As a responsible pet parent, finding the right gear, food, and accessories for your dog is always a priority. But this doesn’t just apply to dog harnesses or the type of food they eat. Did you know choosing the right type of dog bowl is also important? The wrong type can lead to back problems, digestive upset, and even other health-related problems in dogs with flat faces. Choosing dog bowls based on your dog’s size, their breed, and even their age can have a huge impact on their health and general well-being.
I’ve created a buyer’s guide that includes important information regarding the different styles and types of bowls available, how to choose one based on several factors, and which models are currently dominating the market. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes the top six bowls currently on the market, how they rated and other important information.
Dog Bowls Comparison Chart
Pet Zone Designer Diner Elevated Dogs Bowl
This set of elevated dog bowls is specifically designed for large breed dogs. It features a one-foot elevated design that promotes proper posture when eating, in order to minimize indigestion, the risk of bloat, and excessive gas. The design also helps to minimize the stress placed on the bones and joints, which makes this set a great choice for senior dogs who have difficulty bending low to the ground when eating. The bowls are made out of stainless steel, so they’re naturally rust-resistant and dishwasher safe.
- Bowls made out of stainless steel
- Reduces gas and indigestion
- Perfect for large breeds
- Not designed for small and medium breeds
This elevated dog bowl set is perfect for large breed dogs of all ages. The durable bowls are a great choice for young destructive dogs who are prone to chewing, while older dogs will benefit from the elevated design that prevents stress on the joints. This set will also work for larger breeds who are at risk of bloat, seniors, young hyper dogs, and dog owners in search of a low-maintenance indestructible set of dog bowls that won’t break the bank.
Outward Hound Fun Feeder Dogs Bowl
This is a slow feeder style bowl that provides your pet with much-needed mental stimulation while they eat. It’s also designed to improve digestion, by preventing your dog from scarfing down their food in seconds. The maze design will cause your dog to eat their food more slowly as they carefully manage the maze and problem-solve their way to the center of the bowl. The bowl itself is made out of durable plastic that’s phthalate, PVC, and BPA-free. The base of the bowl is equipped with a non-slip material that prevents the bowl from sliding around as the dog eats.
- Maze design provides mental stimulation
- Slow feeder prevents bloat, excessive gas, and indigestion
- Designed for large breeds
- Four cup capacity
- Not suitable for small and medium-sized breeds
The unique, innovative design will cause your dog to take it slow at mealtime, which can have a huge impact on dogs who normally inhale their dinner in seconds. This bowl provides mental stimulation, improves digestion, and allows your dog to take their time as they gradually make their way to the center of the bowl. This is a great buy for large and extra-large breeds, and dogs who have a history of bloat, issues with excessive gas, or those that are prone to indigestion, which is caused by eating too quickly.
Super Design Mess-Free Slanted Steel Dog Bowl
This bowl is designed for flat-faced dog breeds. The bowl’s unique design places it at a fifteen-degree tilt, which makes it easier for your flat-faced friend to reach the bottom of the dish, without placing pressure on the sides of their face or hindering breathing. If you’re tired of your dog making a mess during mealtime in an attempt to reach the bottom of their dish, then you’ll appreciate the bowl’s ergonomic design. The bowl features a non-slip design that will prevent it from sliding around while your dog is eating. The bowl also comes equipped with higher edges, preventing food from spilling and ensuring your dog enjoys every last bite. The durable plastic design, combined with the non-slip stable base also prevents the bowl from flipping over. This bowl is recommended for medium and large breed flat-faced dogs such as bulldogs and pugs.
- Stable base
- Fifteen-degree tilt
- Ergonomic design
- Designed for small and medium-sized dogs
- Not recommended for large and extra-large breeds
This ergonomic dog bowl is made out of durable BPA-free plastic and stainless steel for improved durability. It also features a solid base that prevents the bowl from sliding or tipping over and is dishwasher safe, so you can simply toss it in the dishwasher after mealtime. If you have a flat-faced breed that often struggles to breathe during mealtime, tips their bowl over, or generally just ends up spilling their food while they eat, in an attempt to reach the bottom, then you’ll love this low-maintenance, no-mess bowl, complete with an ergonomic design that makes it easier for your dog to finish their dinner without spilling a drop.
YETI Boomer Non-Slip Dog Bowl
This is one of the most durable dog bowls on the market. It’s made extra-strong and features a design that’s resistant to chewing, dings, and dents. The non-slip bottom of the bowl will prevent it from sliding across the floor or tipping. The bowl has a capacity of four cups, so it’s perfect for large and extra-large breeds. This model offers a double-walled design, made out of non-insulated stainless steel that makes it naturally rust-resistant, dishwasher safe, and easy to clean. The exterior of the bowl is made out of BPA-free plastic and is tough enough to survive a hyper puppy who’s prone to chewing.
- Made out of stainless steel and BPA-free plastic
- Large capacity
- Not recommended for seniors with joint issues who cannot bend low to the ground
- No size available for small and medium-sized dogs.
This bowl is designed for large and extra-large breeds, features an almost indestructible design, and an interior that’s made out of stainless steel. The tough, non-slip base will prevent even the most eager puppy from pushing the bowl around on the floor or tipping it during mealtime. Since it’s dishwasher safe and made out of rust-resistant materials, you can simply toss it in the dishwasher after a meal. So, if you’re tired of replacing your dog’s bowls due to chewing and other damage, then you’ll appreciate this bowl’s nearly indestructible design.
Vivaglory Dog Bowls
This small, seven-ounce food and water dish set is specifically designed for toy and small breeds of dogs. The bowls are made out of stainless steel, so they’re naturally rust-resistant, and can be placed in the dishwasher after mealtime for easier cleanup. The base of the bowl is equipped with a skid-resistant, non-slip backing that prevents the bowls from moving around as your dog eats.
- Designed for toy and small breeds
- Non-skid backing
- Not recommended for medium or large breed dogs
These small, skid-resistant bowls are designed for toy and small breed dogs. The durable design, combined with the non-skid backing will help to prevent spills, bowls tipping over, and can help to significantly cut down on messes. The small, compact design makes it much easier for even the smallest breeds to easily enjoy their meal without struggling to reach the bottom of the bowl.
X@HE Tall Ceramic Dog Bowls Elevated
This is a top-rated elevated dog bowl that’s specifically designed for medium-sized dogs. The bowl is made out of ceramic, so it’s not suitable for destructive dogs. The elevated platform is highly adjustable, so you can raise or lower it based on your dog’s height. The height of the bowl is designed to minimize the stress placed on the joints, while also reducing the chances of bloat, indigestion, and upset stomach.
- Height adjustable
- Elevated platform
- Perfect for medium-sized dogs
- Minimizes stress placed on the joints
- Ceramic is prone to cracks and chipping
- Not recommended for young destructive dogs
This bowl is dishwasher safe, features a widemouthed design that makes it easier for your pet to reach the bottom of the bowl, without making a mess, and is made out of thick ceramic material. This model is specifically designed for medium-sized breeds and features a height-adjustable design that will ensure you tweak the settings until the bowl is placed at the perfect height.
Dog Bowls Buyer’s Guide
When you’re shopping for a new dog bowl, you’ll come across a variety of styles and types. There are four main types of bowls to consider for your pet, although you may need to purchase a specialty style bowl, such as an elevated bowl or a model that’s specifically designed for breeds of the flat-faced variety. Below, you’ll find the most common types of bowls on the market.
There are many specialty and standard bowls to choose from. These bowls are available in a variety of materials and styles. Currently, stainless steel, ceramic, plastic, and wood are the most popular materials commonly used.
These dog bowls are durable and a great choice for the most destructive dogs. If you have a dog that’s a chewer, then you’ll definitely want to steer clear of plastic bowls, which can easily be destroyed when your dog is feeling a little bored or anxious. Models made out of stainless steel are durable and designed to last a long time. The drawback here is that stainless steel bowls can be difficult to clean and can make a lot of noise if you have a very hyper dog that loves to play with their bowl after finishing a meal. This type of material is non-porous, which means it will not absorb bacteria, stains, or odors. This is why these bowls are a great choice for both food and water.
Ceramic bowls are a more stylish option, but they’re nowhere near as durable as a stainless steel bowl. However, if the style is a priority, then you’ll be happy to learn that these bowls are available in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs. If you’re dealing with a younger dog, one that’s hyper and destructive, then ceramic may be a bad choice since this type of material can easily break if dropped or tossed against a hard surface.
Wood bowls are slightly pricier compared to bowls made out of stainless steel or ceramic, but they can give your kitchen a more modern look. These bowls must be washed by hand since exposure to water can cause the bowl to warp. Additionally, if you have a younger dog, then this type of bowl may not be the best choice since a puppy or a younger dog will love to chew on this type of bowl.
Metal bowls are more durable compared to wood, although they feature a structure that’s similar to stainless steel. However, some will be prone to rust, which will make them a poor choice if you’re looking for a bowl you can keep outdoors.
A plastic dog bowl is by far the most affordable. These bowls are very durable, but if you have a dog that loves to chew, you may want to opt for a model that’s made out of metal or stainless steel. These bowls are often available in a wide range of colors, designs, and patterns. Most models are also dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
Different Types of Dog Bowls
If you have a larger breed dog, a dog that deals with GI upset often, one that’s old and has trouble bending over to eat, or a dog that seems to inhale their food, which can lead to excessive gas, then you may need to purchase a specialty type of dog bowl. There are many different style options to choose from including traditional, elevated, and models designed to accommodate dogs with a flat face.
Your dog may need a specialized bowl, depending on their breed. As an example, a slow feeder is designed to prevent your dog from eating too quickly, which will help to prevent bloat and other health complications that are linked to eating too fast.
An elevated feeder is designed to help encourage proper digestion and can prevent many health-related issues that come with eating out of a normal dish. As an example, some dogs are prone to bloat, which can be fatal. An elevated feeder will prevent your dog from swallowing too much air when they eat, but they can also be a good choice if you have an arthritic dog that has issues with bending over when eating. Raised feeders are more comfortable and encourage your dog to use the proper posture when they eat. The height also makes it much easier for a dog to swallow their food while encouraging them to slow down when they eat. These feeders come available in a variety of heights, which can make it difficult for the buyer to choose a model that’s the correct height.
Dog Bowls for Flat-Faced Breeds
Not only do you need to purchase a specialty type bowl for large breed dogs, but if you have a flat-faced breed, you’ll also need to take this into consideration when you’re shopping. A flat-faced dog can have a tough time eating, especially if they have a deeper dog bowl. Bowls that are specifically designed for these dogs will allow them to easily consume their food, without making a mess. They’ll also have an easier time breathing as they eat. These dogs have a snout that’s pushed in, with a lower jaw that’s longer than their upper jaw, which is what gives their face that squished look. Breeds such as pugs are obviously flat-faced, however, there are many other breeds that fall into this category. While there’s no doubt these dogs are adorable, they often struggle with respiratory issues and can have trouble breathing at times, especially when they’re eating. That’s because these dogs have a reduced airway, which causes breathing difficulties.
This can be a major issue during mealtime. Using a traditional dog food bowl, these breeds are forced to push their faces all the way inside the bowl, which puts pressure against their nose, causing breathing issues. This causes the dog to eat faster, inhaling air as they do so. This can lead to vomiting, excessive gas, bloat, or even choking. Another issue is the mess they make when they eat when using a traditional bowl. You’ll notice that more food tends to end up on the floor than in your dog’s stomach. These dogs eat using a type of scooping motion, causing their head to arch upward and forward as they scarf up their food. So, if you want a bowl that can cut down on the mess and one that allows your dog to breathe easily, then purchase a model that’s specifically designed for their face shape.
These bowls will have a much wider opening, which prevents the dog from having to push their entire face in the bowl. They also come with a tilted design that makes mealtime much neater and more efficient, preventing food from spilling all over the floor. The slanted rear bowl design will prevent your dog’s nose from pressing against the sides of the bowl, so they can breathe easily.
Slow Feeder Dog Bowls
Slowing down when eating can significantly improve digestion, which will reduce regurgitation, gas, chances of bloat, and improves digestion. These slow feeders can also be very mentally stimulating for dogs. If you didn’t already know, mental exercise is very important for dogs. It helps to prevent boredom, which is often the reason behind destructive behavior.
These bowls are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, each of which features a puzzle. Most dog owners prefer models that move the food toward the center of the bowl, changing the difficulty level as the dog moves closer to the center. However, most models share the same difficulty level. If you want to continue to keep your dog challenged and mentally stimulated, consider purchasing more than one style and model of slow feeder.
These bowls are available in a variety of sizes but are generally more geared toward medium and large breeds. Yet, it is possible to find a slow feeder for small breeds such as chihuahuas.
Most slow feeders are made out of plastic, but it’s also possible to find stainless steel models available. All models of slow feeders are made out of plastic that’s BPA-free and non-toxic. However, if you have a chewer on your hands, then you’ll want to go with a model that’s made out of stainless steel.
A traditional dog bowl can come in a variety of sizes, which you will choose based on their size and how much food they eat per meal. Many of these bowls sit low to the ground, which can be problematic for older dogs or larger breeds. These bowls are available in most types of material and can be a more affordable option compared to specialty bowls such as elevated bowls, slow-feeders, or bowls that are designed specifically for flat-faced breeds.
Other Important Features
Aside from material, and the different style options available, there are other important features that you’ll want to pay attention to, such as the size, shape of the bowl, and maintenance needs.
Obviously, a bigger dog is going to need a larger bowl. The bigger the bowl, the higher the price tag. Small breed dogs will need smaller bowls that feature a low lip that makes it easy for them to access their food. When you’re shopping pay attention to a bowl’s capacity and the type of breeds the manufacturer recommends.
The shape of the bowl can also be important. As an example, a dog with a flat face will be better off with flatter bowls. A dog that has a long snout will need a bowl that’s deeper. This can prevent your dog from having trouble eating or accidentally inhaling their food.
Most pet owners are looking for bowls that are low-maintenance and easy to clean. If you don’t want to wash a bowl by hand, then avoid models that are made out of wood or other types of material that’s not dishwasher safe.
Dog Bowls for Large Breeds
How can you tell what the correct bowl height should be for your dog? Is the height really that important? As I mentioned earlier, choosing the right height can have a positive impact on digestion and can also prevent health-related issues that are linked to using poor posture when eating. The right height of a bowl will depend on how short or tall your dog is. This is usually more important for larger breed dogs. Large breed dogs should have a bowl that’s elevated from the ground, at least six to eight inches lower than the dog’s shoulder height. This will prevent the dog from having to bend all the way down to the floor. If your dog doesn’t have to bend down too low this can minimize the risk of digestive issues or back and neck strain. Additionally, when the head is kept at a level above the stomach, their food is able to travel easily down to the digestive tract.
To choose the right height, measure your dog. To do, you’ll have your dog stand up and use a soft measuring tape to measure from the floor to the top of the shoulders, then subtract six inches. Ideally, a large breed dog should be able to eat without having to stretch upwards or lower their neck. The dog food bowl should be level with the lower portion of a dog’s chest.
Dog Bowls for Small and Medium Breeds
Small breed dogs can include chihuahuas, yorkies, and pugs. The right height for small breed dogs will range from two to six inches, based on the breed.
Border collies and beagles are examples of medium-sized breeds. These dogs should have a dog bowl that has a height between six and fourteen inches.
The Dangers of Bloat
Many vets believe that bloat, which is a deadly condition, can occur due to a result of eating too quickly. Larger breeds are more prone to bloat. Additionally, it also more commonly occurs in male dogs and dogs with a family history of bloat. If you’re concerned that your dog is at risk of bloat, speak with your vet concerning what type of dog bowl to use and the correct height.
Other Buying Tips
- Considering how many options there are available, based on dog size, breed, height, and even face shape, choosing the right type for your pet may seem like a complicated process. Below, you’ll find some additional tips that can help you choose a bowl that will work perfectly for your pet and their needs.
- Make sure you read dog bowl reviews to learn how durable a model is. If you have a young, hyperactive dog, and one that’s prone to chewing, then durability will definitely be a priority and will save you money in the long run.
- Find a bowl that’s heavy enough that a young dog can’t easily move it around when they’re eating. This will help to cut down on mess and can make it more difficult for your dog to chew on once their meal is finished.
- Price will also be important. You’ll be surprised how pricey certain models can be, but these are usually the specialty bowls that are designed for flat-faced or larger breeds. In the end, the higher price will be worth it, especially if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to replace dog bowls once a month.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Material is Good for Dog Bowls?
Most vets recommend stainless steel dog bowls and consider them the safest option. These bowls are dishwasher friendly, durable, low-maintenance and unbreakable. If you decide to go with a stainless steel model, make sure you pick one that comes with a non-skid rubber backing, which will prevent it from sliding around when your pet is eating.
Where Should I Keep a Dog Bowl?
Feed your dogs in a quiet place in the home, one where they feel secure. Their feeding spot should be away from noise, small children, and other dogs if they have a history of guarding their food. A dog is usually easy to startle and may be more aggressive during mealtime.
Are Slow Feeder Bowls Good for Dogs?
Many vets recommend slow feeding bowls, which are designed to be effective for all dogs. These bowls will prevent your dog from inhaling their food, which can prevent digestive issues, including bloat. These bowls are on the pricey side, but they’re definitely worth it, especially if you have a fast eater on your hands.
Final Thoughts on Pet Food Bowls
Your dog is your best friend, so it makes sense that you want the best for him or her. Doing your research and finding the perfect model for your pet can help in a variety of ways, including improved breathing, minimized pain, improved digestion, and even mental stimulation. As you can see, there are many different types of bowls to choose from. The best dog bowl for your pet will depend on their breed, height, and how much food they eat per meal. It can also depend on their age since you don’t want to buy a wood or plastic bowl for young dogs that are prone to chewing or a lower dog bowl for a large breed dog or an arthritic dog that has trouble bending over. The products I’ve included here will work for a variety of breeds and sizes and feature the type of durability and overall quality that every dog owner is looking for.