Feeding bowls are important pieces of meal ware that help ensure the food that you give to your canine pet remains safe and free of any harmful microorganisms. While some of us might think that an ordinary plate or bowl is sufficient to hold doggie chow and that there clearly is no need for purchasing a ridiculously expensive dog bowl, animal lovers and experts are one in saying that a feeding vessel is more than just a container upon which our pets feed. These can have a variety of functions, too, further aiding in the optimum development of our respective pooches. And for that, we’re listing in here the 10 best dog bowls for hassle free feeding and for optimum canine growth and development.

Dog Bowl Buying Guide

Picking a feeding or drinking bowl for your pooch can be simplified by understanding a few basic guidelines. We’ve interviewed experts on the subject matter to provide you with a thorough presentation of the things that you will have to think about when buying a dog bowl for your canine friend.

dog bowlHow to Choose the Right Type of Bowl for Your Canine

Most of us think that a dog bowl is nothing more than a container that is able to hold our pooch’s favorite chow and /or drink. Some even use old, no longer used food bowls to economize. While this is more than feasible, you’ll find getting your dog its very own dinner ware to be a very satisfactory, fulfilling experience. Unfortunately, just as choosing from an array of dinnerware for our dining table can be daunting, picking the right bowl for your pooch can be equally challenging. Not to worry though as we’re here to help. Here are some things you may need to carefully evaluate when picking the right type of doggie bowl for your canine friend.

  • The correct size 

It goes without saying that the dog bowl should be commensurate to the size of your pooch. If you have a Great Dane, it would be outrageous to have it feeding or drinking from a 20-ounce bowl. It simply isn’t fair. The same is true if you have a teacup sized Chihuahua and you decide to give it a humongous 1.5-quart sized bowl. Doing so will simply prevent your Chihuahua from drinking or feeding efficiently since the height of the wall of the dog bowl will simply be too great. Likewise, your Great Dane might not even fit its humongous tongue into the miniature vessel.

The point is to get a dog bowl that you can easily fill with food and still leave plenty of space for your pooch to put its snout in. Be mindful that the food should not spill.

If you intend to use the bowl as a drinking station, we recommend going for just the right size and to fill it just enough water to last a couple of hours or so. We don’t actually recommend letting the water sit all day as bacteria and other germs tend to proliferate once your pooch’s tongue and snout have already been dipped into the water. If you feel like leaving the drinking water for the rest of the day, you’ll be better off with a pet drinking fountain as this helps circulate the water, filtering it, and keeping it fresh and clean throughout the day.

  • The preferred material 

Dog bowls come in a variety of materials, each with its own distinct advantages and, sadly, disadvantages. Here, we’ll try to examine each one so you will have a better idea of what type of dog bowl you’ll need for your canine friend.

  • Plastic

These are the cheapest and are thus, highly valued for their practicality. These also come in various shapes, colors, and designs since acrylic is a generally moldable material. Many are also shatter-proof. Unfortunately, this strength does not extend to chew-proofing as many plastic products can really give in to the bite force of a tenacious chewer. Some may actually be scratch-resistant, although a greater number clearly aren’t. When scratched, bacteria and other microorganisms can grow and proliferate in the spaces created by the scratch. There are also dog that are somewhat allergic to plastic.

  • Stainless steel 

These types of dog bowls are excellent if you’re after durability and strength. These have super slick surfaces making cleaning a breeze. They’re scratch-, rust-, and chew- resistant, too. Regrettably, these can be particularly loud especially if you have a voracious eater. They are not particularly suited to those who require some fancy design or color in their dog bowls.

  • Ceramic 

Ceramic dog bowls are similar to stainless steel when it comes to durability as long as you’re able to take good care of it. These provide a certain kind of style that will look more like an expensive piece of desktop décor especially when glazed and treated in various colors. They can also be molded into various shapes. Sadly, many are breakable. Additionally, poor quality ceramics have been shown to contain lead. So be careful and choose only premium quality ceramics.

  • Wood 

There are manufacturers of dog bowls that use wood as their material. These are highly durable and can easily outlast any other type. They are relatively more expensive. However, if you require something that is a great match to your existing interior décor, then you’ll never go wrong with wood.

  • Silicone 

There is a growing trend towards using silicone dog bowls as these offer exceptional flexibility, light weight, and durability. These are a cross between a hybrid plastic and a hybrid rubber, giving it the amazing qualities of both materials. Many of the products made of silicone come with FDA certification that it is food-grade so it won’t affect the quality of your pooch’s food.

  • Specialized bowls 

Aside from the materials used in the manufacture of dog bowls, you might also want to look at their utilization. This can include the following.

  • Slow feeders

These types of dog bowls come in various mechanisms that can range from simple to very complex. The idea is quite simple enough, however. The point is to provide your dog access to its food but in a controlled manner so that it eats at a much slower rate or that the feeder actually releases smaller quantities of food at a time.

  • Automatic waterers

Examples of these are pet drinking fountains that circulate the water through a mechanism that allows it to filter the drinking water, getting rid of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, and providing continuous aeration of the water so that it stays fresh, cool, and clean for an extended period of time.

  • Elevated feeders

These are dog bowls that are integrated into a table-like platform. Technically it is pretty much like a doggie table with fully adjustable height. These specialized dog bowls are primarily intended for senior pooches as well as dogs that may have musculoskeletal and articular problems. Since the dog bowl is elevated it decreases the distance the dog’s head will have to travel to reach its food. This reduces the angle in between joints, relieving pressure, and providing for a more comfortable feeding. It also helps maintain posture and facilitates better digestion.

  • Electronic feeders

If you have a dog that is on a weight control program, the best dog bowl to use is that which is fully integrated with an electronic mechanism that dispenses dog food in precisely measured amounts only in preset times. These are also helpful in feeding pooches while you’re away from home.

  • Gravity feeders

Gravity feeders are somewhat similar to electronic feeders except that there is no portion control. Food falls onto the bowl once it reaches a certain level. This fills the dog bowl with food.

  • Ease of cleaning 

Another factor that you might want to consider when choosing the right type of dog bowl for your canine is the ease of cleaning. The easiest dog bowls to clean are those that are dishwasher safe. However, there are certain products that, although they are dishwasher safe, will still require some careful cleaning and handling protocols. You might want to check out the individual products as to their ease of cleaning and maintenance before settling on a particular product.

  • Style 

Depending on your personal preferences, you can always go simple or stylish. Stainless steel dog bowls remain one of the simplest while ceramics and wood can come in various styles or design.  Simple dog bowls make for excellent feeding and drinking vessels both indoors and outdoors. These are often cheaper, too. Stylish bowls, on the other hand, are typically more expensive but make exceptional pieces that can add to the overall aesthetics of your interior.

What is the Best Material for a Dog Bowl?

The best material for a dog bowl actually depends on what you’re looking for. If it is exceptional durability and ease of cleaning that you require, a stainless steel bowl is your best bet. But if you want something stylish as it is durable, then your option can be either ceramic or wood. If it is lightweight property with the addition of colorful styling, then your best bet will be either plastic or silicone. The point is that everyone can have his or her own interpretation of what is the best material. Typically, this is often a function of one’s inherent reason for buying a dog bowl.

Are Raised Dog Bowls Better?

Generally speaking, elevated dog bowls are better than conventional types of feeding accessories. This has something to do with the maintenance of a dog’s posture while it is feeding. Let us try to take a closer look at the anatomical position of a feeding dog.

Normally dogs eat standing on all fours, although it is not uncommon to see certain pooches that sit while eating. Some also lie down to eat. As for those pooches that stand on all fours while feeding the linearity of the digestive tract is somewhat angled acutely at the base of the neck. You have to understand that the digestive tract of mammals and other living organisms is actually one continuous tube that starts with the mouth and terminates in the anus. If we had x-ray vision, the alignment of this digestive tract when a pooch is standing up is that it has a straighter alignment, typically parallel to the ground.

Now, when a dog eats on conventional dog bowls, this linearity of the canine digestive tract is changed somewhat. You still have a fairly parallel tract along the back of your pooch. However, the segment of the digestive tract that begins with the mouth and extends all the way to the base of the neck is acutely angled. This means that the food will have to be propelled upwards at an incline. This requires sufficient work from the musculature of the esophagus of the dog. The more acute the angle the greater is the force needed to move chewed food up the esophagus and into the canine stomach.

Increasing the height of the food bowl simply means bringing the food nearer to the mouth providing for a near-straighter alignment of the digestive tract. Additionally, this eases the work of the smooth muscles of the esophagus making it a lot easier for the chewed food to be moved towards the stomach. Since the food is facilitated towards the stomach, there is a lesser chance that bloating and gas will form. Moreover, since the chyme (partially digested bolus of food from the mouth) is transmitted more efficiently to the stomach, this helps minimize indigestion or stomach upsets.

But there really is another reason why elevated dog bowls are preferred over conventional doggie vessels and we’re pretty sure you can somehow relate to this. If you’ve ever found yourself experiencing stiff neck after prolonged bending of your neck, then you can somehow imagine how uncomfortable it is for your dog to be standing up, bending its neck just to reach its food. If you have a pooch that is already quite old and that has joint problems, this can only exacerbate its condition.

Elevated dog bowls are not just a style. It has a purpose and this is to provide a more anatomically efficient manner of eating for pooches.

best dog bowlAre Metal Bowls Bad for Dogs?

Before we answer this question, it is important to understand the difference between a true metal and stainless steel, although looking at many products today, they are often used interchangeably. Pure metal like aluminum is safe since almost all wet dog food come in aluminum cans. On the other hand, stainless steel is actually steel alloy that contains at least 10.5% chromium. While there have been safety issues in stainless steel in the past, these types of materials are generally safe and, as such, are not bad for dogs. Just look at professional kitchens where chefs prepare the food we eat or even the prep surfaces of medical professionals. These are mostly made of stainless steel. It is non-porous, non-leaching, easy to sanitize, and rust-resistant. The only time they can be considered bad for your dog is when harmful chemicals are integrated into the steel alloy during fabrication. That’s why it’s imperative to choose products only from reputable companies.

Dogs need feeding bowls in the same way as we need plates whenever we eat. Choosing the right kind of dog bowl entails the determination of the right size, the preferred material, any special use, the preferred style, and the ease of cleaning. With this list of the 10 best dog bowls, you can feel a lot safer that you’ll be giving your pooch something that it will enjoy feeding or drinking from.

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Olivia Williams
Olivia is our head of content for MyPetNeedsThat.com, mum of one and a true animal lover. With 12 different types of animal in her family, it's never a dull moment. When she isn't walking the dogs, feeding the cats or playing with her pet Parrot Charlie, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest products for your pets!

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