Buying the best dog bowl is an often underrated decision. After all, how important can a bowl of doggie chow be?
As long as your dog can eat comfortably and it can hold all the chow for a meal, it’s a no-brainer, right?
This seemingly-simple task deserves more attention than it often gets. Doggie food bowls can have specialized features.
If you have an old pet, an elevated dog bowl prevents neck strain. If you have a pet that gorges on food faster than they can swallow, then a slow feed dog bowl might be in order.
Stainless steel bowls prevent rust, stains and keep the nasties at bay.
Here are your best options.
Dog Bowl Review Center 2018
How we selected the best bowls for your dog:
As we said earlier, dog bowls have specialized features that go beyond the obvious. The first thing that you need to consider is the intended purpose.
- Slow feed dog bowl: A slow feed dog bowl usually has a narrower opening or has mazes or patterns, like the Outward Hound dog bowl. It reduces the speed of eating by 5-10% which helps improve digestion and reduces the risk of bloat. Can be particularly effective in puppies and senior dogs.
- Raised dog bowl: The purpose of a raised dog bowl is slightly different. It helps to keep spills and splashes contained. If you have a drool-machine for a pet, this will help contain the mess to an extent. Some raised dog bowls also have extendable or height adjustable legs, like the Neater Feeder or the Pet Zone Designer Diner. This can be particularly useful for pets with arthritis or ones that are obese and find it difficult to bend to eat food or drink water.
Features to look for
- No Slip feet: Rubberized feet will help keep the food bowl stable when the dog eats from it. On a bad day, it will protect the food bowl from being kicked all over the room when an excited pet is rushing to get to it.
- Stainless steel food bowls: Stainless steel bowls are impervious to rust and stains. They are dishwasher safe and do not leech toxic chemicals into your pet’s food.
- Raised edges: Raised edges will help contain some of the splashes and food spills.
Not all slow feed dog bowls will work for your pet. Here are our reviews of some of the most popular ones.
#1 – Neater Feeder Deluxe Dog Bowl
More often than not, chow time for pooches end up in drool trails and spilled food. If that doesn’t sound like a biggie, wait till you have a 120 pound German Shepherd darting through the living room in excitement and inadvertently kicking the food bowl halfway across it.
Enter the Neater Feeder, a one-shot solution to all doggie, chow related problems.
The neater feeder keeps the food contained. Even better, it keeps the water contained. Most importantly, it doesn’t get tipped over courtesy gluttony muzzles or sloppy legs.
Sturdy, thoughtful design
The Neater Feeder measures a pleasant 21 x 13 x 14.5 inches (LWH). So, it can inconspicuously slip into a corner of your living room.
It is made of durable plastic and weighs 4.5 pounds with the two voluminous stainless steel bowls included in the design. Small dog breeds will find it impossible to kick or tip over. For larger breeds, it features slip-free legs that ensure that it stays put.
At 14.5 inches, the Neater Feeder is just the right height for small dogs and cats. It prevents neck and spine strain. For larger dogs, there’s a leg extension that’s available separately for purchase which extends it to the perfect height.
The stainless steel bowls are pretty deep and makes it easy for dog breeds with all muzzle sizes.
Perfect height, with an extendable leg
The big draw is the spill-preventer, which is a fancy name for a reservoir that ensures that spilled food doesn’t find its way out. Similarly, there’s a water reservoir that collects any spills and splashes.
The sides are slightly elevated which mean that drool-trails stay contained as well.
Apart from keeping the surroundings clean, it also prevents mold buildup and saves you a lot of effort otherwise spent in cleaning slimy drool all over the house.
Why we love it
- Easy solution to almost all doggie food problems
- Pocket-friendly price tag
- Height extendable
- Large bowls that hold sufficient food and water
- Food and water reservoirs to prevent spills
- No-slip feet
Reasons to complain
- Some customers have mentioned that the stainless steel bowls started to rust after a few months. But these have been sporadic incidents limited to one or two people at best. Just speak to the customer service team if you notice rusting.
Conclusion: This is the best elevated dog bowl in the market currently. Flawless customer reviews, great pricing and a well-rounded feature list.View on Amazon
#2 – Pet Zone Designer Diner Adjustable Elevated Pet Feeder Raised Dog Bowls
The Designer diner table from Pet Zone is a stunner. Two large stainless steel bowls neatly integrated into a dining-table styled frame make for a very eye-pleasing addition to your living room.
The advantages though, go beyond the aesthetics.
It prevents bloating, reduces spills and also reduces the strain on the neck for dogs of all sizes.
Sturdy plastic frame
The Designer Diner elevated dog bowl stand is made from tough plastic. It isn’t the heaviest one though. So if you have a large dog that will push against the stand while eating, place this against the wall. It won’t budge.
The feet have rubberized soles so it won’t tip over either.
The finish is a glossy brown that easily blends in with your décor.
It can be height adjusted to three levels. So, you can keep it at 2.75” height for small dogs and cats, 8” for medium sized dogs and 12” for large dogs.
Easy assembly and collapses for storage
The Pet Zone Designer table is surprisingly easy to assemble. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes at best.
The stainless steel bowls aren’t the best to be honest. But most people buy it for the height adjustable frame, that’s perfect if you have a puppy (grows with the puppy) or even a senior dog that can do without the extra strain on the neck.
On a positive note, the bowls are dishwasher safe and extremely easy to clean.
When not in use, the legs can be collapsed and it becomes compact for easy storage.
Why we love it
- Aesthetic design
- Height adjustable to three levels
- Non-slip rubberized feet
- Dishwasher safe stainless steel bowls
- Legs can be collapsed for storage
- Prevents bloating and reduces strain on the neck
Reasons to complain
- Once again, the stainless steel bowls tend to rust. That shouldn’t usually be the case. But the quality isn’t the best. But the bowls can easily be replaced. And they are cheap too.
Conclusion: A few minor grumbles aside, this is a great slow feed dog bowl. It looks great, prevents neck strain and grows with your puppy. What more can one ask for?View on Amazon
#3 – AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Dog Bowl
If you are looking for a barebones spill proof dog bowl that’s cheap and lasts forever, then here’s the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel dog bowl for you.
It’s a large no spill dog bowl that can accommodate up to 32 ounces of pet food. That more than suffices for dogs of all sizes.
Stain and rust free
We love the stainless steel quality on this slow feeder dog bowl. It has been around for years and there are no complaints whatsoever about rusting or staining.
It’s a much better choice than cheap plastic that leech chemicals into fido’s food.
32-ounce capacity and a wide open mouth allow dogs with all types of muzzles to eat comfortably without barfing.
The no-slip feet on the bottom keep it rock steady while the dog eats. There are customers who use this for their 150 lbs. dogs with no problems whatsoever.
This also prevents damage and scratching on your hardwood floors.
The Amazonbasics stainless steel dog bowl can be tossed into the dishwasher when it’s time for cleaning.
And the surprisingly low price tag allows you to buy multiple ones if you have more than one pet at home.
Why we love it
- Durable stainless steel
- Rust, stain and odor resistant
- Cheap pricing
- Non-slip rubber feet
- 32-inch wide mouth
- Perfect for dogs with all muzzle sizes
Reasons to complain
Conclusion: All in all, this is the spendthrift’s dream doggie bowl. Cheap, effective and feature-rich.View on Amazon
#4 – Kyjen Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slow Feed Interactive Bloat Stop Dog Bowl
With over a million of these sold already, chances are that you might have seen the Kyjen Outward Hound slow feed bowl in action somewhere.
This is paws-down the most popular slow feeder dog bowl in the market. And it’s unlike anything else in the doggie-bowl universe.
It features a variety of mazes (depending on the design you choose) that will make your dog sweat for earning each kibble.
Let us explain.
Slowed eating, zero choking, better digestion
Outward Hound makes short work of one of the most difficult tasks on earth. To make pooches eat slow. The patterned mazes will make them work their tongue around to find their kibbles. And it is so effective that it slows down eating by almost 10x the normal time.
This greatly reduces choking and bloat. If doggie chow disappears in a few seconds, then Outward hound slow feed dog bowl is just what you need.
It is available in three sizes, small, large and extra small. Pick the one that works best for your dog breed size.
Variety of mazes
You can also choose mazes depending on their difficulty levels.
The large teal one is the most difficult one maze pattern and it is designed for large slobbery pooches who gorge like a blue whale.
The mini purple one has crannies that can hide kibbles. You will love your small dog trying to work their tongue around the maze patterns.
The large orange one has a warp hole styled maze that’s reasonably easier to figure out. Old large dogs might prefer this one.
The mini blue and tiny mint are kind of identical in their difficulty rating.
Why we love it
- Slows down doggie eating by 10x the time
- Helps improve digestion
- Variety of mazes that can be selected according to the difficulty
- Works for both wet and dry food
- Three sizes
- Rubberized feet keep the bowl from moving
- Reduces the risk of bloat and choking
Reasons to complain
- If you don’t use the dishwasher too often, then it can be difficult to clean because of the design. Makes it easier for mold buildup. That’s only for people who don’t use the dishwasher though.
Conclusion: If a slow feeder dog bowl is what you seek, look no further. This is slow-feeding perfection. Your dog will hate you.View on Amazon
#5 – URPOWER Dog Bowls Stainless Steel Dog Bowl with No Spill Non-Skid Silicone Mat
Last but not the least, we have the URPOWER dog bowls. This is a complete doggie dinner set with separate stainless steel bowls for kibble and water.
The bowls are neatly integrated into a large silicon base that prevents slipping.
The design looks simple and unassuming. But it is very effective.
Bone-shaped dinner set
The URPOWER dog bowls with the silicon base have a bone shaped design. It looks kinda cute with the bone-imprints on the silicon. The entire thing is 19-inches in length and 11-inches wide and the removable bowl itself is a spacious 6-inches in radius with a 26.46 oz capacity.
That can accommodate enough kibbles for a dog that’s up to 70 lbs.
The silicon mat has raised edges that do a reasonably good job at keeping spills contained.
Most importantly, the large slip-proof base prevents the mat and the bowls from skidding while your pet eats. This also prevents damage to hardwood floors.
Easy to clean and maintain
The stainless steel bowls are rust free and you can just toss it into your dishwasher. The silicone mat on the other hand can be wiped clean with a cloth.
It’s surprisingly easy to maintain.
No mess anywhere around the dinner set either.
Why we love it
- Compact, dinner set with bowls for both food and water
- Deep rust and stain-free bowls
- Silicon base that prevents slipping and tipping over
- Raised edges that contain spills
- Easy to clean
- Dishwasher safe bowls
- Wipe to clean the silicon mat
Reasons to complain
- Once again, there has been a one-off incident where the bowls have rusted. Thankfully, the manufacturer issues a complete refund in such cases. So, you have nothing to worry at all.
Conclusion: Looking for a budget-friendly, raised dog bowl for your pooches? Try the URPOWER dog bowl. It has a spill-free design and is easy to maintain as well.View on Amazon
Getting the Right Dog Bowls: A Buying Guide
There are lots of choices out there when it comes to dog bowls. In fact, there are hundreds or even thousands of different choices and dozens of different manufacturers. There is everything from the very cheap dollar bowls that you might find at discount stores to much more sturdy and expensive stainless steel bowls that you would have to get from a pet supply store or department store. But with all of these dog bowls out there, how do you know which one to choose? Since getting the right dog bowl is important for your puppy’s health, this guide is going to walk you through everything you need to know to choose the perfect dog bowl.
There are lots of factors that you need to take into consideration. You want to choose the right size so that your dog gets enough to eat but not so large that he or she is going to spread the food everywhere. You want to make sure that you can keep your dog bowls clean, and the material that they are made out of will certainly have an impact on that as well. You may even want to go with more sophisticated dog bowls that have technology included with them and can sync up with a smart phone to let you know how your dog is eating and what sort of ingredients they are consuming. There are a lot of options these days when it comes to dog bowls.
Choosing Your Dog Dishes
So, how do you choose what kind of dog dishes you want? Just like buying a dog bed or dog house, choosing your perfect dog dishes will be a highly personal thing. You want something that is perfect for your particular dog. The good news is that there is no need for a one-size-fits-all approach because there are plenty of options out there that will allow you to choose something customized to your particular dog. However, that also makes it more difficult to choose the right one. After all, that’s what this buying guide is all about.
Choosing the right dog bowl is just as important as choosing the right dog crate or dog playpen. You want something that is going to fit your dog perfectly, both with personality and with size, and something that is well-suited to the type of food that you’re planning on feeding your dog. Many breeds have specific dog food that owners feed them. For example, there is dog food for boxers, dog food for pit bulls and dog food for Yorkies just to name a few.
But there are also dog food types for specific medical conditions such as dog food for sensitive stomachs or dog food for allergies. Then there is the size factor. You’re going to require a different bowl for food for small dogs then you are to hold food for large dogs. Let’s get into all the factors that determine what kind of dog bowls you are going to need.
What Size Do You Need?
The size that you need will depend upon what type of dog you have. It will also depend upon the type of food that you are serving because dog food brands can differ considerably even with specific types of food for dog such as dog food for seniors. One brand may have extremely large pieces of dry dog food that will require a larger bowl, while others will be smaller.
This size that you need is also dependent upon your schedule. You can make use of technology like an automatic dog feeder, but if you do not have one then you’re going to have to be concerned with how often you feed your dog. For example, if you only feed your dog once per day, then you’re going to need a bigger bowl to hold enough food to get them through that day.
The best rule of thumb to use when it comes to dog bowls is to make sure that your dog bowl has enough capacity to get them through the day and maybe even a little bit of food for tomorrow. That way, if you are called out of town unexpectedly and will not be back until the next day, you can fill up the bowl completely and know that your dog will have enough food until you get back. With water bowls, it can be a little more complicated because if a dog spills their water they are going to have nothing to drink.
Dog Bowl Materials
There are a few materials out there that are used for making dog bowls. Two of the most common materials that you will find include stainless steel and plastic. The first difference that we will talk about with these two materials is price. Plastic bowls can be really cheap because they are easy to make and inexpensive to manufacture. But stainless steel bowls are going to be a lot more and you will have a harder time finding a large selection of them.
The second difference between these two is durability. Plastic bowls break easily and are pretty flimsy. If you step on your dog’s plastic bowl, there is a good chance you’re going to put a crack in it or break it. Plus, your dog can crack their plastic bowl by chewing on it. There are some plastic bowls that are heavier duty than others, but if you really want durability than you want to go with the stainless steel bowl.
There are a few other materials that dog bowls are made out of, but for the most part if you’re looking for a dog food container you’re going to be stuck with these two choices. The location that you place the bowl may affect the material that you choose. For example, stainless steel bowls are going to be much better suited to being placed in an outdoor dog kennel while plastic ones are probably best inside.
Style of Dog Bowls
The style of dog bowls that you choose may also factor into your decision. Style is usually not that important of a consideration. After all, dog bowls get dirty and food gets all over the sides of them, so most people do not worry that much about style. However, it can be nice to have a dog bowl that matches other decor in your kitchen, or if you are into something like a television show or fandom as a hobby, getting dog bowls that match that fandom can be pretty cool.
Some people also want customized dog bowls. For example you can put your dog’s name on their bowls so that you know which ones belong to them. This is especially useful hold for people that have more than one dog. However, getting customized dog bowls is going to be a lot more expensive than just buying them from the store.
If style is not that important of a consideration, then you can skip that part. However, if style is something that you are interested in, then you may want to check around the Internet because there are lots of different styles of dog bowls that are on the market these days. Pet products are a huge industry, and you can find customized dog bowls for various breeds like ones that hold dog food for Labradors or dog food for Dobermans.
Dog Bowls vs. Auto Feeders
You have a choice between dog bowls and auto feeders. There are a lot of advantages for auto feeders, but you also have to choose between all the ones that are available. Automatic dog feeders come in lots of different styles and shapes these days. In fact, there are four main technologies that are used to automatically feed your dog. They include gravity-based automatic feeders, vertical mechanized feeders, compartment feeders and rotating circular feeders that you can use to give your dog different food for different parts of the day.
The disadvantage of an auto feeder is that it costs quite a bit more than a dog bowl. Plus, you can’t always rely on an auto feeder. You should definitely be checking on it at least once a day to make sure it is dispensing food like it should be. The same goes for a water dispenser. Dog bowls are simple and inexpensive, but they get the job done. Whether you choose to go with dog bowls or you want to look at automatic dog feeders is completely up to you. If you are pouring dog food for huskies or dog food for pugs or other medium-sized pups, then you probably want to stick with dog bowls anyway, and that goes double for the larger breeds which can get excited while eating and cause automatic feeders not function.
Choosing Between Combined Food Dishes & Separate Ones
One of the decisions you will have to make is whether to get separate dog bowls or combined food dishes. A lot of people really like combined food dishes because you only have to worry about one thing. If you have separate bowls for your dog, then they can scatter them all over the kitchen, but when you have combined bowls they tend to have more weight because they have both water and food in them and so they are harder for the dog to move around; plus there is only one of them.
But the disadvantage of having combined food dishes is that you often get food into the water. If you’re going to choose the best dog dishes, then you definitely want to look for combined dishes that are high enough where the food isn’t going to get in the water and vice versa. When food gets into the water it floats around and may become contaminated, while water getting of the food makes it soggy and your dog may not want to eat it.
So you will have to decide for yourself whether or not to go with separate bowls or if you want combined food dishes in one unit.
Other Features to Consider
There are a few other features that you want to consider when it comes to dog bowls. These additional features may not make or break the dog bowls that you are thinking about choosing, but they do have some advantages that may help your particular dog. These are also not very common features, so you may have to look really hard to find dog bowls that have these particular attributes.
Tapered Sides: Tapered sides are something that you may want to consider if your dog has particularly large ears. Food and water bowls that have tapered sides allow your dog to eat and drink without getting his ears dipped into the water. This makes a lot of sense, not only because it is uncomfortable for your dog to have his ears in water while he is eating or drinking, but also because the ears can carry contaminants that get into your dog’s food.
Elevated Dishes: You should consider elevated dishes for all dogs except for the very smallest. Elevated dishes that are actually at the height of your dog’s head will make a huge difference in how much food they spread all over the your kitchen (or wherever you are keeping your bowls), and they will have a much harder time moving them or tipping them over when they are elevated. Many pet experts recommend that you get elevated dishes that are the same height as your dog’s head or that you put the dishes on something that is that height.
Dishes That Prevent Gastric Problems: Another feature that you will find with some dog bowls is that they prevent your dog from eating too fast. There are a couple of different ways in which they do this, but if your dog has gastric problems that are caused by eating their food too fast, then you definitely want to consider these types of bowls. They only release a little bit of food at the time and will only release more after your dog has eaten what is in the bowl.
Heated Water Bowls: If you keep your dog outside, then you may want to consider heated dog bowls. A heated dog bowl will keep the water from freezing in your dog’s dish. Heated water bowls are not usually needed inside, but if you live in a frosty climate where water freezes regularly, and you plan on keeping your dog outside or their food bowls outside, then consider a battery-operated or electric heating option that will give off just enough heat to prevent freezing.
Technology: When it comes to technology and the best dog bowls there are some pretty amazing things out there. Just one example of technology that you can find on dog bowls include regular reports sent to your smart phone that let you know when your dog eats and how much they are eating.
Where to Keep Your Bowls
You also need to think about where you’re going to keep your dog bowls. For example, the first thing you have to decide is whether you going to keep dog bowl inside or outside. Where you put your dog bowls is going to make a big difference in choosing the right ones. As previously mentioned, plastic bowls are more suited for indoors while stainless steel or more durable materials are often required for outdoors.
But there is more to location than just whether you’re going to feed your dog indoors or outdoors. You also need to decide where in the house you’re going to put them. For example, are you going to put them inside your dog’s kennel or in the kitchen? The placement of your dog’s dish may not seem like a factor in buying them, but some dog bowls work better on carpet and others are nonskid so that they can be placed on wood floors without being pushed around too much. There is no doubt that placement is definitely a consideration when buying new ones.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that there are a lot of things that need to keep in mind when it comes to choosing bowls for your dog’s food. The material that you choose is certainly a factor and the most important consideration of all is probably the size. You have to look at the breed of your dog, how excited they get when they eat and whether you need any of the advanced features that we discussed like smart technology, tapered edges, height or heating elements due to your own unique situation.
The good news is, there are so many dog bowls on the market these days that you will have no problem finding the one that fits you perfectly. It might just take you a while to find the perfect dog bowl, but with everything being on the internet these days, the answers are very likely at your fingertips at one of the online pet retailers out there.