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5 Different Types of Food Bowls for Dogs

Choose the Best Dish for Your Canine Companion


Most dogs love to eat, and some love it a bit too much. A dog bowl is one of the most basic types of dog supplies you need for your canine friend, along with collars, leashes, and toys.

It's important to get the right kind of dish for your dog, whether she just needs a standard bowl to hold her food or something more elaborate, like a timed feeder or a dish to slow down too-fast eating.

Plain Dog Bowls

Plastic Dog Dish

Although there are many types of fancy dog bowls, a plain dish works just fine for most canines. You have your choice of a wide variety of colors, styles, and materials, like plastic, stainless steel, or ceramic.

Plastic bowls are cheapest, and they're easy to clean and usually unbreakable, although some dogs might chew them. You can get them in a rainbow of colors.

Bacteria can take up residence in any scratches or marks in the plastic, so you must be diligent about cleaning them. Run your plastic dog dishes through the dishwasher if they're dishwasher-safe.

Stainless steel bowls are plain looking, but they're very durable. They're easy to clean, and they don't harbor bacteria.

Ceramic bowls come in many different styles to fit your decor if your dog's dishes are in a highly visible area. Cleaning them is simple, but they can get contaminated with bacteria if they get chipped or cracked, and they'll break if you drop them.

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Bowls To Slow Down Eating

dog bowl

Some dogs gulp down their food too quickly, potentially causing bloat. Dogs that eat too fast are more likely to be overweight and have an increased choking risk.

You can buy several different types of dog bowls that slow down your canine's eating. They come in various types, but all of these bowls rely on the same basic method. They incorporate a design that makes it harder for your dog to get to the food.

You'll find bowls of this variety with different sections, narrow areas, or protruding obstacles. The obstructions force your pet to work around them to reach the food. The trick is to physically slow down the canine so he has to work harder for his meal rather than simply inhaling it.

These bowls can be a big help with dogs that eat too rapidly, but it takes some experimentation to find the one that works best for your pet. Effectiveness depends on your dog's size, as well as the shape of its face and its style of eating.

Although you can order slow feeder bowls online, it's best to look at them in person so you can choose an appropriate size and shape for your dog. These factors weigh heavily into how well the bowl will work for your pet.

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Raised Dog Feeders

Raised Dog Feeder

Depending on your dog's size, she may be more comfortable eating out of a dog bowl placed in an raised feeder, like the Neater Feeder. Many manufacturers make models that let larger dogs eat without bending down to the floor. These elevated feeders have receptacles to hold food and water dishes, which you simply lift out for cleaning and refilling.

Even some smaller dogs are more comfortable eating from elevated feeders rather than dishes sitting on the floor. You can buy a feeder to accommodate virtually any size of canine.

Raised feeders also offer some protection against tipping the bowls and spilling the food and water. Enthusiastic eaters and dogs that like to play with their dishes have a harder time knocking them over when they're placed firmly in an elevated holder. The stand also makes it harder for canines to paw at the dishes.

Some raised dog feeders are plain and utilitarian, while others come in decorator styles. You can readily find them online and in pet stores. Choose a solid model that can't easily be tipped, especially if you have a big, strong dog.

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Automatic Dog Feeders

Automatic Dog Feeder

If you work long hours and want to give your dog a meal while you're gone, an automatic dog feeder will do the trick. Programmable dog feeders let you select a time at which a measured portion of dry dog food is dispensed.

You can use an automatic dog feeder periodically on days when you're going to be away at your pet's regular feeding time or as a permanent fixture if you don't want to worry about manual feedings. An automatic feeder can even help prevent separation anxiety if you program it to dispense food shortly after you leave the house.

Choose a sturdy automatic feeder, particularly if your dog is large or is innovative at finding ways to get at food. Otherwise your canine safe cracker might just manage to break the feeder and consume all the chow at once.

Non-programmable automatic feeders are also available. They have a large reservoir that holds dry food and dispenses it freely. As the dog eats some of the food, more pours out until the reservoir is empty. You can also buy water dishes that work the same way.

This type of dish is more flexible than a timed feeder because it doesn't have to be placed near an electrical outlet. It works for dogs that regulate their own food intake, but it's a sure way to cause obesity in pooches that don't know when to stop.

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Portable Dog Bowls

Portable Dog Bowl

Portable dog bowls are great for giving your pooch food or water when you're on the road. You can use them for anything from a trip to the park, lake, or other leisure spot to a long road trip or vacation.

Portable dog bowls are easy to pack because most are made to collapse or fold into a convenient small size. Always pack a travel bowl and some bottled water if you're going to be taking your dog somewhere in hot weather, even if it's just a trip to the local park. It's a simple, convenient way to protect your pet against dehydration if you can't find a water source.

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