Finding the Perfect Dog Bowls
With your new puppy in tow, it's time to decide on some essential products, starting with bowls. Dog bowls come in a variety of materials, shapes and sizes, so which one is right for your new family member? The type of bowl you choose will depend on your dog, your lifestyle and your decor.
Ceramic Dog Bowls
Among the variety of dog bowls you'll find at your local pet store are those made of stoneware or ceramic. Unglazed stoneware, which is recommended, has a tendency to absorb water or moisture, so you'll notice a decrease in the water level even when your pup hasn't been drinking. Stoneware or ceramic dog bowls are the most aesthetically pleasing and come in a wide variety of sizes, styles and colors. They are also the most popular choice for personalized dog bowls, since they can be easily adorned with your puppy's name.
Another advantage to stoneware dog bowls is that they are heavy, so the bowl will generally stay in place while your dog is eating. Also, most stoneware dog bowls are dishwasher safe (top shelf only), making your job a bit easier. The only downside to a ceramic bowl is breakage. If your dog tends to push or flip its bowl, or if you yourself have slippery fingers, stoneware is not for you.
Plastic Dog Bowls
The most cost-effective solution is a plastic dog bowl. With the many sizes and low cost, it's a good starter option for a growing pup. Because plastic bowls are much lighter than stoneware, be sure to select one that comes with a rubber grip at the bottom, or invest in a non-skid placemat for your dog. Plastic dog bowls come in an array of colors and require little to no maintenance, as dog food tends to release easily from the slick surface. They are tough, as well, so if your dog likes to tumble its bowl, the risk of breakage is low.
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Stainless Steel Dog Bowls
Stainless steel dog bowls are the most practical for a variety of reasons. Aside from an occasional dent, they are virtually unbreakable and suffer little sign of wear. Most are either heavy enough that they don't slide or come with rubber grippers. They keep cool water cool or a warm meal warm; they're dishwasher safe; and they come in a variety of sizes. The biggest downfall is that they are not the most stunning piece of dinnerware; they are typically very plain.
Raised Dog Bowls
Elevated dog bowls are essentially an elevated shelf made of metal or wood into which the dog bowls sit so that they can be easily accessed by smaller or elderly dogs. A set such as this will be your most costly option, yet it will come to be viewed as a piece of kitchen décor.
Many are adjustable and come with varying hole circumferences, so they have some degree of flexibility to grow with your dog. Because the unit itself is often heavy, there is little worry of slippage. The dog bowls themselves may be removed for cleaning, but cleaning the unit may require a bit of extra effort.
Designer Dog Bowls
Several stores carry designer dog bowls in various collections of styles and colors. Usually, designer bowls are ceramic, since this material provides the greatest opportunity for customization, but they can be found in other materials, as well. Expect to pay for the designer label, but make sure the bowl is actually of some quality, as well.