How To Choose The Best Bowls and Dishes For Your Pet
In addition to providing your pet with excellent food, what you are serving the food in and the placement of the bowl/dish can also impact his or her health.
WHAT TO AVOID
Bowls and dishes made from plastic can harbor bacteria. When ingested, the bacteria can cause issues in the digestive tract. The bacteria can also lead to skin irritations, like chin acne.
Stainless Steel from China
There have been several reports showing that stainless steel pet bowls made in China have tested positive for Radon.
Ceramic Bowls and Plates from China
While the ceramic part is fine, the glaze from products made in China may contain toxins
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
At the time of this writing, stainless steel from other countries of origin have not tested positive for radon. With stainless steel, it is important to dry thoroughly after washing, as wet bowls and plates tend to build mildew quickly.
Again, as long as the product isn't from China, it should be safe.
Glass bowls and plates clean easily
Repurposed Dishes and Bowls
Instead of buying products marketed for pets, use one for humans. Individual bowls and plates are plentiful in places like HomeGoods, Target, Crate & Barrel, etc.
Disposable Eco-Friendly Bowls
A great new product called Kleanbowl uses 100% recyclable/compostable bowls made from sugarcane fiber. It is waterproof! There is a stainless steel frame to hold the bowls in place.
Why use disposable? Because more than 45% of pet bowls contain one or more of the following germs: E. Coli, Salmonella, Staph Aureus, and yeast/mold. The Kleanbowl offers a fresh, clean bowl every time.
This product is great for dogs (for food and for water). For cats, it is best used for water. I do not recommend it for food, as the bowls are deep and may cause whisker stress.
OTHER STUFF TO KNOW
A cat's whiskers are very sensitive, which is why most cats prefer a low profile dish. Look for shallow, wide dishes. I have found that sushi plates work perfectly. For water, a large bowl (glass or ceramic) is recommended.
Food dishes should be raised so that the mouth is above the stomach when eating. This can aid in digestion. There are many options for dogs, but for cats, you may have to use your imagination. I use the Antser food trays. Solves two issues!
Be sure to wash food and water dishes/bowls well every day. And be sure that there is no soap residue left behind. Many people simply refresh water bowls, however this is not a good idea. Food particles in the mouth are often transferred to the water when a cat or dog is drinking. This can cause bacteria to grow.