How Do I Choose the Best Dog Bowl?

Vicki Hogue-Davies
Vicki Hogue-Davies
A dog.
A dog.

There are several things to consider when choosing the best dog bowl, including the size and physical characteristics of your dog. The way he eats can also be important to look at when choosing the best dog bowl. The type of material the dog bowl is made from and its style and color are also factors to consider.

You can narrow down your dog bowl choices by looking at dog bowls in sizes that correspond with the size of your dog. If you have a large dog, look at large bowls and if you have a medium-sized or small dog look at bowls in those sizes. For dogs with long noses, look for deep bowls that allow nose room. Dogs with short noses and puppies will typically find shallow dog bowls easiest to eat and drink from. If your dog has long, floppy ears, choose dog dishes with steep sides that will help prevent dangling ears from ending up in food and water.

The best dog bowl should correspond with the size of the particular dog.
The best dog bowl should correspond with the size of the particular dog.

A dog's height should also be considered when choosing the best dog bowl. Tall and long-legged dogs might be most comfortable eating and drinking from elevated bowls. Elevated bowls are also a good choice for older or arthritic dogs that might have trouble bending.

Dogs that eat too fast can get indigestion, excess gas and other digestive ailments. If you have a gobbler, choosing a bowl that will slow her down might be the best choice. Slow-feed dog dishes have partitioned sections or raised areas within the bowl that serve as obstructions to help prevent fast eating.

Dog bowls come in various materials, including plastic, stainless steel and ceramic. For large dogs, a sturdy bowl of ceramic or stainless steel might be a better option than a plastic bowl that is easier to move around. An advantage to plastic bowls is that they are typically the lowest-cost option, so if price is a consideration a plastic bowl might be a good choice. Some experts feel that stainless-steel bowls are the easiest to keep clean and so the best choice for dog bowls because they don't harbor bacteria the way that plastic and ceramic can as those materials can scratch or chip. Some dog owners like to warm their dogs' food in the microwave, so if this is a consideration for you, choose a microwave-safe option rather than stainless steel.

Finally, the way the dishes look in your home might be important to you. Plastic and ceramic bowls come in many different colors and with different designs to fit different tastes and home decor. If you choose a ceramic bowl, however, keep in mind that it might contain lead in the colored glaze or design pattern, so look for ceramic bowls from manufacturers that produce lead-free bowls and bowls that are designated as food safe.

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Discussion Comments


Some of the tips listed in this article for choosing the best dog bowl are worth considering. However, I am always amazed at the prices of some of the dog supplies in the pet store. There are dog bowls that cost almost as much my family's entire table setting.

A word of advice to pet owners, keep it simple, and don't pay for something that neither you nor your dog really needs. Make sure you give your pet the food and the water, and I guarantee he won't complain about what you serve it to him in.


It's a good idea to choose the size dog bowl that will hold the amount of food you want your animal to eat per given meal. Otherwise, you will find yourself either feeding the dog too much, which can lead to an overweight and lazy dog, or you will find yourself feeding him not enough, which is not good either.

Choosing the right size dog bowl is even more important when you have kids feeding the dog since they may be less likely than an adult to measure the food out before putting it in the bowl.


I never thought of choosing a dog bowl that would slow down how fast a dog eats. My grandmother's old bulldog eats like he's in one of those hot dog eating contests, except he isn't eating hot dogs. And as the article mentions can happen when dogs eat too quickly, my grandmother's dog, Pup, does get gas, and since he is an outdoor and indoor dog this can be very unpleasant for whoever is in the house with him after a meal.

I definitely need to look into getting one of the sectioned off bowls for Pup, and more importantly for Granny.

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    • A dog.
      By: doberman
      A dog.
    • The best dog bowl should correspond with the size of the particular dog.
      By: chalabala
      The best dog bowl should correspond with the size of the particular dog.