Best Dog Bowls and Food Choices

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Looking after your furry friend involves many things from exercise and mental stimulation to a balanced diet and hydration. One thing that’s often overlooked is the type of dog bowl and food. This guide covers the effect of different dog bowls and food choices on your dog’s health, for pet owners.

Dog Hydration

The Importance of Water in Dog Health

Water is essential for all living things, including dogs. Hydration helps with digestion, nutrient absorption, temperature regulation, and joint lubrication. Getting your dog access to clean fresh water is the first step in keeping them healthy.

Types of Dog Bowls and Their Effect

Types of Dog Bowls and Their Effect

Dog bowls come in many materials and designs, each affecting a dog’s eating habits, digestion, and overall health differently.

Stainless Steel Bowls


●      Durable: Stainless steel bowls are tough, won’t dent or scratch, and are long-lasting.

●      Hygiene: Easy to clean and dishwasher safe, reduces bacterial buildup.

●      Non-reactive: Don’t leach harmful chemicals into food or water.


●      Noise: Can be noisy and startle some dogs.

●      Temperature Sensitivity: Can get very hot or cold and affect food or water temperature.

Ceramic Bowls


●      Aesthetics: Available in many designs and colors and match home decor.

●      Weight: Heavy enough to not tip over.

●      Non-reactive: High-quality ceramic doesn’t leach chemicals into food or water.


●      Fragility: Can chip or break and cause injury.

●      Porosity: Damaged glaze can absorb bacteria and odors and be hard to clean.

Plastic Bowls


●      Affordable: Cheapest option.

●      Variety: Available in many shapes, sizes and colors.

●      Portability: Lightweight and easy to carry, great for travel.


●      Durability: Can be chewed or scratched and harbour bacteria.

●      Chemical Leaching: Low-quality plastic can leach harmful chemicals.

●      Odor Retention: Absorbs odors over time and is hard to clean.

Elevated Bowls

●      Ergonomics: Reduces strain on a dog’s neck, shoulders, and joints, good for older or arthritic dogs.

●      Cleanliness: Minimizes spillage and keeps feeding areas cleaner.


●      Bloat Risk: This may increase bloat risk in large breed dogs.

●      Space: Takes up more space than regular bowls, not suitable for small areas.

Choosing the Right Food

Choosing the Right Food

The type of food you feed your dog is crucial for their health. A balanced diet that meets all nutritional needs is key to overall health, energy and longevity. Here are the main types of dog food and their benefits:

Dry Dog Food (Kibble)


●      Convenience: Easy to store, measure and feed.

●      Dental: Chewing kibble reduces plaque and tartar buildup.

●      Cost Effective: Generally cheaper than other types of dog food.


●      Preservatives: These may contain artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors.

●      Moisture: Low moisture content, especially for dogs that don’t drink enough water.

Wet Dog Food


●      Palatability: More flavorful and appetizing, great for fussy eaters.

●      Hydration: Higher moisture content keeps dogs hydrated.

●      Nutrient Density: More nutrient-dense and easier to digest for some dogs.


●      Cost: Generally more expensive than dry food.

●      Storage: Opened cans need to be refrigerated and have a shorter shelf life.

●      Dental Health: Doesn’t provide the same dental benefits as kibble.

Raw Dog Food


●      Natural Diet: Being closer to a dog’s natural diet, may have health benefits.

●      Nutrient Rich: Free from preservatives and fillers found in commercial dog food.


●      Preparation: Requires careful planning to ensure all nutritional needs are met.

●      Bacterial Risk: Raw meat can carry bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli.

●      Cost: High-quality raw ingredients can be expensive.

Homemade Dog Food


●      Control: You can control the ingredients, and quality and avoid allergens.

●      Customization: Diets can be tailored to specific health needs or preferences.


●      Complexity: Formulating a balanced homemade diet requires research and consultation.

●      Time: Preparing homemade meals can be time-consuming.

●      Cost: Depending on ingredients, homemade diets can be more expensive.

Dog Nutritional Needs

Dog Nutritional Needs

Regardless of the type of food, it is important that a dog’s diet meets their nutritional needs. Dogs need a balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to thrive. Here’s a rundown of these essential nutrients:


Proteins are the body’s building blocks, for the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues. High-quality protein sources are meat, fish, eggs, and certain plant-based proteins.


Fats provide energy, support cell function, and help with fat-soluble vitamin absorption. Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are important for healthy skin and coat and cognitive function.


Carbohydrates provide energy and can be a source of fibre which helps with digestion. Dogs can survive on a low-carb diet, but carbohydrates from whole grains, vegetables and fruits are nutritious.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are important for various bodily functions, bone health, immune support and metabolic processes. A balanced diet should have all the necessary vitamins and minerals in the right amounts.

Special Diets

Certain health conditions or life stages may require special diets. Here are a few examples:


Puppies need a diet that supports their rapid growth and development. Puppy food has higher protein, fat and certain vitamins and minerals than adult dog food.

Senior Dogs

As dogs age, their nutritional needs change. Senior dog food has reduced calories to prevent weight gain and joint-supporting supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.

Allergies and Sensitivities

Some dogs have food allergies or sensitivities that require special diets. Common allergens are beef, chicken, dairy and grains. Hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diets can manage these conditions.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions like kidney disease, diabetes or gastrointestinal issues may require a specific diet. Always consult with a vet to determine the best diet for dogs with health issues.


Optimal health for dogs involves many factors, including the type of dog bowl used and the food provided. By choosing the right bowl, whether stainless steel, ceramic, plastic, or elevated, you can influence your dog’s eating habits and hygiene. And providing a balanced diet that meets all the nutritional needs, whether through dry kibble, wet food, raw diets, or homemade meals is crucial for a dog’s overall health and well-being.

Knowing the nutritional needs and special diets for dogs at different life stages or with specific health conditions helps you make informed decisions. Regular consultations with a vet will give you personalized advice and ensure your dog’s diet supports their health, happiness and longevity. By paying attention to these details you can contribute to your dog’s optimal health and quality of life.

Author Bio Mike Col is the founder of Pawfect Bowls, dedicated to providing expert advice on dog nutrition, care, and training. With a deep passion for dogs and years of experience in pet care, Mike aims to help dog owners make informed decisions to ensure their pets lead happy and healthy lives.

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