Choosing A Size
Choosing the correct size bowl for your dog is paramount to ensuring they receive the correct portions of food for their size and weight. So naturally, selecting a gargantuan mega dish for your chihuahua is never going to be the smartest pick, unless you want to start taking them for rolls rather than walks.
But one thing people often forget is ease of eating. Not only would a large dog bowl provide too much for a Chihuahua, but it would also be difficult for them to even lean over into the bowl. Therefore you should make this your prime consideration when choosing a bowl.
For large breeds: Make sure to choose a deeper dish, as if the bowl is too shallow, it won’t provide enough room for larger snouts!
For long-eared breeds: Once again, a deeper bowl is best, as dogs like spaniels can often have a hard time keeping clean at meal times! Large ears can often end up covered in food if a dish is too shallow, but a deep one should keep long ears well out of the way.
For long-snouted breeds: Deeper bowls are perfect for dogs like greyhounds whose long snouts need a little extra room to avoid stubbing their nose!
For small dogs and puppies: Obviously shallow, non-tall bowls for ease of access are best, because mealtimes shouldn’t be too much of a challenge!
For snub-nosed breeds: Breeds with squashed faces can sometimes struggle with certain dog bowls because reaching food in the corners is difficult without a snout. A shallower dish should render this not a problem. It’ll also reduce pressure on the joints and neck!
The Best Features For Dog Bowls
Anything that promises non-slip feet or a rubber base is going to be infinitely better than a dog bowl without. Until dogs learn to use a knife and fork, there’s always going to be the likelihood they may knock over their bowl! Rubber bases prevent bowls from slipping from underneath your pup while eating – meaning less spillage clean up for you!
Raised or Elevated
Far from just a stylish choice, elevated bowls have a useful purpose for your dog.
A raised bowl brings the food closer to a dogs mouth and allows them to keep a better posture and straighter alignment of their digestive tract. Naturally this helps reduce problems such as regurgitation, bloating and other gastric issues. They also bring added comfort, as there is no need for your dog to hunch over for long periods of time eating. This can alleviate pressure on joints and neck pain, which is especially valuable for older or injured dogs.
Eating too quickly at mealtimes is an issue very few owners consider when feeding their dog. But it can actually become a serious problem if your dog is practically inhaling their meals! Vomiting, bloating and indigestion are often symptoms of wolfing down food and a slow feeder is a great way to reduce these risks. Usually made of plastic, they contain plastic ridges and grooves which act as barriers to prevent food being gulped down in milliseconds.
A popular travel option, collapsible bowls are often made of silicone and can be neatly pressed into an easily storable disc. They’re a very smart option for those who often take their dogs on holidays or camping trips.
Ease of Clean
Unfortunately, dogs never seem to offer to do the dishes. It’s always your job. These days it’s often easier to buy a bowl which is dishwasher safe, as cleaning them by hand isn’t exactly very pleasant.
The Best Materials For Dog Bowls
Every material has it’s pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which is the best fit for your faithful friend. Consult this handy guide to determine the best option for you!
If you’re looking for a budget option, a plastic bowl is nearly always your best bet. They are usually dishwasher friendly and shatter-proof, coming in various colours, designs and moulds.
But although highly practical, they are lightweight and easily damaged. This means they are more likely to be knocked over by playful pups and chewed up by persistent biters. For chewers in particular, this is a problem, especially if hard, jagged pieces of plastic end up being eaten by your canine. Some dogs also develop allergic reactions to plastic, so beware of any changes to their skin if using plastic bowls
These are probably the most popular form of dog bowl and even new and innovative bowls often contain a stainless steel insert. Their strength and durability means they won’t be chewed up or damaged by your hound and they’re also incredibly easy to clean. They’re also the most cost-effective option out there, as they’re likely to last you a very long time for very little price. However, they’re aren’t exactly very exciting, and don’t scream “I love my dog!” as much as a colourful or personalised bowl. They can also become a problem in the winter if you keep your dog outside too, as your dog’s tongue could become stuck or injured on a severely cold metal dish. And unfortunately, they are far and away the noisiest dog bowl!
For those that treat their pups like royalty, there’s probably no option that will satisfy you as much as a ceramic bowl. They are the most personalisable, and often come in the most fashionable and stylish designs. They have good durability, and their weight ensures they won’t move around too much and risk spillage. However they are subject to breaking or chipping if dropped, and their porous material means they need hand-cleaning rather than a quick dip in the dishwasher. Be careful when purchasing your ceramics too, as poor quality ones sometimes contain cheaper, nastier substances such as lead which aren’t healthy for your dog!
Lightweight and durable, silicone is the newest craze when it comes to dog bowls. In feel, they are like a hybrid of plastic and rubber, offering flexibility and strength. They’re also a perfectly safe material as many come with food-grade certifications, so you can rest assured it won’t ruin your pup’s meal!