The Best Types of Dog Food Bowls

The best type of dog bowl depends on your furry friend.
i Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Your pup deserves a great bowl -- one that really is the best. There are actually a variety of dog bowl types that can qualify -- from the simple ones to the sophisticated. Choose the best bowl for your dog based on both your convenience and your dog's needs.

Basic Dog Bowls

Basic dog bowls are exactly what they sound like: simple bowls made from plastic, ceramic or stainless steel. These bowls will vary widely in size, so select a bowl that is appropriate for your dog. For example, the teacup poodle will need a far smaller bowl than a Great Dane. Ideally, a basic dog bowl should be large enough to hold your dog's daily food ration exactly. If you feed your pet three cups of dry food daily, a three-cup capacity bowl would be helpful since that would help eliminate the need to measure food out. Basic bowls are best if you're looking for a simple and cost-effective dog bowl, since they are generally cheaper than other bowl types. Basic stainless steel or ceramic bowls are also the easiest to clean, and are the most sanitary in terms of resisting bacteria.

Bowls for Fast Eaters

Some dogs eat so quickly that they are virtually inhaling it, and this can lead to some health issues. Eating too fast can cause gastrointestinal upset, stomach problems and even bloat -- a potentially deadly stomach swelling that can include intestinal twisting. Bloat is most common in large, deep-chested breeds, but can happen to any size dog. If your dog is one of these fast eaters, a specially designed bowl can be the best choice. These bowls are generally made from plastic, but may be any material, and have built-in obstacles that force the dog to eat around them. Because the dog has to eat more slowly and carefully to access the food, these bowls are best for overly speedy eaters, as they very effectively slow them down.

Elevated Bowls

Elevated dog bowls are especially helpful for large breed dogs who would need to bend down to access food bowls on the ground. By choosing an elevated bowl, which are normally detachable bowls that are built into a stand, your dog will be able to eat more comfortably. This can also help minimize the amount of air that your dog ingests as he eats. Too much air ingested could contribute to bloat or other gastrointestinal issues, so an elevated feeder can be best for your dog's health and happiness.

Automatic Feeder Bowls

If you can't be there to feed your dog at the same time each day, you may prefer an automatic feeder bowl. These bowls are actually part of a large auto-feeder device. At selected intervals, the automatic feeder will dispense the proper amount of food into the bowl. This type of bowl may also be helpful if you don't have a lot of time, since all the measuring and dispensing of food are taken care of for you. These bowls are best if feeding at a certain time each day is essential or if you need a feeder that saves time.

the nest