What kind of food do you feed your dog? Most of these work well with wet food or dry kibble, but some may be better suited to a specific kind of food. What is the size of your dog in relation to the bowl? The length of his snout will play a big role in how effective these bowls are.
Consider the following about materials when choosing a bowl:
Ceramic bowls should be lead-free, smooth and free of any surface imperfections, chips or cracks
- Will need to be checked on an ongoing basis for chips and cracks in ceramic, because the material underneath the glaze is porous and can harbor bacteria.
- If bowl cracks or flakes, loose pieces of glaze or ceramic are dangerous if ingested by dog
Silicone feeders are typically mats or flat feeders, so if your dog is messy consider adding a stainless steel bowl or other tray to contain food.
- An excellent material for dog bowls, as it is an extremely stable compound and will not break down the way that plastic does.
Stainless Steel: Look for a bowl that does not have loose rubber components or powder coating.
- Non-porous, much more durable, not as attractive to chewers, Easy to clean and sanitize
- Corrosion and rust resistant
- Some dogs do not like metal bowls and they can be noisy
Plastic bowls should be high-quality, heavy-duty plastic listed as phthalate, BPA free. Cheaper plastic bowls may leach harmful chemicals and be more porous. These should be replaced more often.
Not every bowl will be right for every dog and it may be a trial and error process to find the right solution. You want to be sure that your dog is challenged and slowed down by the protrusions and obstructions in the design of the bowl, but that his skin is not irritated, he is not panting too hard or growing too frustrated where he either loses interest in his food or becomes destructive towards the bowl.
For this reason, we recommend either the stainless steel bowl, a silicone feeder (which can also be paired with a stainless bowl for containment), or a ceramic bowl. Plastic or ceramic bowls may be more suitable if you are seeking durability and the stainless bowls do not slow down your dog’s eating.