Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Food and Water bowls

There's a great variety to choose from when it comes to bowls for your dog.

  • Material?
    • Dog bowls can be made from plastic, glass and metal.  The common view is to avoid plastic as it can be difficult to clean and become a place for bacterial growth.  Glass and pottery bowls are often beautiful and can be easily cleaned.  Of course, they are also breakable, so if you have a dog that likes to carry his food bowl around with him, they are not a good option.  Metal bowls also are easy to clean.  Check to be sure the metal is stainless steel as other metals can leach into the food and water.
  • Raised or on the floor?
    • Years ago, all dog bowls were placed on the floor.  Then it became popular to raise them, particularly for dogs that are subject to bloat--a condition where the stomach flips and causes blockage leading to sudden death. Dogs with deep chests and narrow waists, nervous dogs, food gulpers and dogs fed once daily also may have an increased likelihood of bloat.  Dogs engaging in a moderate amount of exercise are less likely to bloat.  Current research is finding that raised food bowls are actually more likely to cause bloat and these feeders are now not suggested unless recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Slow Bowls?
    • Slow bowls have some sort of obstacle or raised surface which makes it difficult for the dog to gulp down his food.  They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  The plastic ones are quite difficult to clean well for the same reasons they are good at trapping the food and encouraging slow eating. The best metal bowls are made of one piece, which lessens the likelyhood of traped and decaying food.
  • Other options for slowing down the food intake taken from Tricks for Slowing Down Dog's Eating
    • Use a puzzle feeder or treat release toy
    • Serve your dog his meals on a cookie sheet
    • Use a muffin tin
    • Turn mealtime into training time
    • Play hide-and-seek with his food.
    • Turn the bowl upside down
    • Feed two or more smaller meals a day, rather than one large meal
    • Hand feed your dog

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