Health & Wellness

What Type of Bowl is Your Dog Using?

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Say what??? What Type of Bowl is Your Dog Using? If you’re like me, you never have really even given this a passing thought!

In the past, just about all of us have let our dogs eat or drink out of any old bowl, regardless of the dog’s breed, or the type of bowl. But it has been found that it is actually important to choose appropriate bowls depending on the breed. This is why commercial bowls come in different shapes, colors, materials and sizes, and there may well be one specifically designed for the breed you own. Having different bowls per breed may actually enhance the aesthetic value of the dogs, and may also help out in breeding, believe it or not! (I’m not quite sure about that last part — could be just some advertising hype!!)

Because not all dogs are the same size and shape, some dogs will have trouble using bowls that are not right for them, and can affect their posture in a negative way. This is just one reason why choosing the right bowl for your dog is important. Here are some types of bowls and for what breeds are they for:

Dog Feeders

This is the type of bowl that is perfect for small dogs such as Chihuahuas, yorkies and poodles, because they constantly need food and cannot survive long without it. The bowls are connected to a storage compartment, which is where you place your dog’s food. Then, as the dog eats up, the food is constantly falling down to the bowl and gives a steady food supply for your dog and prevents too big or small parts from being eaten. In short – it does the job of balancing or rationing the food. Some small dogs need nearly constant food to prevent fatalities, seizures and coma. This type of bowl however, is not recommended for overweight dogs that tend to overeat.

Elevated Dog Bowls

These bowls are made to stand high and keep a dog’s back steady without hurting and possible developing problems over a long period of time. This bowl is an advantage to bigger dogs that should not strain their backs while eating. Good breeds for this type of bowl include Old English Sheepdogs, Golden Retrievers, Akitas, Belgian Shepherds, and many others. It helps them keep their posture and also prevent damage to the knees and hips.

The dogs section of says the following about the elevated bowls:

Experts believe that elevated feedings are healthier for dogs, possibly preventing gastrointestinal problems. Also, this type of bowl may be more comfortable for some dogs. If your dog tends to paw at his bowl, the stand should ideally be placed near a wall to prevent tipping. Elevated dog bowls tend to be pretty expensive, but are often considered worth the price. Some even include a compartment to store food, which can be a good or bad feature depending on your dog’s ability to cause some destruction!

However, there is a caveat here: this does NOT apply to all large breeds. There have been studies showing that the large breeds that are prone to bloating (like German Shepherds, Saint Bernards, and Great Danes) experience more symptoms if they eat from elevated dog bowls, so check out whether your large breed is prone to bloating or not. If it is, then do not feed or water him/her with elevated bowls.

Slow Feed Dog Bowls

These bowls are doughnut-shaped, with a raised flat area in the center of the bowl. The bowls are wide, and food is spread around the trough, more or less forcing dog to eat more slowly than usual. This bowl, as opposed to the elevated bowl discussed above, is for bloating-prone dogs, and dogs that eat too fast. Studies have shown how rapid eating causes bloating more often, and that slow eating prevents it. When a dog bloats, its stomach dilates too much and causes intestines to twist, leading to obstruction. Bloating is often fatal and could require emergency surgery for your dog. Because slow feed dog bowls limit your dog’s eating speed, it is a great way to minimize the risk of dog bloating.

There are more kinds of dog bowls out there, but these are the most common ones, which can be adapted for the majority of dogs. You can read about a couple of more types in the article quoted above. Just  remember that to help keep your dog healthy, you should also give some thought to the type of bowl he uses for eating and how it may affect him over the long run.

Are you like me, and somewhat surprised by these findings? I had no idea that the type of dog bowl could be that important.

Please feel free to share this information with others, or comment below.

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  1. Avatar Of Gene Larson

    Gene Larson


    I believe in the slow-feed concept. My Golden used to gobble her food down so fast that I was concerned about her. That was helped a lot with the SF bowl.

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