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Choosing the Right Food & Water Bowl

Deborah Lechter
Most of us spend a lot of time researching the best food to serve our pet. Often, we choose their bowls based on aesthetics and how well they blend with our decor. Depending on the materials used in manufacturing and the way YOUR pet eats, picking the ideal bowl will result in a safer, healthier and more enjoyable meal time for your furry friend.
There's a bowl out there to suit every pet's need and lifestyle. Just like we choose specific table and cookware for ourselves, we should select food and water bowls appropriate for our pet's size, weight, age, digestive health and style of eating. Here are some types of bowls for you to consider:

Plastic Bowls

Pros: plastic bowls are inexpensive, come in a wide range of colors and fun designs, are lightweight enough to take on the road  and can be fairly long-lasting if of a good quality.

Cons: If you notice your dog or cat gnawing or chewing on the bowls, plastic isn’t your best choice. Ingesting bits of plastic can harm your dog and cat internally. Plastic can also stain and will often develop a bio-film if not scrubbed and cleaned daily. Lightweight plastic bowls tend to slip and slide,

Here are some of our picks; they're whimsical, charming and made of durable and easy to clean plastic.

Ceramic Bowls

Pros: They’re heavy and very stable, which is a good thing if your dog tends to push its bowl around the floor while eating. Come in a wide range of colors and styles. Very easy to clean and most are dishwasher safe. Always watch for cracks.
Cons: Porous and will need to be scrubbed and cleaned daily. Low quality ceramic bowls have been tied to lead poisoning - so always choose a high quality, lead-free bowl.  Be sure to choose bowls marked “Food Safe”, “Made With A Lead-Free Glaze” or something along those lines.

We  like the following ceramic bowls; they're stylish, fun, well made and dishwasher safe.

Stainless Steel Bowls

Pros: They may not offer the variety of colors and patterns that other dog bowls do, but they are economical, long lasting, rust-resistant, and non-porous (which discourages bacteria), They are also really easy to clean and often have non-skid bottoms.

Cons: There are alot of metal knock offs that aren't real stainless steel and these can contain lead so check the labels carefully. 

Here are three very different options of stainless steel bowls that deliver. If your pet is a slobby eater, the Our Pets Tilted bowl is ideal. If you are looking for style,  the sleek and  modern Unleashed Life Phorm collection with  removable stainless bowls is a great choice. And, if you like color and are seeking a high quality and well priced bowl- Fuzzyard's Easy Feeders are perfect.

Silicone Bowls

Pros: Chemists have declared silicone to be one of the most stable compounds on the market. It is non-toxic, non-stick, highly heat-resistant and easy to clean. If you can get used to its odd, rubbery consistency, it makes for a safe, healthy collapsible bowl  which is also ideal for traveling and outdoor adventures.

Cons: Not a wide range of styles to choose from.

Messy Mutts Double Silicone Feeder for both cats and dogs is a great option. It comes in a variety of fun colors, it's durable, safe, and economical,

Elevated Diners

Pros: A newer trend in pet food and watering merchandise includes the elevated pet bowl. Elevated bowls are excellent for pets of all ages, including puppies to senior adults. The elevated design typically includes two bowls – one for food and one for water. The bowls can be constructed from ceramic, plastic or stainless steel. They're designed to eliminate joint and back pain associated with crouching over a bowl and aid in digestive health.

Cons: They tend to be a bit pricey

The Messy Mutts Double Elevated Feeder is an excellent choice as it grows with your dog. It comes with 3 different size legs for your dog's growth stages. Some other great options are the uber stylish peanut 2 from Drip Module and the Martinque Elevated Diner from Petrageous Designs.

Specialty Bowls

Does your pet vacuum down his food? There's a bowl for that!  Is he/she supersized? There's a bowl for that too!

The Our Pets Slow Feeder is specially designed to slow down feeding and reduce digestive problems. The New 8 Modern Feeder from Drip Module is unique in the market, exclusively desgined for extra large pooches. It easily folds when not in use.