Buying dog bowls for food and water can be a lot of fun for dog parents. They come in so many designs, shapes and colors these days that you can literally spend hours on the internet, short-listing the cutest ones that match your home décor or suit your pet’s personality the best.
But shopping for doggie bowls involves more than just visual aesthetics. Bowls have to be selected for quality, material and design that will help your pet eat better and are easy to clean and maintain on a daily basis as well. In this article, we will look at all the different kinds of dog bowls in the market and point out the pros and cons, so you can make a educated choice, the next time you go dog-bowl shopping.
PLASTIC DOG BOWLS
Plastic dog bowls are cheap, lightweight and unbreakable, which is why many dog-owners favor them. But there are some disadvantages of plastic that you should keep in mind if you’re considering buying one.
First, plastic can be chewed and scratched, which cause tiny cracks, scuffs and grooves. Food particles can easily get stuck and rot inside these grooves, leading to an infestation of harmful bacteria.
Second, some dogs have allergic reactions to plastic! Allergic reactions to synthetic polymers in plastic can occur in any breed and at any age. Symptoms include bald patches, blisters or ulcerations, skin inflammation, rashes etc.
CERAMIC DOG BOWLS
Ceramics have a touch of handmade artistry about them, and they certainly make a great visual statement. But, in spite of the protective glazing, they are usually not dishwasher safe, which means you have to handwash them every time.
Second, low-quality ceramic dog bowls have been linked to lead poisoning, so be sure to choose a lead-free one if you’re opting to buy ceramics. And also remember that they can chip and crack, which – like in plastic bowls – can encourage growth of bacteria from food matter stuck in them.
STAINLESS STEEL DOG BOWLS
Though stainless steel bowls don’t come in many styles, they are the most durable kind that will last for years and years. Find one with a non-skid rubber rim at the bottom, so your pet cannot overturn it or push it around easily. The only downside to stainless steel is that these bowls can be quite noisy if your pet is an enthusiastic and messy eater!
RAISED DOG BOWLS
Raised dog bowls come on a feeder stand, so the animal does not have bend down to reach his food. The advantages of raised dog feeding are many. For one, if your pet is large in size, arthritic or getting on in years, then the elevation makes eating a lot easier for him because he is not straining his neck and back. Raised bowls encourage your dog to eat slower, which helps the food to pass more optimally down the digestive tract and reduce digestion-related problems like bloating or after-meal vomiting. They also keep the feeding area much cleaner because the bowls are raised off the ground.
AUTOMATIC DOG BOWLS
Automatic dog bowls come attached with a reservoir that will fill the bowl with kibble or water whenever the bowl is empty. Automatic dog bowls are often chosen by doggie parents who like to keep their pet’s bowl full at all times. But as your vet may tell you, free-feeding isn’t the best idea for your pet’s health and well-being, though a continuous supply of water is always welcome. The more sophisticated feeders in this category are programmable, so you can control how much food or water your pet has access to. And they are a good idea if you’re not going to be at home to feed the dog yourself when it is time for him to eat.
SILICONE DOG BOWLS
Silicone dog bowls are a blessing when you’re travelling or outside the house with your dog. They can be flattened, which makes them very portable. Some even have clips, so you can attach them to your bag, belt, etc. Whenever your pet is thirsty, just spring the bowl back in shape and fill it with water. Or food. Easy to clean and usually they are dishwasher safe.