The Ultimate Dog Bowl Guide: Food, Water & Accessories

3 slow dog food bowls (Caption: Ultimate Dog Bowl Guide)Yes, the food you put in your dog’s bowl matters. But so does the bowl you use. Some breeds tend to eat too quickly, while others make quite a mess while eating food and drinking water. Depending on your dog’s size and eating habits, a special dog dish may help them eat more comfortably and safely.

Best Dog Bowls By Category

Best Dog Food Bowls

Basic: Mlife Stainless Steel Dog Bowls

Mlife Stainless Steel Dog BowlView on Amazon

Are you looking for a no-frills, traditional bowl for your pet? This set of two stainless steel bowls are scratch and rust-resistant, so they’ll withstand the test of time. The removable rubber base reduces scratches on the floor and keeps the bowl from sliding around while eating.

It comes in four different sizes so that you can find the best one for your pup. They stack for easy storage and are dishwasher safe. For under $15, you can’t beat the value of these bowls. Plus, if you and your pet don’t love them, they’ll give you your money back!

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable
  • 4 sizes available
  • Safe for wet or dry food and water
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Long-lasting
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Some report difficult to clean and low quality

Pricing

  • Set of 2 starts at: $9.99

Automatic Feeder: PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic Feeder Review

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Automatic FeederView on Amazon

Are you away from home when your dog needs feeding? Or maybe you want to space out several small meals throughout the day. This automatic pet feeder is the solution for you to feed your dog or cat while you’re away.

You can schedule up to 12 meals a day with this feeder. The portion can range from 1/8 cup to four cups. A Slow Feed Mode also dispenses meals larger than 1/8 cup over 15 minutes to keep your pet from eating too fast.

Pros

Cons

  • BPA-free
  • Holds up to 24 cups of food
  • Wireless (runs on 4 D batteries)
  • Works with semi-moist foods too
  • 1-year warranty
  • Power adapter must be purchased separately
  • More expensive
  • Not ideal for dogs who eat fresh dog food

Pricing

See The PetSafe Automatic Pet Feeder In Action (Video)

See the Slow Feed Mode in action with Rocco testing it in the video below.

Elevated: Suncast Feeding Tray Review

Suncast Elevated Feeding TrayView on Amazon

Raised dog food bowls in a dog bowl tray help your dog’s neck and posture when eating. Your canine will love having his food closer to its height, and you can refill and wash the stainless steel containers easily. (This bowl can also be used for cats.)

The only con we could find is that the stand isn’t the most sturdy. However, most reviews we read from customers stated the raised dog bowls were still worth the additional cost.

Pros

Cons

  • Legs store away under the tray
  • Includes 2, 8″ stainless steel, removable, dishwasher-safe bowls
  • Not super sturdy

Pricing

Slow Feeder: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Review

Outward Hound Fun FeederView on Amazon

Does your dog inhale its food before you’re even finished pouring it? Slow him eating down with this slow feed dog bowl. This slow-eating dog bowl is designed like a maze for your dog’s food.

Not only do these bowls slow your dog down, but they also prevent him from bloating, regurgitating, and overeating. This dish holds up to four cups of dog food and is the best slow-feed dog bowl.

Our dog eats so fast that he chokes himself, so we got this bowl to slow him down. He now eats at a normal pace, and the dog trainer also told us that it is will help to tire out his super active puppy brain! Win-win. – Michelle S., Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Holds 4 cups of food
  • BPA-free
  • Confusing for some dogs

Pricing

Personalized Bowls

View on Amazon

If you’d like to personalize your dog’s food bowl with his name on it or some other phrase, check out this 3D printed dog bowl that can be completely customized for your pet. (Bowls will also work for cats.) The font can be printed in three different fonts and one of five colors.

Pricing

Best Dog Water Bowls

Filtered: IRIS Pet Water Fountain Review

IRIS Pet Water FountainView on Amazon

Your pet deserves the best. That’s why you should get your dog his very own water fountain, supplying a steady stream of fresh, filtered water. Place the pump inside the chamber, add the filter, fill it with water, and plugin to start serving filtered water that helps prevent urinary and digestive disorders. Learn more in our dog water fountain reviews.

Pros

Cons

  • BPA-free
  • 11-foot long cord
  • Modern, quiet design
  • Holds up to 5 1/2 cups of water
  • Provides continuously clean water
  • Comes in 2 colors (blue or white)
  • Filter catches hair and other particles
  • Must replace charcoal filters every 2-4 weeks (one included, additional filters sold separately)
  • Requires electricity outlet to operate

Pricing

Automatic: Petmate Pet Cafe Waterer Review

Petmate Pet Cafe Pet WatererView on Amazon

This dog water dispenser has a gravity feed design for dispensing the water for your pet without spilling or overflowing the dish. This dog water bowl is inexpensive, and it performs well, which is why it’s our pick for the best automatic dog water bowl. Bonus – it was designed in the USA.

The only downside we found is that it can be challenging to clean. If you’re away from home for long periods or have a thirsty dog, this water bowl is ideal for you.

Pros

Cons

  • Holds 3 gallons of water
  • Non-skid rubber feet keep it in place
  • Easy to refill
  • BPA-free
  • No leaking
  • Not the easiest to clean

Pricing

Heated: K&H Manufacturing Thermal-Bowl Review

K&H Manufacturing Thermal-Bowl Heated Water BowlView on Amazon

If your pup is outside during colder months, this is the pet water dispenser for you. This bowl keeps water from freezing, even at -20°F. The 5’6″ electrical cord is chew-resistant for your pet’s safety. The Thermal Bowl is energy efficient, using only 25 watts of energy.

Pros

Cons

  • Difficult to add an extension cord since most are not weather resistant and/or pet safe

Pricing

Best Pet Bowl Accessories

Collapsible: Comsun Collapsible Dog Bowl Review

Comsun 2-pack Collapsible Dog BowlView on Amazon

This collapsible dog bowl can hold food or water on the go. The bowl is made of silicone, which makes it easy to wipe the bowl clean after use. Since it’s collapsible, it takes up less space for travel. Attached is a carabiner for you to hook the bowl onto a bag, your belt, or something else.

I purchased these for my dog to use when we travel or go for long runs. It’s nice to have a collapsible bowl to pour water into and something compact, so it doesn’t take up much space when traveling. – Kimberly A., Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Holds up to 12 fluid ounces or 1.5 cups of dog food
  • Made of eco-friendly material
  • BPA-free
  • Lifetime warranty and 100% money-back guarantee
  • Says not dishwasher safe and material can wear over time

Pricing

Dog Food Mat: PetFusion Pet Food Mat Review

PetFusion Pet Food Mat with waterbowl and bowl on top

View on Amazon

Does your dog’s food bowl slide all over the house when they are eating? Or maybe they make a mess, and you want to protect your floors. This dog bowl mat keeps bowls in place while keeping your home clean. It’s made out of silicone and is easy to wipe down.

The mat has anti-slip bumps on both the top and bottom sides to keep it and the bowls from moving around. It also has a raised outer lip to prevent food and water from spilling off the mat and is the best pet food mat we could find.

The photo pictured is of my dog’s setup. She likes to lick her food bowl clean, which can sometimes end up in the middle of the room. Ever since we started using the mat, the bowl has stayed in place. – Kimberly A., Canine Journal

Pros

Cons

  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Anti-slip
  • Works with elevated or regular bowls
  • The non-straight edge shape leaves a gap against the wall which may leave some spills behind the mat.

Pricing

No-Spill Pet Bowl & Mat Set: WESEN Dog Bowl With No-Spill Mat Review

Wesen Stainless Steel Dog Bowl with No Spill Non-Skid Silicone MatView on Amazon

Another option if your dog is a messy eater is a spill-proof (and slide-proof) dog bowl and mat set. This set from WESEN comes with two removable, no-spill containers that are top-shelf dishwasher-safe and rust-resistant.

The silicone mat folds in half, with the bowls collapsing inside each other for storage or transportation. There is an elevated lip around the edge of the mat that keeps spills off the floor. This set comes in two sizes, so it is likely to work for most dog sizes.

Pros

Cons

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Anti-slip
  • Aggressive eaters may be able to move the lightweight silicone and stainless steel bowls around

Pricing

How To Pick A Dog Bowl

Consider your options and make a list of your dog’s needs to choose from the best dog food bowls. Does he need something to help keep the dish in place? Are they outside and need water to keep from turning to ice? Make sure you consider all lifestyle criteria when deciding which type of bowls to buy.

What To Put In Your Dog’s Bowl

While on the hunt for the best dog food bowl, we suggest you reevaluate the food you’re feeding your dog. All-natural, grain-free, holistic, raw diets, and dog food from big-name companies like Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo are all options you’ll want to consider.

Keep in mind that if you choose to change your dog’s food to something new, you’ll want to transition food slowly to ensure your dog doesn’t get sick. And don’t forget that dog food can go stale, so make sure you have a suitable storage container.

What are your dog’s eating habits?