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How to Choose the Right Dog Dish

Posted by Awesome Doggies

hungry-dogOne of the things we hear most frequently from our San Diego mobile pet grooming clients is about how difficult it can be to choose the right pet products when there are so many options. This is especially true when it comes to dog dishes. Choosing a dog dish should be pretty straightforward, right? As it turns out, not really.

The pet stores are filled with an incredible number of dog dishes. If you are looking for the perfect dish for your beloved pup the number of choices is both wonderful and bewildering. There are popular choices in plastic, glass, ceramic, and stainless steel with features like weighted bottoms, deep sides, shallow bowls, and so much more. So how do you choose the best bowl for your best friend? Don’t worry. We’re happy to give you the scoop.

dog-bowl-choicesDog Bowl Basics You Really Need to Know

The best bowl for your dog depends on the breed, age, and eating habits of your dog. Here are some basics to help you choose the right bowl for your pup.

Shallow Bowls

Shallow bowls are best for dogs with short snouts, such as pugs or bull dogs and for small dogs and puppies. The shallowness of the bowl makes it easier for the dog to reach the food. This eliminates strain and pressure against the throat that can lead to choking.

Step Sided Deep Bowls

If you have a dog with a longer snout or long ears, choose a deeper bowl with a narrower opening. The deepness provides enough room for the nose for your dog can eat comfortably while keeping floppy ears or longer fur out of the dish as much as possible.

Slow Feeder Bowls

Slow feeder bowls usually have a raised center or some other obstacle to slow the dog down during meal time. This bowl is perfect for the dog that eats so quickly that they tend to choke or vomit after eating.

Weighted Bowls

If your dog has a problem with tipping the dish every time they use it, consider a weighted bowl. A weighted bowl is heavier on the bottom which makes it very difficult to tip over during use.

What About Dog Dish Materials?

To further complicate your decision, you also need to think about the material with which the dog dish is made. Dog food dishes come in several materials that include plastic, glass, ceramic and stainless steel among the most common. As you browse the dog dish aisle, here are a few things to think about when you consider the material.


Plastic is lightweight, durable, and economical. They are not a great choice for dogs that chew. If you choose a plastic dish, remember to wash frequently as bacteria can lurk in the pores of the material. Some dogs may have allergies to plastic, so watch for sores around the chin and mouth and discoloration of the nose. Discontinue use if you notice signs that your faithful friend has an allergy to plastic. Consider BPA free options when you look for a plastic pet food dish.


Ceramic dishes are stylish, durable, and economical. It is important to remember that ceramic is breakable and if your dog is an “enthusiastic” eater, the dish could break and injure them. Another consideration is the porous material which can trap germs if not washed daily. Be sure any ceramic dish is labeled “lead free” before you purchase.



Similar to ceramic, glass is another stylish and durable option. Though durable, even shatterproof glass is breakable under the right conditions, such as a very playful puppy.

Stainless Steel—

Stainless steel is another very popular option, appreciated for its modern look and ease of cleaning. The material is also antimicrobial so it is a very healthy option for daily use.

Choosing the perfect, and perfectly safe, dog dish is a lot more difficult than most people think. If you have questions about safe options, be sure to ask your favorite veterinarian which one is best for your dog’s, breed, size, age, and eating habits. Or contact us, we'd love to help!

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