How to choose dog dishes

You may be tempted to feed your dog from any container that’s handy, but a quality dog dish for food and a second for water are worth the investment. If you buy well-made dishes with features that make your dog more comfortable during mealtimes, you’ll save money in the long run and have a happier pet.

Consider the following when buying a dog bowl:

Size of the dish

A water bowl should hold at least a quart of water. A dog food dish should hold at least 2 cups of dry food. Your dog may need bigger bowls depending on how much you feed him.

For puppy dishes, buy with your puppy’s adult size in mind. It doesn’t hurt to start with bigger bowls than he needs, but don’t fill his food dish to the rim. A proper diet includes reasonable portions for your puppy’s size.

Stainless steel is safer and more durable than ceramic or plastic

The best dog dish is stainless steel, weighted to be tip-proof, and has a non-skid bottom. Stainless steel is easy to clean, resists chewing, and is unbreakable.

Plastic bowls can develop jagged edges and splinter if your dog chews them. They can cause allergies in some dogs and the pigment used in the plastic may even discolor your dog’s nose over time.

A ceramic dog dish is easily broken and the porous material holds germs, which means you’ll need to clean it more frequently. Also, ceramic bowls made outside of the United States may contain lead and other toxic substances.

Buy separate bowls for food and water

Dishes that serve food and water together can be awkward to clean and you’ll often find kibble floating in the water dish. Separate bowls help keep your dog’s water fresh and make clean-up easier.

Special features

Depending on your dog’s characteristics, there may be a dog dish with features that accommodate him better than a standard food or water bowl.

A dog bowl with tapered sides

This type of dish keeps long ears from hanging in the bowl while the dog eats or drinks.

An elevated dog dish

Raised dog bowls make eating more comfortable for bigger dogs as well as those with arthritis or mobility problems. They also keep your back strain to a minimum since you don’t have to bend over as far to feed your dog.

A dish to keep your dog from eating too fast

Dogs susceptible to Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, or bloat, increase their chances of contracting the disorder if they eat too quickly. The brake-fast dog dish has pegs in the center to keep dogs from gulping their food. Although it’s made of plastic, you may consider the design to be a more important factor in your dog’s health.

A heated water bowl

This is a necessity if your dog is kept outside during the winter where his water can freeze.

If you follow these guidelines and buy a set of quality dog dishes, they should be able to provide your dog with a lifetime of delicious meals.


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