Of all the accessories you may buy for your dog, food and water bowls can potentially provide your furry friend with the most consistent daily pleasure. The bowls from which your dog eats and drinks can affect:
If you're wondering how to ensure that you select the right bowl, consider the following:
When it comes to dinnerware and place settings, your dog has few requirements. Usually, two bowls will suffice. One will hold food, and the other will hold water. The water bowls should be left out at all times.
With dog bowls, size matters. As a rule-of-thumb, the most appropriate food bowl size can comfortably accommodate your dog's snout while it is eating. Your dog should have ample room to position its mouth while gathering its food, but not so much that its entire head can fit into the bowl.
The size of the bowl should also coincide with the appropriate portion size. Too large a bowl can encourage over-feeding that leads to obesity. Too small a bowl can cause undernourishment.
The water bowl should be larger than the food bowl to ensure that your pup never needs to worry about quenching its thirst. Generally, dogs drink one half to one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight every day. Although this may vary depending on circumstances, it never hurts to provide more water than your dog typically drinks. A Water bowl can be larger than a food bowl as long as your dog can access it comfortably.
It may surprise you to know that your dog's breed or eating habits can help determine what shape bowl will offer the best mealtime experience. The four most common dog bowl shapes include:
Trapezoid- These bowls are great if your best friend has long, floppy ears. They allow comfortable entry of the snout into a narrow top opening while allowing food to spread across a wider bottom space, creating ease of access. This bowl is ideal for preventing ear tips from dipping into the food.
Shallow with a wide opening- Any puppy or adult dog with a short snout, like a pug, will appreciate the easy access to food that shallow bowls provide. A wide, shallow bowl reduces neck strain for small dogs or those with anatomies that make it difficult to reach far into a bowl for their food.
Deep- Dogs like Greyhounds and Collies can best enjoy food that is served in deep bowls that can comfortably accommodate their long snouts. Imagine anything more frustrating to a hungry dog than having its nose come between its food and its mouth.
Slow feeder- These bowls are the most recent development in dog feeding accessories. They frequently cross over between bowl and puzzle. Slow Feeder bowls typically spread food throughout the path of an inner maze, requiring dogs to stop eating and reposition themselves to get to it. This bowl format discourages gulping, eliminating the risk of digestive upset. A nice side benefit of these bowls is the mental stimulation they provide when a pup must work harder to access food sprinkled between the maze walls.
Most dog bowls consist of stainless steel, glass or ceramic and plastic. Each of these materials has unique attributes. You can't go wrong with a stainless steel dog bowl for food or water. These bowls can withstand being knocked around by the most aggressive eaters. Stainless steel is easy to keep clean, and it is dishwasher safe. It is also hygienic and doesn't promote bacteria. The only downside to stainless steel bowls is the occasional metallic taste they sometimes transfer to food. Still, if your dog isn't complaining, stainless steel is a great, low-maintenance choice.
If you want a decorative bowl that resembles the types of dishware you eat from, consider ceramic or glass. Like your own dishes, these bowls are decorative and hygienic yet strong enough to withstand a dishwasher. Just like your own dishes, the only downside to these bowls is their susceptibility to breakage. Broken glass or ceramic can injure your pet, and cracks in ceramic quickly develop mold when wet. If you opt for glass or ceramic, be sure to replace bowls if they become damaged.
It is easy to find plastic dog bowls that are BPA-free and food-safe. Synthetic food and water bowls are cost-effective, and like glass and ceramic, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Be careful about using these bowls for dogs that are aggressive chewers because they can become the latest chew toy . Like ceramic bowls, it is best to replace a plastic bowl that is scratched to prevent mold growth.
Did you know that choosing a bowl according to your dog's height can do wonders for your pal's posture? As a general rule, it is best if your dog does not need to stretch too far to reach into food and water bowls while in a standing position. Bowls that come with matching stands can provide just the right amount of lift to put minimal strain on a dog's neck.
Dogs are beloved members of the family, and how we feed them is the best way to show them how much we love them. So, pay attention the next time you serve up your pet's favorite meal and look for signs that mean it's time to order a new bowl.