Last updated: 02/19/2020

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A healthy dog is a happy dog, and if there’s one thing that’s essential to health it’s food! Your dog’s bowl should be durable and made from the highest quality materials, but what other factors are important to keep in mind when purchasing a dog bowl?

The size of your dog, its current health conditions and its eating habits are all crucial aspects that should be taken into account. Did you know that anti-anxiety dog bowls exist? They do, and they’re just one of many great options. We’ve made this guide so you can learn all about the best dog bowls. Let’s begin!

Key Facts

  • Dog bowls are specifically designed for properly feeding a dog.
  • You should be careful to pick out a suitable dog bowl. The right model can help put an end to your dog’s weight issues, if it has any.
  • There are many different dog bowls available, so be sure to pick one that suits your pet’s needs. That may mean an elevated bowl, or maybe one that helps combat canine anxiety.
  • A variety of materials are used to manufacture dog bowls, with high-quality stainless steel being one of the preferred options.

Our Selection: The Best Dog Bowls on the U.S. Market

These days, dog bowls come in models that are portable, elevated, single or double and even spill-proof. The diversity of options and price range can be overwhelming, but you’re sure to find something that’s just right for you and your dog. In this section, we’ve put together a list of the very best dog bowls available.

The Best Basic Dog Bowl

If you’re looking for a simple, classic dog bowl then this is the one for you. AmazonBasics’ stainless steel bowl comes in single or two-pack options, and each bowl holds up to 38 ounces, so it’s perfect for dry food, wet food, treats or water.

These stainless steel bowls are rust resistant and won’t hold odors, so they make a great alternative to plastic. They’re also very easy to clean right in the dishwasher, and come with a rubber slip-resistant base that prevents them from sliding all over the place while your dog eats. It also protects your precious floors from damage.

The Best Dog Bowl for Speed Eaters

There are a number of benefits offered by this Fun Feeder from Outward Hound. The unique design helps dogs eat up to 10 times slower, which can improve digestion and prevent bloating. This bowl is also made from food-safe material that is BPA-, PVC- and Phthalate-free. It’s got a non-slip base and can be cleaned in the top rack of your dishwasher.

Choose from three sizes and five great colors, including teal, orange, mint and purple. The large version holds up to 4 cups of dry kibble, while the small holds 2 cups, and the extra small model holds 3/4 of a cup. All models are suitable for both dry and wet foods.

The Best Ceramic Dog Bowl

This beautifully designed ceramic bowl from Bone Dry will look fantastic in your kitchen. The stylish design blends with various decors and will certainly please your pet as well. It’s made of porcelain ceramic that’s durable, easy to clean and dishwasher-safe. A non-skid silicon rim will prevent the bowl from sliding around the floor.

Bone Dry’s ceramic bowls come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including round, square and canister models. You can also choose from elegant colors like nautical blue, gray and aqua.

The Best Elevated Dog Bowl

Last but not least, check out this sleek, elevated double bowl from Pet Zone. This bowl offers a healthy feeding position that aids digestion, reduces stress to bones and joints and is perfect for dogs of all life stages and sizes. The height is adjustable depending on your dog’s unique height, and you can remove the legs when not in use. This bowl can work for your dog from its early years through adulthood—just adjust the height as your dog grows!

Other features include the rust-resistant, stainless-steel material, non-slip leg pads and a spill ridge to keep food and water from getting on the floor. This great feeder comes in black, blue and pink colors.

Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Should Know About Dog Bowls

As we mentioned, dog bowls come in all shapes and sizes: portable and automatic dispensers, large or small, and even models designed to keep your dog from over-eating. There are so many options that it can be challenging to make a final decision. This section will review some of the most frequently asked questions regarding dog bowls.

Portrait of adult couple with dog and purchases

The model you pick should be determined in part by your dog’s age and breed. 
(Source: Filimonov: 116719594/ 123rf.com)

What exactly are dog bowls and why are they so important?

Dog bowls or containers are made to hold either dry or wet dog food. A good bowl is absolutely crucial, and many health-related issues—such as intestinal problems or obesity—can be helped with the proper bowl.

Roger CarasWildlife Photographer

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

Can the wrong dog bowl harm my pet?

Yes, unfortunately. According to Basis Pet, Petco was forced to withdraw its stainless steel bowls from the market in 2012 because they were found to contain radioactive materials. Always begin by ensuring a bowl meets the necessary quality standards. We recommend avoiding any stainless steel bowls that aren’t dishwasher safe or that are labeled only for “domestic use.”

In some products, the formulas may conceal the fact that the stainless steel used is inferior to type 304 (also known as 18/8 stainless steel), which is the most frequent type used for food applications.

Dogs can hear sounds up to a quarter mile away.

Why is dog bowl care so important?

Some dog owners forget to clean out their pet’s bowl, and this can have a serious impact on their health. You wouldn’t use the same dirty dish for a week straight, would you? Well, the same applies to your dog’s bowl. If it isn’t cleaned properly, bacteria can grow and lead to illness.

Illnesses can include an upset stomach, diarrhea and vomiting, so washing your dog’s bowl is crucial. Do use water and soap to clean the bowl every couple days.

Automatic Electronic Digital Pet Dry Food Storage Meal Feeder Di

Automatic feeders are great if you’re especially busy, since they allow you to control the feeding.
(Source: Kharchenko: 115371510/ 123rf.com)

What kinds of dog bowls are available?

As we’ve mentioned, you’ll find many different bowls on the market. The table below provides information on some of the most common dog bowls, sorted by type and material.

Types of bowls Features Pros Cons
Plastic They come in various shapes and sizes. These bowls are made from different polymers. Look for a quality model free of carcinogenic materials like bisphenol A and BPA. They are easy to clean and use, affordable, and lightweight. They often feature a non-slip ring at the bottom to prevent it from moving around. Some dogs have allergic reactions to certain materials, so check its snout for any irritations.
Ceramic Comes in different sizes to suit your dog. Their weight means they don’t move around too much. Easy to clean. They’re easier to break, and ceramic is a porous material where bacteria can accumulate.
Stainless steel Bowls come in various shapes and sizes. They are stainless, durable, easy to clean and lightweight. This is probably the best material for dog bowls. They can move around without a non-slip base. Avoid these models, since they can result in a build-up of fungi and bacteria.
Slow feed, anti-anxiety or with obstacles These are usually manufactured with plastic and feature some obstacles to force your dog to eat more slowly. They can help reduce a dog’s anxiety and limit intestinal problems. Poor quality products may deteriorate quickly.
Portable or travel feeders Specifically made for traveling, they tend to be made of resistant plastics or silicone, but sometimes also stainless steel. They are great if you’re often on the move. They are collapsable and usually come with a separate water bowl. Poor quality models can lead to bacteria build-up, so frequent cleaning is important.
Elevated bowls These bowls are made to be at the right height so that your dog doesn’t need to bend over too much to eat. The height is usually adjustable, and these models generally come with two bowls. These bowls should reach your pet’s chest when its legs are straight. Eating at the right height is beneficial to an animal’s health, since it prevents stomach torsions and related stomach issues. They are especially useful for older dogs. Be sure to clean the part under the bowl, because moisture pockets can form, and fungi and bacteria proliferate.
Automatic gravity feeders Automatic bowls are designed to allow food to refill as your dog eats, so that you won’t have to worry about feeding your dog for for several days. You can also find programmable feeders. Their transparent design allows you to clearly see how much food remains. Plastic bowls should be regularly and thoroughly cleaned.
Feeders for dogs with long ears These tall, narrow bowls were developed specifically for dogs with unusually long, droopy ears like a beagle or a cocker. They are usually made from plastic. Non-slip bases are essential. They keep your dog’s ears from falling into the food while they eat. They are cheap. Cleanliness is essential to prevent fungi and bacteria.
Programmable or electronic bowls These electronic devices let you control the amount of food your pet consumes. They can be programmed to operate during specific hours. Perfect for busy people. You can control the amount of food and time at which your dog eats. Ideal for controlling dog obesity and for dogs that are sick. They are more costly and can be complicated to operate. Look for top-quality products to avoid issues.

Why are slow feed or anti-anxiety bowls useful?

Some dogs rush when they eat. If food is swallowed whole rather than chewed, this presents a risk of suffocation, and your pet may vomit or face an upset stomach. That’s why pet product manufacturers have created anti-anxiety dog feeders that force your animal to eat at a slower pace.

Mature woman choosing pet food bowl for her puppy in pet supplie

You should clean your dog’s bowl at least every two or three days.
(Source: Filimonov: 116003548/ 123rf.com)

Should my dog bowl also include a water dispenser?

These are not always the best options. You may have seen bowls that feature a water dispenser right next to them, but it’s a good idea to keep these two products separate, to avoid mixing of food and water. That can lead to the formation of mold or bacteria that’s harmful to your dog.

Shopping Criteria

If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably realized that buying the right dog bowl isn’t as easy as you first thought. The next section will summarize the most important factors to keep in mind when you purchase a new bowl.

Vet’s Opinion

If there’s anyone who can advise you on the best bowl, that person is your vet. They may recommend elevated bowls if your pet is very old, while gravity models may be suitable if you’re often away out of the house and your dog doesn’t race through its food. Checking with a professional before you purchase a bowl is never a bad idea.

Double pet bowl 3D

Elevated feeders make it so that your dog doesn’t need to bend over to eat.
(Source: Djurovic: 119360685/ 123rf.com)

Pet Size

Different dog breeds consume different amounts of food. These days, manufacturers make products tailored to the animals’ sizes, so finding the model for your dog shouldn’t be an issue. Dog bowls usually come in standard sizes: S, M and L.

Dogs have a total of 18 muscles in their ears.

Material

Always be sure to pick a good quality material that’s both resistant and sturdy, as well as easy to clean. If you’re not sure which material is best, high quality stainless steel always makes a great choice.

Portable bowls feeding and food isolated on white background.

Made from durable plastics, portable bowls are designed for travels.
(Source: Bullltus: 95118901/ 123rf.com)

Hygiene

You now know the importance of keeping a bowl clean, so we encourage you to look for an easy-to-clean model. Dishwasher safe products are especially convenient if you have little time on your hands.

Accessories

Dog bowls are basically accessories in themselves, but other extras can come in handy. Bowl mats, for example, prevent humidity that can lead to germ growth; they also protect your floors.

Umberto TozziSinger-Songwriter

“The more one learns to know man, the more one learns to value dogs.”

User Reviews and Ratings

Don’t forget to take a look at other users’ rating before settling on a specific dog bowl. They often provide unique perspectives and good tips that you may have overlooked.

Summary

Choosing the right food for your dog is crucial, and so is the bowl you put it in. Bowls can contribute to good dog health, especially if the dog is older or suffers from obesity, for example. Modern bowls can regulate the frequency of meals or prevent anxious eating.

Electronic bowls offer great advantages, like the ability to program when and how much your dog eats. Make sure you consider all the factors we’ve discussed, and you’ll certainly pick the perfect product for your best friend.

Did you find our article useful? If so, please feel free to share it via social media, and leave us a comment with your thoughts in the section below!

(Source of featured image: Zinkevych: 49174004/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Hazel saw a lot of animals while traveling in Australia after high school. In fact, they fascinated her so much that she started to study zoology as soon as she began college. Birds are her favorite animals but, she loves all animals.