You might think , “what can be so different about pet food bowls?” Actually, a lot.
There are basically three types of pet bowl, based on the material of which they are made:
1) Stainless steel 2) Ceramic and 3) Plastic.
The difference is in how easy it is to thoroughly clean the bowl and the degree to which stubborn bacteria can stay on the surface.
At my house – where we have multiple cats and one (very spoiled) Chihuahua—all of our pets get their food out of stainless steel or ceramic bowls. We avoid using bowls made of plastic. Why? For a number of reasons.
Plastic bowls can be hard to get clean
Bowls should be washed DAILY – in the dishwasher if you have one. Bowls made of ceramic and stainless steel clean up better and are NOT porous like plastic. Small ridges and grooves in plastic bowls can trap bacteria. Plus they can bend and lose their shape over time.
Bacteria can cause chin acne
Bacteria levels on plastic pet food bowls are thought to be a leading cause of chin acne in dogs and cats. Chin acne is similar to human acne, but can be very itchy and painful to pets. For this reason, many veterinarians recommend using food bowls made of ceramic or stainless steel.
More durable bowls last longer
Plastic bowls are not as durable as ceramic bowls so they will not last as long. If you have children – or are concerned about breakage, choose stainless steel bowls over ceramic. If you are concerned about bowls sliding on the floor, look for stainless steel and ceramic bowls with a RUBBER BOTTOM.
Prices for pet food bowls at my stores vary based on the SIZE of the bowl. For stainless steel DOG food / water bowls, the cost varies from about $6.98 for small to $16.98 for extra-large. (Prices may vary based on selection.) For ceramic you will pay between $5.98 and $14.98, and for plastic from about $2.98 to $10.98. CAT food / water bowls made of stainless steel run from about $4.98 to $5.98, bowls made of ceramic cost from $5.98 to $10.98, and plastic ones are $2.48 to $8.98. Keep in mind that stainless steel bowls will last forever so they may be worth the few extra dollars.