What Should I Consider When Buying Pet Dishes?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus
It's important to consider how your pet will be able to access their food.
It's important to consider how your pet will be able to access their food.

When buying pet dishes, consider the specific needs of your pet first. Think not only about the size of your pet, but how well the animal will be able to access his or her food and water. Health issues are also an important consideration when buying pet dishes.

Most pet experts advise on glass or stainless steel dishes. Plastic tends to scratch easily and even tiny scratches can foster the build-up of bacteria. This source of bacteria has been mentioned as a possible cause of canine and feline acne, or at least as a contributing factor. The acne starts as dark spots around the mouth and chin, but if the spots become red and infected they can be very painful for your pet.

Plastic pet dishes foster the build-up of harmful bacteria.
Plastic pet dishes foster the build-up of harmful bacteria.

Ceramic dishes are often more difficult to keep clean than glass or metal pet dishes. When buying pet dishes, it may be a good idea to forgo ceramic ones altogether in cases a lead-based glaze was used. Small, sturdy glass dishes may work well for cats and small dogs, although they aren't great for dogs who like to push their food dishes all over the floor.

Veterinarians may be able to recommend the best pet dishes depending on the kind of pet a person owns.
Veterinarians may be able to recommend the best pet dishes depending on the kind of pet a person owns.

Stainless steel dishes are smooth and usually very easy to keep clean, plus they're unbreakable. If you want to stop a pet from moving his or her dishes all over the floor, look for the weighted type of stainless steel dish. You can also look for rubber bottoms when buying pet dishes, but be sure the whole dish is easy to keep clean. Stainless steel pet dishes also fit in well with all types of kitchen decor. Some people like to add a cute or colorful laminated place mat that's easy to wipe clean under pet dishes.

Glass and metal pet food dishes are usually easier to keep clean than plastic or ceramic ones.
Glass and metal pet food dishes are usually easier to keep clean than plastic or ceramic ones.

Pick a spot without a lot of traffic or noise so your pet can eat without a lot of disruption. Cats may even stop eating if they can't easily access their food and this may be very dangerous, healthwise. If you have a dog with long ears or a very large dog, you can find specialty pet dishes to meet the health needs of your pet. When buying pet dishes for long-eared dogs look for types that keep their ears out of the water and food. For large dogs, look for raised dishes to avoid joint problems in the neck and shoulders from stooping to reach pet dishes on the floor.

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Discussion Comments

Scrbblchick

@Rotergirl: Been there. It would be nice if someone made a bowl that had a hollow bottom. I'd fill it with sand and see if my rambunctious kitty could get the bowl turned over then. Even a smart cat can't outwit the laws of physics!

Rotergirl

My sister has two cats who are prone to feline acne and she had to start using metal dishes. I do, also.

My problem is I've got a cat who likes to play in the water and he turns over his water bowl. I have yet to find a spillproof water bowl. I can't afford one of the fountains, although that might be a solution. I'd love to try one, though.

Maybe I'll get some double sided tape and anchor the bowl to his placemat. At least he couldn't completely turn the bowl over.

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    • It's important to consider how your pet will be able to access their food.
      By: Francesco83
      It's important to consider how your pet will be able to access their food.
    • Plastic pet dishes foster the build-up of harmful bacteria.
      By: zuki70
      Plastic pet dishes foster the build-up of harmful bacteria.
    • Veterinarians may be able to recommend the best pet dishes depending on the kind of pet a person owns.
      By: leungchopan
      Veterinarians may be able to recommend the best pet dishes depending on the kind of pet a person owns.
    • Glass and metal pet food dishes are usually easier to keep clean than plastic or ceramic ones.
      By: zonch
      Glass and metal pet food dishes are usually easier to keep clean than plastic or ceramic ones.
    • Whether pets will be sharing a dish should be considered when purchasing a new one.
      By: Larisa Kursina
      Whether pets will be sharing a dish should be considered when purchasing a new one.