Which slow-feed dog bowl is best?
Some dogs take their time savoring their meals, while others seemingly inhale their food in mere seconds. If your dog fits into the second category, a slow-feed bowl is a great option to help slow down their eating.
Slow-feed dog bowls have a series of ridges to prevent dogs from eating too quickly, forcing them to slow down and eat around the obstacles. There are many great options on the market, including the Neater Pet Brands Slow Feed Bowl, which is made from stainless steel, so it’s durable and easy to clean.
What to know before you buy a slow-feed dog bowl
Plastic is the most common material for slow-feed dog bowls because it can be easily molded into any shape. This allows for more elaborate ridge patterns to help stop dogs from rushing through their meals. However, plastic bowls require diligent cleaning because their porous surfaces are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria. They’re also unsuitable for dogs who will chew their bowl because they don’t stand up to the wear and tear.
Both stainless steel and glazed ceramic slow-feed bowls are chew proof and aren’t as prone to bacteria build-up. However, they’re trickier to make into complex shapes, so they normally feature just a single central bump. This slows dogs down a little, but it isn’t enough to deter the most determined food bolters.
Slow-feed dog bowls can have different internal ridge patterns from simple bumps to spirals to flower shapes. Some ridge patterns are more effective than others, but it can be hard to tell just by looking at them. It also depends on each dog as what works for one dog may not work as well for another, especially considering differences in dog physiology.
The size and food capacity for a slow-feed bowl will vary depending on the dog. Large dogs generally need larger bowls since small bowls won’t hold enough food for them. Although small dogs technically can use large slow feeder bowls, the ridge spacing will be wider, making it easier for them to get to the food, defeating the purpose of a slow-feed bowl.
What to look for in a quality slow-feed dog bowl
Dogs who get frustrated with their slow-feed bowl may learn to tip it over to spill their food out in order to eat their food off of the floor. If you’ve had this issue with your dog before, look for a bowl that’s naturally heavy or that has a weighted anti-tip base.
If you feed your dog on a hard floor, choose a bowl with rubber non-slip feet so it won’t slide all over the floor as they try to eat.
Although the color of your dog’s food bowl doesn’t impact the quality, you can usually choose between several color options.
Cost of slow-feed dog bowls
Most slow-feed dog bowls cost somewhere between $10-$35, depending on size, design, material and overall quality.
Slow-feed dog bowl FAQ
Are slow-feeder bowls good for dogs?
A. Although not all dogs need slow-feed bowls, they’re great for the dogs who eat fast. When dogs eat their food too quickly, they tend to gulp in a lot of air at the same time.
This contributes to gastric torsion or bloat, especially for dogs prone to this condition Left untreated, bloat can be fatal, so it’s important to do what you can to slow down your dog’s eating. Additionally, dogs who eat too quickly do not fill up on their food and could beg for more, which can ultimately lead to weight gain.
Can I put wet food in a slow feed dog bowl?
A. Some slow-feed dog bowls are better suited to wet food than others. As long as your dog can reach their tongue into all the nooks and crannies of a slow feeder, then it’s suitable for wet food. If there are areas that are tricky to reach, food can get stuck there, so you’ll need to clean the bowl thoroughly after each meal.
What’s the best slow-feed dog bowl to buy?
Top slow-feed dog bowl
What you need to know: This durable stainless steel bowl is perfect for dogs who chew plastic bowls or owners who want to avoid plastics.
What you’ll love: The non-slip base is great for use on hard floors. It’s dishwasher safe and available in various sizes. It also fits in standard raised feeders.
What you should consider: This bowl doesn’t slow dogs down as much as bowls with more elaborate ridges.
Top slow-feed dog bowl for the money
What you need to know: An affordable slow-feed dog bowl that’s great for small dogs, though a larger option is also available.
What you’ll love: The ridges are well-spaced to slow dogs down. It is available in several colors and ridge patterns, and it works with wet and dry food.
What you should consider: The bowl could be more durable overall.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Honorable mention slow-feed bowl
What you need to know: There’s something for all dogs here, with a great selection of sizes and ridge patterns available.
What you’ll love: This bowl is safe for dogs as it’s free from BPA, PVC and phthalates. It’s dishwasher safe for easier cleaning, and it has a non-slip base.
What you should consider: Some of the ridge patterns are more effective than others.
Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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