The Ultimate Dog Bowl Guide: Food, Water & Accessories

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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 overeat, while nearly all breeds make quite a mess while they eat and drink. Depending on your dog’s size and eating habits, a special dog dish may help it eat more comfortably and safely.

Best Dog Bowls By Category

We’ve reviewed various dog dishes to help you find the best fit for your pup. Does your dog eat too fast? Does he or she make a huge mess? Our reviews include the best dog water bowl, food bowl, slow feed dog bowl reviews, and small and large dog bowls.

Article Overview

Best Dog Food Bowls

Best Basic: Mlife Stainless Steel Dog Bowl (Set of 2)

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

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? 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, although your pet probably doesn’t need to eat 12 times a day! The portion can range from 1/8 cup for 4 cups.

There is also a Slow Feed Mode that dispenses meals larger than 1/8 cup over a 15 minute period to keep your pet from eating too fast.

Pros

Cons

  • Pet is always scheduled to eat on time
  • BPA-free
  • Holds up to 24 cups of food
  • Dispenses 1/8 to 4 cups of food per portion
  • Runs on batteries
  • Works with semi-moist foods too
  • Dependable
  • 1-year warranty
  • Power adapter must be purchased separately
  • Expensive

Pricing

See This Automatic Pet Feeder In Action

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

Elevated: Suncast Elevated Feeding Tray Review

Suncast Elevated Feeding TrayView on Amazon

Raised dog food bowls and dog bowl stands save not only your dog’s neck but also your back. If your dog has a dog food bowl stand, neither of you have to bend over as far to reach the container. Your canine will love having its food closer to its height, and you can refill and wash the stainless steel containers easily. (Product 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 under the tray
  • Includes two 8″ stainless steel, removable, dishwasher-safe bowls
  • Not super sturdy

Pricing & Tech Specs

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 them 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 or her 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 four cups of food
  • BPA-free
  • Confusing for some dogs

Pricing

Personalized

View on Amazon

If you’d like to personalize your dog’s food bowl with his or her name on it or some other element, check out this 3D printed dog bowl that can be completely customized for your pet. (Bowls will also work well for cats.)

Pricing

Best Dog Water Bowls

Filtered Water Bowl: IRIS Pet Water Fountain Review

IRIS Pet Water FountainView on Amazon

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

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 two 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 Water Bowl: Petmate Pet Cafe Waterer Review

Petmate Pet Cafe Pet WatererView on Amazon

This dog water dispenser has a gravity feed design to dispense 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 difficult to clean.

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 Water Bowl: K&H Manufacturing Thermal-Bowl Review

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

If your pup is outside during the winters, 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.

This is the ideal heated dog bowl for pets who spend a lot of time outside. 

Pros

Cons

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

Pricing

Best Pet Bowl Accessories

Collapsible Dog Bowl: 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. The bowl is ideal for you if you need to give your pup food or water on the go.

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 that is compact so it doesn’t take up much space when traveling.

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
  • Does not hold much (only 5″ wide x 2″ deep)

Pricing & Tech Specs

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 move all over the house when they are eating? Sounds like they need a mat to keep her bowl in place. This dog bowl mat is made out of silicone and is easy to clean.

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

The photo pictured is of my dog’s setup. She likes to lick her food bowl clean and it can end up in the middle of the room sometimes. Ever since we started using the mat, the bowl stays in place.

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

It never fails, every time your dog goes over to their food they make a mess and the bowl ends up halfway across the room. That’s probably why you’re looking for a spill-proof (and slide-proof) dog bowl and mat set.

The two removable, no-spill containers 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 what your dog’s needs are to choose from the best dog food bowls. Does he or she need something to help keep the dish in place? Are they outside and need water to keep from turning to ice? Ask yourself these questions and more.

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 do choose to change your dog’s food to something new, that you’ll want to transition food slowly to ensure your dog doesn’t get sick.

Or maybe you are considering a fun alternative to water to jazz things up for your pup? Learn which drinks are unsafe for your canine companion, but also take the time to find some drinks for dogs that may be new to you (dog wine??).

Don’t forget that dog food can go stale, so make sure you have a good storage container.

What are your dog’s eating habits?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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