What Types of Dog Bowls Are There?

Filed in Dog Products by on September 4, 2021

What Types of Dog Bowls Are There

Are you wanting to learn about the different types of dog bowls available?

Your furry friend needs lots of fresh water and tasty meals to keep them happy and healthy. And you, naturally, only want the best for your pup pal.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss the different types of dog bowls to help you choose the best one for your dog.

Different Types of Dog Bowls

As far as material, you can buy dog bowls made from plastic, ceramic, stainless steel, glass or silicone.

Additionally, you can buy dog bowls by their function such as travel, spill-proof, or slow-feed.

I discuss all of these plus pros and cons worth considering when you’re trying to choose the best type for your pet.

Plastic Canine Dishes

Undoubtedly extremely easy to find, but how does the quality of plastic dog bowls compare to their quantity?


  • You can find plastic bowls at many stores, including drug stores, grocery stores, and dollar stores.
  • Plastic bowls are very inexpensive.
  • Your dog won’t likely break a plastic dog bowl, no matter how much they knock it around.


  • Unfortunately, even though plastic bowls are relatively durable, you still need to replace them often. They scratch easily, and harmful bacteria can form in these minor nicks and cracks.
  • Another potential downside of plastic bowls is they can pose a danger if your dog is a big chewer. If your pup bites off a hunk of plastic, it can end up causing injury.
  • You need to check that plastic bowls are BPA-free. Many contain harmful chemicals that can make their way into your dog’s food, leading to severe health problems.
  • Your dog could have an allergic reaction to some different types of plastic.

Ceramic Canine Dishes

If you want a unique and more decorative dog bowl, ceramic bowls come in a variety of colors and styles.


  • Unlike plastic bowls, ceramic bowls don’t easily scratch, plus they are non-porous and super easy to clean. You can even wash many of them in the dishwasher unless they feature a decorative glaze.
  • Thanks to the diverse designs, ceramic bowls are the perfect way to show your pup’s personality.


  • If your dog is a rough eater, ceramic bowls might not be the best choice. If they get knocked around too much, they could end up chipping.
  • Once a bowl chips, you need to toss it for your dog’s safety. Bacteria can grow in the cracks, but also your dog could cut themself or even swallow tiny shards.
  • Ceramic bowls have a bit of weight to them. This is good for preventing tipping, but it can get heavy to handle if you need a large size.
  • These bowls tend to be on the pricier side.

Stainless Steel Dishes

Stainless Steel Bowls

For some of the most durable, long-lasting, and healthiest dog bowls for your pup, check out stainless steel options. I compare stainless steel with ceramic dog bowls in another blog post.


  • They are easy to clean and non-porous (which discourages bacteria).
  • Stainless steel bowls are virtually unbreakable and very durable, so built to last long.
  • Many feature a rubber ring on the bottom that keeps the bowl in place, like the Yeti Dog Bowl. If you have a dog that loves to knock their dish around, this is the bowl for you.
  • Stainless steel bowls look attractive.


  • Stainless steel bowls have very few downsides. Perhaps, the only real disadvantage is you’re somewhat limited on choosing colors and various designs. But for all the benefits you get, this seems a small price to pay.
  • Some can be expensive, but since they last long, over time it is worth the value.
  • Some stainless steel bowls do feature an enamel coating that adds a dash of color. Just ensure you find one with a heavy-duty enamel that doesn’t wear off easily. Otherwise, you need to toss the bowl, so your pup doesn’t start ingesting the enamel.

Glass Canine Dishes

Another option for a pretty dog dish is a glass bowl; if your dog is a mild eater.


  • You can clean glass dog bowls easily, especially since most all of them are dishwasher-safe.
  • Glass bowls are non-porous, so they won’t hang on to bacteria.
  • They come in a variety of styles and are reasonably sturdy.


  • A basic glass bowl will be affordable, but many feature higher price tags.
  • Although sturdy, glass is glass, and if your dog knocks around their dish, it will likely break.
  • This last point is pretty uncommon, but you need to be careful where you position a glass bowl. If it’s near a window or you keep it outside, it could spark a fire. If the sun’s rays hit it just right, certain nearby items could go aflame.

Silicone Canine Dishes

Silicone dog bowls come in various colors and styles. Many are collapsible, while some feature a built-in silicone mat.


  • Silicone dog bowls are lightweight, making them ideal for on-the-go use.
  • They’re easy to clean and won’t break if your dog knocks them around.
  • You can find silicone dog bowls in tons of colors.


  • Silicone bowls are geared more toward temporary use.
  • If your dog likes to chew, even a little bit, this bowl isn’t a good fit.

Other Types of Canine Dishes

In addition to the different dog bowl materials, you can also find several bowls designed for special situations. There are elevated, automatic, travel, spill-proof, and slow-feed bowls as well. Learn about them here:

Elevated Canine Dishes

Has your dog been struggling with gastrointestinal problems? Well, getting your pooch an elevated dog bowl could help solve the problem!


  • It helps minimize arthritis symptoms in older dogs by reducing the distance your dog has to bend to get food and drink.
  • It makes it easier for your dog to swallow food and prevent gastrointestinal problems from occurring.
  • It prevents joint pain and discomfort by reducing the distance large and medium dogs travel to get their food.
  • It’s easy for people with physical disabilities to feed their dogs, thanks to the elevated positioning.


  • If your dog is a fast eater, this bowl style isn’t good for them as their stomach can bloat and cause gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).
  • If you have an older dog, it might be hard to train them to eat from an elevated bowl due to the new way of feeding.
  • Some elevated bowls are made with fragile materials, which can make them easier to damage.

Automatic Canine Dishes

If you lead a busy lifestyle and have to get up in the morning early, then using an automatic dog bowl could be very beneficial.


  • The food is stored in a container, which means there is less chance of pests gathering around food.
  • It provides smaller portioned meals more frequently, which helps you manage your dogs’ weight more efficiently.
  • Due to its larger size, these bowls reduce the chance of the food bowl being knocked over and spilling across the floor.


  • They’re usually pretty expensive compared to more traditional bowls, which can price people out of the market.
  • Bad sensors can mean food will continue to dispense even if there is food left uneaten.
  • If power is lost or the battery fails, the food dispenser won’t function, which can result in missed meals.
  • Cleaning the automatic bowls is a lot harder and requires dissembling the feeder completely.
  • If you have multiple pets, there is no way to monitor which dog is eating the food.
  • The dispensing action is loud, which can disrupt sensitive dogs when they’re feeding.

Travel Canine Dishes

Pup with Collapsible Dog Bowl

Do you like to take your canine companion with you on trips or just for an outing around the neighborhood? If so, it’s essential to ensure your pup stays hydrated, so a travel dog bowl is a must.

These bowls come in tons of styles, including collapsible, fabric, and more. You can opt for a stainless steel bowl with a lid to keep water from sloshing around when you’re on the move. Or there are even water jugs that have a removable bottom that doubles as a dog bowl.

Collapsible versions come with both fabric and silicone sides. And if you’re undertaking a long car trip, you can find slanted dishes that fit perfectly on a car seat.

Spill-Proof Dishes

Does your dog play in their food dish, splash in the water bowl, and turn every mealtime into playtime? Trust me; I get it. Dogs aren’t always the neatest eaters. If this sounds like your pooch, then a spill-proof bowl is a must.

Some feature non-skid bottoms to help keep them in place, while others use a special stand to hold the bowls. Need help deciding? I’ve rounded up the top 11 spill-proof bowls, so you can easily find one that works best for your pup.

Slow-Feed Dishes

You might pass by some of these bowls at first; some of them don’t look very bowl-like. Slow-feed bowls typically feature a series of raised areas or nooks and crannies.

This purposeful design is to make your pup work a little harder to get to their food.

When this happens, it forces Fido to slow down, which can be very helpful for preventing several issues. For example, when a pup eats too fast, it can lead to gastrointestinal problems, choking, and other conditions.

Plus, a speedy eater is usually a messy eater. Therefore, a slow-feed bowl can spare your floors the spills.


Now that you’ve gotten a rundown of the different dog bowls available, you can select your favorite.

No matter what style you choose, always make sure to clean your dog’s bowls with warm, soapy water. Plus, inspect them regularly for any scratches or damage and replace them as needed.

What’s your go-to dog bowl for your furry friend? Let me know in the comments below.

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