Your dog will, of course, need food. And, they will need a bowl to eat it from. But, what is the best bowl to choose and does it really matter what your dog eats and drinks from? There are so many different dog bowls to choose from in different shapes, sizes and materials that finding the right one can be bewildering.
Below, are some things to think about when selecting the perfect feeding bowl for your pet.
What Size Dog Bowl To Choose
The best size bowl will, of course, depend on how big your dog is and how much they eat. You obviously won’t be feeding your Great Dane from the same size bowl as your Jack Russell. Think about how much food your dog gets and make sure the bowl is bigger. For instance, if your dog usually gets a cup of food, the bowl should be big enough to fit two to four cups in. That way, they will be able to push around their food without spilling it.
You’ll find that the vast majority of dog bowl designs come in different sizes, so you can choose the right one for your pooch. If you have two dogs to feed, or you want a feeding station for both your food and water, you’ll find double bowls also come in small or large.
What Material Should The Bowl Be Made From?
While dinner plates for humans tend to be made from ceramic materials, there are many choices when it comes to your dog’s bowl, and there are pros and cons to each one. Stainless steel bowls are long-lasting, hygienic and easy to clean. However, if you feed your dog outside, they may get too hot or too cold.
A ceramic bowl can be another good option. These tend to be heavy, so are harder for a dog to push around. However, ceramic is a porous material, so be sure to give your dog’s bowl a good clean, just as you would your own crockery.
Melamine, a type of non-toxic plastic, is an increasingly popular option as it’s durable, easy to clean, and won’t break if it is picked up and dropped. You could have the best of both worlds and opt for a melamine bowl with a stainless steel interior.
The Best Bowls For Different Breeds
Notwithstanding the size of your dog, the breed of your dog is also important to consider when choosing a bowl. For instance, a shallower bowl will be better for small to medium-sized breeds such as French bulldogs, or Yorkshire Terriers so they can comfortably reach in to get their food. A deeper bowl will be better for dogs which have longer snouts such as collies or German Shepherds, so they can reach in without pushing the food outside of the bowl.
You may also want to think about a bowl which either has steep sides, or which is an elevated bowl if your dog has long, floppy ears, such as Basset or Afghan hounds, beagles or cocker spaniels. That way, they won’t dip their ears in their food or drag them around the floor while eating.
The Best Bowls According To Age
As well as the breed and size of your dog, their age will have a bearing on what will be the perfect bowl for them. If you have a puppy, you could either choose a small bowl for them to begin with, or opt for a special puppy bowl, which will allow them to easily get to their food and prevent them from walking through the food.
For a more senior dog, an elevated bowl may be beneficial, particularly if they have developed back, neck or hip issues and dipping their head to eat and drink has become difficult.
Best Bowls According To Eating Habits
If your dog tends to rush their food, it can lead to bloating and digestive problems. To encourage them to take their meal at a more leisurely pace, a slow feeder can help. A slow release feeding bowl has raised columns within it, meaning that your dog has no choice but to eat their food more gradually.
Bowls When You’re Out And About
It can also be a good idea to get your dog used to eating from a travel bowl, if you will be taking them on trips or holidays with you, or you may be out together for extended periods of the day.
Other Things To Think About
While you will find the vast majority of dog bowls are non-slip to prevent your dog from pushing them around while eating, you may also prefer to choose a feeding mat to pop under your dog’s bowls to prevent unnecessary mess.
While your dog may not appreciate it, you can, of course, choose the bowl according to the design you like yourself, or the colour that goes best with your kitchen. So long as it is the right size, shape and height, your dog really won’t mind whether it has a donut design or it is a sleek red color to match your kettle and toaster - just so long as it has food in it!