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Choosing Dog Bowls – Plastic, Ceramic or Stainless Steel?

Choosing Dog Bowls | Vanillapup

Plastic, ceramic or stainless steel? This is a common question amongst dog owners when it comes to buying a dog bowl. Find out which is the safest and most practical for your dog.

Before mama had me, she always thought that stainless steel dog bowls were the worst, compared to plastic and ceramic ones.

Who can blame her? They are noisy, unappealing, and cheap-looking. Any dog that wants to feel important wouldn’t give a sniff about stainless steel.

But to her barking surprise, her research to find the best dog bowl proved that stainless steel bowls are possibly the safest option for most dogs.

What’s more, it’s actually pretty easy to combat the noise and style issue – just look for stainless steel bowl toppers with a ceramic or plastic base instead!

Don’t just take mama’s word for it though. Take a look at the pros and cons of plastic, ceramic and stainless steel bowls, and decide which type of bowls is the most suitable for your pooch:

Plastic Dog Bowls

 Pros  Cons
  • Comes in all sort of colours and designs
  • Light-weight
  • Generally affordable
  • Shatter-proof
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Scratches breed bacteria (replace regularly)
  • May cause an allergic reaction
  • Cannot come in contact with heat
  • Usage of BPA and Pthalate is unsafe (choose plastic bowls that are free from both)

Ceramic Dog Bowls

 Pros  Cons
  • Comes in designer or handcrafted styles
  • Resistant to high heat
  • Sturdy
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • If coated properly, will not breed bacteria
  • Can be more expensive
  • Prone to shatter
  • Ensure coating or paint, if used, is non-toxic and safe for consumption
  • Heavy, hence not as portable

Stainless Steel Dog Bowls

 Pros  Cons
  • Resistant to high heat
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Safe and does not breed bacteria if properly cared for
  • Clanky and unattractive
  • Though unlikely, scratches caused by abrasive cleaning tools can breed bacteria

Other things to consider

  • Always buy bowls with a non-slip base to prevent it from sliding away from your pup or toppling
  • Consider your dog’s size and breed before purchasing a bowl. Dogs with long ears will appreciate deeper and narrower bowls, while dogs with a flat face will do better with shallower bowls
  • Cater to your dog’s special needs – choose elevated bowls for senior dogs or dogs with joint problems. A slow feeder will be useful for fast eaters, while an anti-ant bowl will be great for humans with dogs who take a long time to finish their meals

Vanillapup Picks

Felli Pet Kaleido Dog Bowl / DENY Designs Ceramic Pet Bowl & Tray / FuzzYard Stainless Steel Dog Bowl / FuzzYard Elevated Double Bowl / Hagen Dogit Anti-gulp BowlBarketek Anti-ant Dog Bowl 


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Latte is the happy Westie behind Vanillapup, a website for dog lovers. Discover latest products and services, dog-friendly hangouts, helpful tips and advice, and exclusive perks.
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