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Pros and Cons of Different Dog Bowl Materials

Pros and Cons of Different Dog Bowl Materials

When it comes to being a pet parent, you take on all sorts of responsibilities. You need to gather a whole lot of pet supplies to take care of your dog the best you can. Your dog needs things like food, toys, a leash and collar, a crate, and dog bowls, just to name a few of the top items on your puppy checklist. Then, you have to think about what the best options are in each of these categories. Even something that seems simple, like a dog bowl, comes in a bunch of different styles, and some are better than others.


Here's a look at five popular dog bowls, including ceramic, glass, stainless steel, plastic, and silicone, along with the pros and cons of each.


Ceramic Dog Bowls

Ceramic Dog Bowls


Ceramic and stoneware bowls come in a variety of sizes and designs and can provide some of the most decorative options.




  • Ceramic bowls are easy to clean, non-porous, won't hold on to bacteria, and relatively sturdy. Many are dishwasher-safe, but you have to check the cleaning instructions. Some bowls may feature a glaze that is better off with handwashing.

  • You can find ceramic bowls in many colors and sizes, featuring a variety of designs. Therefore, they're a great way to show off your pup's style, as well as match your home’s decor.




  • Ceramic bowls can crack or chip if subjected to a lot of abuse. Therefore, if your pup's an overly rambunctious eater, it might not be the best choice. Once your dog's dish gets chipped or has a crack, you need to toss it. You don't want your precious pup to end up cutting his mouth or sustaining some other type of injury. Plus, tiny cracks open up the door to nasty bacteria.

  • Because of the decorative aspects of these bowls, they can tend to get pretty pricey.

  • Ceramic bowls can also be pretty heavy, especially the larger sizes (although this can help prevent tipping).

Glass Dog Bowls

Glass Dog Bowls


Glass bowls are similar to ceramic dishes in many ways, with a few exceptions.




  • Glass bowls are very easy to clean and are dishwasher safe.

  • They are non-porous and won't hold on to bacteria.

  • You can find several styles of glass bowls, and they're fairly sturdy.




  • Depending on where you shop, glass bowls can get pretty expensive. However, basic styles won’t likely break the bank.

  • Since they're made of glass, they're unsurprisingly prone to more cracks and chips. If your dog knocks their bowl around, steer clear of glass dishes.

  • If you keep a glass dish near a window or outside, it could potentially start a fire under certain conditions. The glass can concentrate the rays from the sun, igniting things like a wooden deck or nearby drapery. This isn’t highly likely, but it is a possibility, so it’s worth noting.

Stainless Steel Bowls in a Neater Feeder

Stainless Steel Dog Bowls


Stainless steel dog bowls are the best dish you can get for your pup because they offer the ultimate in ease, health, and safety.



  • Stainless steel bowls are super easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, and non-porous.

  • These bowls won't hold on to any harmful bacteria.

  • Stainless steel bowls are extremely durable and unbreakable. If you have a dog that slaps their bowl around, then you definitely need to go with stainless steel. You won't have to worry about the bowls chipping, breaking, or cracking.

  • You can find stainless steel bowls in various sizes, and they're relatively inexpensive, especially considering all of the benefits.

  • They're lightweight. Look for bowls with non-skid rubber bottoms, or place them on a non-skid mat.




  • There really aren't many downsides to stainless steel bowls. Perhaps the only con would be you're somewhat limited when it comes to things like colors and designs. Some stainless steel bowls feature a coating on the outside to add a pop of color, but this can tend to wear away after a number of washings.


That being said, if you want to add a dash of style to your pup's mealtimes, you can always place the stainless steel bowls inside of a fun stand or feeder, like the Neater Feeder. It's the perfect way to marry form and function. Not to mention, it helps keep your floors clean, too.

Plastic Dog Bowls

Plastic Dog Bowls


These bowls are easy-to-come by but not the best when it comes to your pup. Remember, all plastic is not created equal, so it can be tricky to find the safest options.




  • Plastic bowls are accessible and inexpensive.

  • They come in a vast array of styles, colors, and sizes.

  • Your dog can knock it around for days, and it's highly unlikely to break.




  • Despite being fairly durable, plastic bowls don't last very long. This is because as soon as they develop a nick or scratch, they become harbingers of harmful bacteria.

  • If your dog's a big chewer, it's likely part of their plastic dish could end up in their stomach. Even small bits of plastic can cause some severe complications like intestinal blockage.

  • Some dogs can have allergic reactions to certain plastics.

  • Several plastics contain BPAs that can leach into your pup's food, causing possible health issues.

Silicone Dog Bowls

Silicone Dog Bowls


Silicone dog bowls are a great option for on-the-go dishes. Many collapsible and fold-up travel bowls are silicone.




  • They're easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, and convenient for travel.

  • They come in lots of colors.

  • They're relatively durable as far as being knocked around, or dropping is concerned.




  • Silicone bowls aren't a good long-term solution, so you probably don’t want to use them as an everyday dog dish.

  • Even a mild chewer can mess up a soft, silicone dish.


Other Considerations Regarding Dog Bowls


Besides the material of your dog's bowl, you have a few other things to think about too. Depending on your pup's eating habits and other factors, like age and certain health issues, you might want to think about things like slow-feed bowls or elevated feeders.


If your dog finds it painful to hang their head down to eat, an elevated feeder can offer relief. If your pup gobbles down their food faster than you can fill the dish, a slow feeder can help reduce the risk of things like vomiting or canine bloat.


It's also critical to ensure you keep your canine companion's dishes clean and don't let food and water linger in them for long periods. Taking proper care of your pet’s belongings is one of the top ways you take care of your pet.


For more helpful insight into how to care for your pup, check out the rest of our blog. Your canine companion will thank you, and you'll be an even better pet parent.

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  • Fernando Becattini