Option #1- Consider Raised Bowls
There are many dogs who could have difficulty getting the last bits of food out of a bowl when it is placed on the floor. Specifically, very large or very small dogs, as well as canines who suffer from arthritis or other health problems could find doing so challenging. You will also note that some raised bowl systems have the option of elevating to different heights. That allows you the opportunity to truly customize their food consumption to their specific needs if health conditions pose the need for future height changes.
It is helpful to remember that both deep-chested and giant dogs are often at a higher risk of developing bloat. In recent years, there has been some controversy over whether or not raised bowls contribute to the potentially lethal problem of bloating in dogs. Specifically, research at Purdue University some years ago that found a connection between the two, is now regarded as potentially flawed with the related chance of inaccurate data.
As a result, it is a good idea to discuss the issue with your veterinarian. If doing so is not an option right now, consider how uncomfortable it must be to have to eat off of the floor and choose accordingly.
Option #2- Choose (and Use) The Safest Bowls
In many ways, plastic seems to have changed much of the way that food is prepared, served and stored. It is an affordable and easy to clean option that is lighter-weight than other options and you would be hard-put to find many modern kitchens that don’t use plastic somewhere.
In theory, plastic is perfect…except when it’s not. If you have enjoyed the option of running your dog’s bowl through the dishwasher each week and knowing that your puppy’s scratches on the plastic are no big deal…you need to learn about BPA and other dangers of plastic.
Those little scratches and bite marks on the plastic? Bacteria can find a home in those tiny areas and unfortunately, cannot always be removed by either washing it by hand or using the dishwasher. In addition, the temperature of the dishwasher can contribute to the damage of the bowl, releasing the next little unwanted gift from plastic.
Plastics are now thought to release harmful chemicals like, Bisphenol A, which is known in many circles as BPA. It has worried many people because of its presence in baby bottles and lidded cups, but the same plastic is often used to make your dog’s bowls. Therefore, you should know that BPA is considered by the Environmental Working Group as a dangerous substance with the potential for extensive harm…so there is no reason to expose your dog to BPA.
When in doubt, and unless your veterinarian says otherwise, consider the use of a stainless steel or other safe material for your next dog bowl. You can still dress it up with their name, safely, and it is dishwasher safe. Even the most destructive puppy would probably find it hard to bite holes in stainless steel. Of course, some dogs do not like stainless steel, which leads you to investigate your other options.
Option #3-Know What Bowls To Avoid
So, you know to avoid plastic and your stubborn, but lovable dog refuses stainless steel. It can be veryilluminating to walk down the aisle of your local pet store and see the different unsafe options they have available.
For instance, “shatter-proof “glass bowls would be a great idea if the “shatter-proof” claim has been tested against angry puppies, hungry dogs, and other cantankerous canines. Until then, it is likely to be a good idea to avoid any material that could break into many pieces when your industrious dog figures out a way to move it nearer the stairs or off of a cabinet.
If you do decide to use a glass or ceramic dog bowl, there are two or three important words that you should see on the bowl, its packaging or both. If you do not see them, do not use it. The words “Free of Lead” “Lead-free” or some version thereof, can have an enormous impact on the health and life of your pet.
Unfortunately, some companies that produce beautiful and cheap animal accessories, like bowls, are based in other countries. Some countries permit lead in some items and lead poisoning is a very real risk for dogs of any size, age and health.
Option #4-Consider Bamboo as a Safe and Hygienic Option
Bamboo is a fun, affordable and sustainable alternative to stainless steel. If you use it, it is a good idea to be sure of where it was made and to verify that no insecticides or pesticides were used in its construction. If they were, there is the possibility of it leaking out during use and washing, so just be careful to buy the right types of bamboo. Fortunately, bamboo rarely needs the help of artificial insecticides, as it can do that task by itself.
Bamboo is easy to grow and needs no extra cultivation, so it is consistently a cheap alternative. It is very strong and naturally resistant to smells and mildew, which you will appreciate it when you find the missing dog bowl under the couch two weeks after you replaced it. Bamboo is an environmentally responsible choice because it produces oxygen in large amounts, much like trees and will break down entirely when eventually it is tossed into a landfill.
They look like any other dog bowl and present with a smooth surface. They would be perfect and recommended strongly, along with stainless steel if they were more easily available. Unfortunately, stainless steel bowls are still easier to find than bamboo bowls, so bamboo is still a bit of a work-in-progress.
In conclusion, offering the right dog bowl can impact your dog’s ability and desire to eat and drink appropriate, healthy amounts of food and water. Therefore, it only makes sense that the bowls should be made of a safe material that will stand the test of time and allow dogs of any size or health to eat and drink.