Choosing the perfect dog bowl

Our pets have to eat, and it’s important to choose the right bowl to make sure that your pet is able to eat comfortably, taking all their needs into account. If you have a new dog, your dog’s needs have changed, or you just happen to be looking for a new bowl, we’ve prepared this rundown of how to choose the best dog bowls for your canine friend.

What material to choose

When it comes to deciding which material would be best for your dog’s food bowl, there are a variety of materials to choose from. Each has its positive and negative points, and ultimately the one that you choose is up to you and your pet.

Plastic is a light, travel-friendly option, and is the most common, as well as frequently being the cheapest and an easy, dishwasher-safe choice. However, though durable, it can have its drawbacks: dogs that are prone to chewing things may find plastic bowls rather too easy to nibble, and could end up with small pieces of plastic in their stomachs. Plastic can also be prone to small cracks which may collect harmful bacteria if not carefully disinfected. Some owners prefer not to use plastic because of concerns about toxins leaching from the plastic over time.

Dog standing in a woods
Dog taking a walk in the woods

Ceramic dog bowls are a good, much less chewable alternative, and are available in a range of attractive designs. If your dog has a tendency to push their bowl across the floor as they eat, ceramic could be a good option. That being said, they are also more breakable if dropped, and if they become chipped, those chips can be a place for bacteria to grow. If you do choose a ceramic bowl for your pup, take care that the glaze is free of lead.

Stainless steel could be the most hygienic choice of all, being nearly impossible to break, and therefore less likely to collect bacteria in cracks or chips. Extremely long-lasting, stainless steel dog food bowls are also dishwasher safe and do not leach chemicals that could be dangerous to your pet. If the bowl is going to be placed outside, however, stainless steel may not be the best choice! Steel takes on heat or cold, making water warmer when the sun shines and risking your dog’s tongue getting stuck to the metal in freezing weather.

Dog eating its dinner
Small dog eating its dinner

Assessing your pet’s needs

As a dog owner, your job is getting to know your dog and their needs, and being aware of your dog’s needs and potential issues is the most important thing when choosing their bowl.

Bowl size

It might seem obvious, but when choosing the size of your dog’s bowl, it’s essential to take into account their size! Generally speaking, the bigger your dog, the larger and deeper they need their bowl to be, in accordance with the amount of food that they eat at each meal. Dogs with longer snouts may also benefit from a deeper bowl, allowing them to eat with ease.


If your dog is older, suffers from stiff joints, neck pain or back problems, dog food bowl height is also an important consideration! Think about choosing an elevated food bowl so that they don’t have to bend down so far to feed. This should help to take pressure off their joints and make them feel more comfortable. There are a huge range of raised dog bowls to choose from, taking into account other preferences in terms of bowl material and size.

Small dog running through a green field
Labrador eating its dinner

Feeding habits

Your pup’s feeding schedule also impacts your choice of food bowl. If you are likely not to be home at the time that it is best for them to eat (if you have to go to work especially early, for instance) you might consider an automatic feeder that dispenses food at the programmed time. Some dogs also tend to gobble their food, increasing risk of food bloat: in these cases, a slow feed bowl may be a good idea. Slow feeding dog bowls have ridges, mounds or patterns that break the bowl up into parts, meaning that your pet has to work a little harder to get their food, chewing and swallowing more slowly.

There are so many choices of dog bowl it can be hard to choose the best one for your pet – but ultimately, it’s about what will be most comfortable and practical for them. If you’re not sure which bowl will be best for your dog, ask your vet for more advice. Now with no added artificial colours, Bakers® dog food is a great choice to fill your dog’s new food bowl and take care of your pet!

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