Food and Water Bowls


Food and water: two basic necessities of life, which of course must be provided to our dogs. Every dog needs fresh water and food, which means that every dog needs a food and water bowl. So how do you know which type, material, size, or style to buy? There’s a huge amount of choice out there. Read on for more information about the types of bowls available. 


Size of dog bowls


The size of your dog bowls is important to optimise their drinking and feeding. In general, water bowls are better to be on the larger side, so that your dog has easy access and plenty of fresh water. 


The size of the food bowl will mostly depend on their breed – toy breeds will need small bowls, giant breeds will need extra-large bowls, and so on. If you’re struggling to get a feel for the correct size, work out approximately how much food your dog will be fed each meal, and then multiply the volume of this by about four times to get a figure for the optimal volume of their food bowl. 


If you have a puppy, especially a large breed, they will need a set of puppy bowls to start with, as adult dog bowls may be too large. 


Type of dog bowls


There are a few options when looking at types of bowls, so here is a simple explanation of your choices. 


  1. Plastic bowls – light, bright and cheerful, plastic bowls come in many shapes, sizes and colours. They usually have a non-slip rubber ring attached to the bottom so are suitable both for adults or as puppy bowls. They are the cheapest option, although not hugely durable.

  2. Stainless steel – easy to clean, and the smooth surfaces make it very hygienic as food residue (a breeding ground for bacteria) doesn’t stick. They comes in different sizes and designs and can be doubled up as a matching food and water set.

  3. Ceramic bowls – traditional and aesthetically pleasing, ceramic bowls come in different sizes and designs. They are heavy, which can be useful with enthusiastic pups who like to push the bowl around and make a big mess, but they are also breakable.

Special considerations


There are some scenarios where a traditional dog bowl may not be all that you need. If your dog has certain nutritional needs, certain breed characteristics, or you take them along on your travels, you may want to consider something a little more convenient for you and your pooch. 


Slow feeder dog bowl


These are food bowls specifically designed to stop dogs from bolting their food, which can lead to digestive upsets and discomfort. They are unusually shaped, with a dip in the middle, which slows down the speed of eating. 


Travel bowls


If you take your dog out and about a lot – either on long journeys or just locally, you may want to invest in a travel bowl. Foldable bowls, often made from silicon, are light and convenient. You can also find water bottles with an attached dispenser. 


Raised dog bowls


These are bowls that are elevated off the floor, usually up to around the height of your dog’s chest. They may help dogs who struggle to lower their neck and head right down from the floor and can reduce mess if your dog is an enthusiastic eater. However, there are some concerns that raised dog bowls can be associated with bloat in certain dogs, so always discuss any concerns you have with your vet. 


Spaniel bowls


These are shaped like a cone, to prevent those gorgeous spaniel ears from getting mucky and wet.

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