating for your pup.
Slow feeders come in many designs and some even have a maze-like design. But we like this one for its simplicity, plus it’s made of premium stainless steel.
One more thing we liked about this dish is it comes with a silicone base, which keeps the dish secure while your pooch eats and drinks. If you got a messy eater right there, you definitely need to invest in a stand or base to keep the bowl in its place.
- 7.3-inch diameter on top
- 2 inches in height
- Made of durable and shatterproof material
- Premium stainless steel
- Suitable for wet or dry food
- Anti-slip base for mess-free eating
PETISH Spaniel Bowl for Long Ear Dog – Ergonomic Personalized Custom Design Bowls, NO Tip Stainless Dish
Looking for a deep elevated bowl because your pup always ends up staining his ears with food or water? This bowl might be the one you are looking for. It’s recommended if your pooch always had dripping ears after drinking. It’s especially high but the opening of this bowl is just the right size for small dogs.
This one can be used as a water bowl, too, since it’s made of stainless steel free from hazardous chemicals. It can hold approximately 16 ounces of water when filled to the brim.
Although it does not come with a separate stand, it is made of rubber bottom for less shaking. This skid-proof bowl also comes in three different sizes, so you can find one for small and medium to big dog breeds. The medium one is suitable for pups and can even be used after a few more years.
- Medium (6.3 diameters)
- 3 inches in height
- Can fill up to 17 oz of food
- Specially designed for long-eared breeds
- Comes in banana yellow and candy pink color
- Brushed stainless steel bowl
- Made of easy to clean and non-hazardous material
Basis Pet Made in The USA Stainless Steel Dog Bowl
If you don’t mind spending a lot for a heavy duty bowl or a really good dish, look no further. Basis Pet’s bowls are made with safety in mind, because they use the same kind of stainless steel you will likely use in your own kitchen.
This dish does not look as stylish as other dishes we have on the list, but you’re paying for the quality of material. It’s independently tested for lead, mercury, and cadmium so you can be sure it’s safe to use on your pet. All the bowls are BPA-free.
It is made of 18-8 stainless steel or Type 304, which is 18% chromium and 8% nickel. The nickel in it makes it resistant to corrosion. The nickel content also keeps it silver-like shine through the years while the chromium in it gives stainless steel its thin protective coating. It comes in rounded corners to make it easy for your pooch to finish every bit of food.
You can order these bowls in four per package, in case you have a lot of pets at home. In case you are wondering where it’s manufactured, this one is made in the USA.
- 7.5 inches in diameter
- 3 inches in height
- 8 cups capacity when filled to the rim
- 2 bowls per package
- Ideal for dry or wet food
- Can be used as a water bowl
Read more: 10 Best Dog Bed Covers For Your Pup
Bone Dry DII Square Ceramic Pet Bowl for Food & Water with Non-Skid Silicone Rim for Dogs and Cats
This designer bowl looks really nice but the real selling point here is the non-slip base, since most ceramic bowls do not come with a silicone base like this one. You will have many designs to choose from. In addition to the classic lattice print, they also have paw prints, marble, and patriotic prints.
This dish is value for money, because in addition to the stylish design, you will get two round bowls for each purchase. You already have a food and water bowl. This full dinner set is also safe to use for pets because it’s California Proposition 65 compliant and FDA food safe. Prop 65 entitles consumers in California to get warnings for products containing chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects.
- 6-inch diameter
- 2 inches in height
- Stylish lattice design
- Non-skid silicon rim
- Made of FDA food-safe ceramic
French Bull Stainless Steel and Melamine Designer Dog Bowls for Dogs or Cats
French Bull’s tableware are known for their stylish and colorful signature designs, giving life to the boring stainless steel. We cannot help but love this bowl’s cute Ziggy pattern! The imprinted logo on the stainless steel insert adds flair to the dish.
More than the aesthetic appeal, we are impressed with the functionality of this dish. The dimensions are just enough for two to three cups of wet or dry dog food. It comes with an extra-durable melamine holder that can be removed for easy clean-up. The non-skid rubber lining keeps it secure and avoids mess.
The outer layer is made of melamine, which has the tendency to be scratched over time. If you like these types of bowls, you have to use a gentle cleaning pad or avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning so it will not lose its color after several uses.
- 8.7 inch diameter
- 3 inches in height
- With non-slip bottom
- 700 ml capacity
Super Design Mess Free 15 Degree Slanted Bowl for Dogs and Cats
This dish prevents mess and waste because the slanted design makes it easy for pets to get the food left in the corner of the container. Because of its 15-degree tilted design, meal is concentrated on the bottom and does not spread out while your pet is eating. It’s perfect not just for pups but also for senior dogs with vision problems.
A slanted bowl may be the best type to use if your pooch keeps knocking his bowls or has trouble eating from a flat surface. Since it’s already slanted, your pooch no longer needs to bend over to finish his meal.
In case you are wondering if it’s easy to clean, yes it is, since the melamine stand is easy to remove. The melamine stand and the stainless steel bowl are both dishwasher safe.
- Ergonomic 15 degree tilted design
- Non-spill bowl
- Heavy duty stand with non-slip feet
- 4. 75-inch diameter
Tips in Cleaning Your Pup’s Feeding Bowl
Experts from the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA recommend cleaning a dog’s bowl daily to prevent biofilm. This refers to that slippery slime lurking on your pet’s bowl. This collection of many types of bacteria can cause microbial infections in humans. You will feel this when you rub your fingers on the bowl’s surface. To avoid bacteria, here are some tips in cleaning your pet’s dish:
- Clean the bowl after each meal. Your pup’s favorite kibble dish can easily be contaminated and may even cause a number of health problems like vomiting and diarrhea.
- Wash your hands before and after preparation. Experts recommend spending at least 20 seconds when washing your hands.
- Use a dishwasher as much as possible. You might be leaving some germs behind when cleaning the bowl with your hands.
- Sanitize stainless steel bowls by soaking them in a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Vinegar gets rid of any unwanted odor and keeps stainless steel shiny.
- Use a food grade and fragrance-free cleaner like Skout’s Honor Toy & Bowl Cleaner. It’s free from harsh chemicals that can harm your pup.
A feeding bowl is one of your important purchases as a pet parent. It’s not just a bowl. It can make or break your pup’s eating habits. This is why it is important to weigh in certain factors, like your dog’s eating speed or preferences before making a buying decision. When it comes to food and water bowls for your pets, it pays to invest in a dish that is durable, easy to clean, and made of non-hazardous materials.
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