Here are some pros and cons of the 3 most commonly used materials.
• Plastic Bowls. They’re durable and long-lasting. But if you notice your dog gnawing or chewing on the bowls, plastic isn’t your best choice. Ingesting bits of plastic can harm your dog internally. Plastic can also stain and will often develop a biofilm if not scrubbed and cleaned daily.
• Ceramic Bowls. They’re heavy and very stable – a good thing if your dog tends to push its bowl around the floor while eating. But ceramic bowls are also porous and will need to be scrubbed and cleaned daily.
• Stainless Steel Bowls. The #1 choice of vets because they are so easy to clean and sanitise. Stainless steel bowls are also the most durable. Look for bowls with a rubber coating on the bottom to help prevent sliding.
BOWLS FOR FAST EATERS OR THOSE AT RISK OF BLOAT
In some situations, you need a specialised bowl for your dog. Dogs that are at risk of bloat or gastrointestinal volvulus are typically large deep-chested breeds (like a great dane), but dogs can bloat even if they don’t have the typical conformation. Eating too quickly is one of the risk factors for this devastating condition. Dogs that eat very quickly often don’t feel satisfied and immediately look for more food, so they could also benefit from a bowl that will slow down their eating. You can buy specialised bowls with ridges in them to slow eating, or simply place an upturned bowl on a flat plate, so that your dog eats the food around the outside of the bowl.
CARE OF YOUR FEEDING EQUIPMENT
Whatever bowl you decide for your pet, make sure you clean the bowls daily and do not leave meat or soft foods out for more than an hour (particularly in warmer climates or outside where there are flies). Wash and scrub the bowls with normal dishwashing detergent and rinse well. Many are safe for the dishwasher too, and having more than one water and food bowl means you can rotate them as one set is being washed. Having multiple bowls in different locations and a constant source of fresh drinking water is also important for your pet.
We hope this guide has helped you make an informed choice on the best type of bowl to choose for your pet. This important purchase should be durable and functional, as well as being safe for your pet.