Tips For Selecting The Best Dog Bowls & Feeders

A dog bowl or feeder is one of the basic pet essentials that pet owners must prepare before the arrival of a new pet dog. Dog bowls are not created equal. They have different features, with some bowls better than others. With gazillions of dogs bowls out there, a pet owner who doesn’t have any idea which kind of bowl is right for their dog can easily be overwhelmed by the choices.


Factors to consider when shopping for a dog bowl:

  • Cost
  • Style
  • Safety
  • Purpose
  • Durability
  • Ease of cleaning


Kinds of dog bowls: Pros And Cons

Type of Dog Bowls




Plastic Dog Bowls


  • Available in various sizes, colors, and shapes.
  • Inexpensive
  • Unlikely to break if dropped
  • Many are dishwasher-safe



  • Can easily be chewed or scratched by a dog, leaving ideal places for bacteria to multiply.
  • Some dogs are allergic to plastic and can develop skin irritation on the chin or face.
  • Some types of plastic have chemicals that mimic hormones. Ingestion could cause some form of hormonal imbalance in dogs which can eventually have potentially negative effects on their health and well-being.



Ceramic Dog Bowls (also called Stoneware Dog Bowl)


  • The decorations and fun designs of ceramic bowls hold aesthetic appeal.
  • Have a protective glaze that makes it easier to keep them clean.
  • Most are dishwasher-safe.
  • Heavy enough to prevent dogs from pushing and sliding them around.


  • These cute dog bowls can easily break when dropped.
  • Wear and tear can cause these bowls to chip or crack with time, making them unsafe for dogs. Even the smallest cracks can be a haven for bacteria.
  • Needs to be replaced immediately when there are chips or cracks.
  • Needs to be washed immediately after every meal because they are made of porous material.
  • Should never be used when feeding a raw diet to dogs.
  • Ceramic glazes have been found in the past to contain lead which is very toxic.




Stainless Steel Dog Bowls


  • Most durable among the different dog bowls.
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Some have a non-skid rim on their bottom that can help prevent spillage.
  • Inexpensive
  • A great choice for dogs with sensitive skin.



  • Can develop stains or rust, especially when left outdoors.
  • Dogs that love to chew may damage their food bowls and teeth.
  • Should never be used outdoors as they can become very hot when the sun is up and frozen when the temperature dips down.
  • Bowls made of stainless steel are not created equal. Ideally, dog bowls should have type 304 stainless steel which is also called 18/8 stainless steel.
  • Can be a bit loud especially if your dog is a messy eater


Elevated Dog Bowls


  • Elevated feeders are dog bowls with a stand that can help prevent gastrointestinal problems in dogs.
  • Some dogs, especially giant dog breeds, find it more comfortable eating out of elevated dog bowls.
  • An excellent choice for large and giant-breed dogs, senior dogs, and dogs with certain physical handicaps.


  • Expensive
  • Considering that there have been speculations whether these bowls are appropriate for dog breeds that are prone to bloat, be sure to consult your veterinarian before using an elevated dog bowl.








Automatic Dog Bowls


  • Available in programmable and non-programmable options.
  • Come in handy for pet owners who work long hours.



  • There is always a chance that a dog can break the feeder in order to get at the contents.



Travel Dog Bowls



  • Convenient for bringing food and water during trips or outdoor excursions.
  • Made of special materials, such as polyester with a plastic or nylon liner.
  • Portable -- Can be folded or collapsed into smaller sizes if empty.
  • Not very expensive




Silicone Dog Bowls


  • Generally available as collapsible silicone bowls.
  • Many have clips that you can attach to your bag or belt loop.
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Relatively durable
  • Lightweight


  •  The material can easily be destroyed by dogs that love to chew. To prevent this, pick up the dog bowl when not in use.
  • Can cause skin irritation to dogs with sensitive skin.


Slow-Feed Dog Bowls


  • Great for dogs that are fast-eaters or those that gulp down their food. In some dogs, fast-eating can lead to digestive upsets, excessive gassiness, vomiting, or even bloat.
  • Designed with ridges or other structures to make a dog eat more slowly.
  • Can be made of plastic or stainless steel.




Wood dog bowls


  • More durable
  • Provide aesthetic value to your home.


  • Can be expensive.
  • Can become stained or warped with time. 






What bowls are best for dogs?

The best dog bowls for your pet will primarily depend on his eating habits. Also, it’s a good idea to be familiar with the pros and cons of each type before you go out and buy a dog bowl for your pooch.


Should dog bowls be elevated?

Elevated dog bowls can be ideal for large or giant-breed dogs, senior pets with joint issues, dogs with physical handicaps, and dogs that have just been through surgery.


Is it OK for dogs to drink out of the same bowl?

A dog should have a separate bowl for food and water. This can also help keep your feeding area tidy.


Are metal bowls bad for dogs?

In actual fact, metal bowls, especially stainless-steel ones are the safest and also the easiest bowl to keep clean. Some dogs are sensitive to the clanging sound that a metal bowl makes against the floor and may become afraid of the bowl, but this is simply solved as there are man bowls out there that feature a metal bowl and plastic frame, making this the best of both worlds.