Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Best Food and Water Bowls for Dogs

By Anna Lee

You are probably wondering what the big deal is, right? Grab an old plastic container you don’t need anymore and put some dog food or water in it. Actually, there is a little more to it than that. There are things you need to consider when choosing a food or water bowl for your dog.

You need a bowl that is easy to clean, dishwasher safe, tip and spill proof, durable, and the right size for the job. If you have a 120 pound female Mastiff you can’t put her CANIDAE dry dog food in an old butter container, because it isn’t big enough. She would probably destroy the bowl in a week! On the flip side, you don’t want to use a mixing bowl as a water bowl for a Yorkie!

You need to determine the bowl size by the dog’s size and needs. Narrow and deep feeders are ideal if you have a long-eared dog such as a Bassett Hound or Blood Hound. This design allows your dog to drink or eat without getting his ears in the water or the food. A lab needs a rather large water bowl so you won’t have to fill it quite as often during the day.

There are also automatic feeder bowls on the market. They run on battery and you set the time and amount of food or water that is dispensed. They are not recommended for puppies, but they are fine for the established dog.

At the top of the list for an appropriate bowl, heavy weight stainless steel is the best choice. Get one with a rubber bottom which will stop your dog from pushing the bowl all around the room. It is almost impossible for a dog to break a stainless steel bowl.

If you do happen to have a kitchen cabinet full of old butter containers, throw them in the trash. You don’t need them and your dog doesn’t either. Once you invest a few dollars in a quality bowl you won’t have to buy another one.

Abby is an older dog, and an item I am thinking of buying her is a set of elevated bowls. They come on a stand and there are two bowls fitted into the top. Since it is elevated the dog does not have to bend over so far to eat, which makes it more comfortable for the dog overall and supposedly aids in digestion. You can also clean around elevated bowls very easily.

Where should you feed your dog? That decision is totally up to you. Our last house had vinyl flooring in the kitchen and that is where Abby’s food and water bowls were. This house has hardwood floors in the kitchen. Water and hardwood floors are a bad combination! I keep her bowls just beyond the kitchen in the hall to the laundry room. It has vinyl flooring but I also use a rubber backed runner under the bowls to help contain some of the water spills.

You can find a variety of bowls in all sizes and shapes at your local pet store, online pet stores, Tractor Supply, and almost every discount store including WalMart and Sam’s Club. Check out for examples of stainless steel bowls and the raised dog bowl systems. They have a very large selection and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your easy chair.

You need the right size food and water bowls for your dog. You dog may not know the difference, but you will!

Read more articles by Anna Lee

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