Dogs spend a lot of time around their bowls—either eating, drinking, or hoping the bowl will be filled soon. The best dog bowl will be easy to clean, the right size to accommodate your dog's appetites, made from a safe material, and look great wherever you have your dog's feeding station set up. We spoke to multiple pet experts to hear about their favorite dog bowls.
“It’s been trial and error, finding what works for dogs,” Judy Duhr, director of Speak Rescue and Sanctuary, told The Spruce Pets. Duhr has fostered hundreds of dogs and has an average of about a dozen dogs in her home at once.
“Plastic is the worst for carrying germs, plus the dogs chew them, which means they’re out!” Duhr said. Instead, she opts for stainless steel dog bowls in her home, because they’re easy to clean and durable.
Our favorite dog bowl is Max & Neo Heavy Stainless Steel Non-Skid Dog Bowl. The deep bowl has a rim to deter splashing. Plus, it comes in four sizes and has a full silicone non-slip bottom. But there are several other dog bowls we also love that might work even better for your pooch.
Max and Neo Stainless Steel Heavy Non-Skid Dog Bowl
Full rubber non-skid bottom
Deep with a rim to deter splashing
Heavy, durable stainless steel
Tested for heavy metals
No very small sizes
Stainless steel is a popular choice because it’s easy to clean and doesn’t break. This sturdy stainless has a few extras that make it an all-around good choice for most pups.. The bowl is deep with a small rim around the edge. The rim helps prevent spills but also makes it easier for people to handle when moving the bowl around. The entire bottom is covered in non-slip to keep the bowl from sliding around when your eager pup eats.
The bowl comes in three sizes (4 cups, 6.25 cups, and 10 cups). It’s made from heavy 204-grade stainless steel and independently tested to make sure it is free of potentially dangerous heavy metals and elements like lead, mercury, and arsenic.
The bowls are thicker and heavier than similar bowls. The small weighs 9 ounces, the medium bowl weighs 16 ounces, and the large bowl weighs 1.2 pounds. Not only are you buying a product for your pet when you shop, but for every item purchased, Max & Neo donates a similar item to animal rescues.
Price at time of publish: $14
Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.8 x 14.5 inches (medium) | Volume: 32 ounces, 50 ounces, 80 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Colors: Stainless steel with rubber bottom | Dishwasher Safe? Not specified
Best for Big Dogs
Yeti Boomer 8 Dog Bowl
Made of heavy stainless steel
Lots of colors
More expensive than most
This stainless steel bowl is solid and heavy and looks like it can stand up to any dog. It’s more expensive than most, but people who own them are quite fond of them. They are very handsome and come in all sorts of colors, as well as basic stainless silver. The bottom has a recessed non-slip ring which stays in place and keeps the bowl from moving. So many others have rubber feet or a ring that can be easily chewed or can fall off.
Although it looks like it is, the bowl is not insulated. It still seems to keep water cooler than many other bowls. It’s dishwasher safe, but also very easy to wash by hand. Some people use this for camping trips and travel because it’s so durable and simple to clean.
Price at time of publish: $50
Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 3.5 inches | Volume: 32 ounces, 64 ounces | Material: Stainless steel | Colors: Black, pink, red, coral, olive, orange, navy, green, seafoam, stainless | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Best for Small Dogs
Ethical Pet Stoneware Crock Pet Dish
Sturdy and heavy
Attractive blue glaze
Can break when dropped
These attractive and heavy stoneware bowls come in several sizes, including some that are a great size for small pups. There’s one that holds 1.5 cups of food, which is likely more than enough for the little guys. It’s hard to tip over because it’s so solid and it’s easy to clean in the dishwasher.
The interior of the bowl is glazed a bright cobalt blue, which makes the water look pretty. The bowls are BPA- and lead-free. Just be careful when filling and moving it. The sides can be slick when wet and the bowl can shatter when dropped.
Price at time of publish: $8
Dimensions: 4.75 x 4.75 x 2 inches | Volume: 1.5 cups | Material: Stoneware | Colors: Blue and white | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Loving Pets Bella Non-Skid Stainless Steel Bowl
Several colors and design
Rubber base to avoid slipping
Less costly than most
Sticker is hard to remove
You can get a basic, functional bowl that looks great for just a few dollars. These Loving Pets bowls have a stainless steel interior and a colorful poly-resin exterior. They come in four sizes and several designs and colors. The bones and paw prints are cute and popular.
The bowl has a rubber base that helps keep it from sliding. You can pop it off and then clean the bowl in the dishwasher. The one complaint people have is that the company puts a sticker right in the middle of the bowl and it can be difficult to remove.
Price at time of publish: $5
Dimensions: 5.5 x 2 inches, 6.75 x 2.25 inches, 8.5 x 2.5 inches, 9 x 3 inches | Volume: 1.75 cups, 3.25 cups, 6.5 cups, 7.75 cups | Material: Stainless steel and poly-resin | Colors: Artichoke, Blueberry, Champagne, Copper, Grape | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Best Slow Feeder
Outward Hound Turquoise Drop Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
Slows down mealtime
Sturdy and durable
Can be hard to clean
If your dog inhales their food, a slow feeder bowl like this helps them put on the brakes and enjoy their food. It’s also a great way to add an enrichment activity to their day with a little fun mental stimulation. There are many patterns and sizes, but this is a favorite because it’s not too easy. (Dogs quickly get the hang of these feeders so it’s great to get a few designs and alternate between them.)
This purple flower version comes in either a two- or four-cup capacity. You’ll want to choose a size that holds more than you typically feed to make it more challenging. This is top-rack dishwasher safe but sometimes food particles can get caked on, making it difficult to clean thoroughly. It’s helps to soak before washing.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.75 inches, 11.75 x 2 inches | Volume: 2 cups, 4 cups | Material: Plastic | Colors: Purple | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Bonza Large Collapsible Dog Bowl
Has hook for water bottle
Heavier than some collapsible bowls
Collapsible bowls are very handy. You can keep on in your backpack, clip it on your belt loop, or stash one in your car. Most collapsible silicone bowls are very similar, except for the colors and sizes. We tested a whole bunch of them and this one was a favorite because of its large capacity and other convenient features.
Because it’s large, it’s great for a large dog or multiple dogs. The size, however, means it takes up more room and won’t easily stow in a pocket. It attaches via carabiner and there’s an extra tab that you can loop around a disposable water bottle to keep your hydration necessities together.
The packaging states that it’s made from silicone that is food-safe and BPA-free, whereas some other bowls don’t say the same. It comes in two sizes and several colors and is backed by a one-year guarantee.
Price at time of publish: $14
Dimensions: 7.75 x 7 x 0.75 inches, 7.76 x 7.76 x 0.98 inches | Volume: 40 ounces, 50 ounces | Material: Silicone | Colors: Black, Gray, Green, Navy, Periwinkle, Pink | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
OurPets Comfort Diner Elevated Dog Bowl
Comes in three sizes
Hard to tip over
Can act as an automatic water dispenser
Water can pool under bowl
May be too large for small spaces
This elevated feeder from OurPets is relatively affordable with lots of smart features, like a design that makes it hard to tip over. There’s a spill ridge on top to keep dogs from making too much of a mess with their meal at dinner time. The feeder is available in three different heights (4 inches, 8 inches, and 12 inches) with three different bowl sizes (1.5 cups, 4 cups, and 5.5 cups). There are two included stainless steel bowls that are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
One cool feature in this elevated dog bowl is that there’s a built-in notch for a water bottle. Flip the bottle upside down and one of the dishes becomes a refilling water dispenser. It fits any standard 2-liter bottle and it becomes a reservoir to refill the water as your pup drinks. Water can sometimes collect underneath the metal bowls, so be sure to check often and clean thoroughly.
Price at time of publish: $25 (Medium)
Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 4 inches (small); 23 x 13 x 8 inches (medium), 27 x 15 x 12 inches (large) | Volume: 1.5 cups (small), 4 cups (medium), 5.5 cups (large) | Material: Stainless steel and plastic | Colors: Black | Dishwasher Safe? Yes (bowls)
Best for Crates
MidWest Stainless Steel Snap'y Fit Dog Kennel Bowl
Fits any wire crate
Labels are hard to remove
Can be difficult to remove from crate
It can be a great idea to feed your dog in a crate. It gives them privacy and reinforces that their crate is a safe, positive place. But there’s limited room inside and especially for an eager dog, that can lead to spills and toppled bowls.
Using a bowls for crate helps eliminate the mess. Attach this stainless steel bowl to the interior grate of your dog’s crate using the included bracket and wing nuts. It’s easy to secure and will stay locked in place until you want to take it out for cleaning.
The bowl comes in four sizes (1.25, 2.5, 4, and 8 cups) and can be washed in the dishwasher. They also come in packs of two if you want to have food and water available, but that will take up a lot of room.
Price at time of publish: $11 (4 cups)
Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 1.75 inches, 6 x 6 x 2 inches, 6 x 6 x 2.75 inches, 8 x 8 x 3.125 inches | Volume: 1.25 cups, 2.5 cups, 4 cups, 8 cups | Material: Stainless steel | Colors: Silver/stainless steel | Dishwasher Safe? Yes (bowls)
Best Water Fountain
PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain
Adjustable water flow
Several water streams
Durable stainless steel
Most parts are dishwasher safe
Fill lines are hard to read
Having an automatic water dispenser is like drinking from a bubbling brook. This water fountain offers a steady stream of moving water for the pup who wants water to be fresh. The reservoir holds about 1 gallon of water and cleans with replaceable carbon and foam filters and a pump.
The fountain has a plastic cap that can be used to adjust the size of the fountain streams. There are other caps included, that you can swap for different configurations, allowing you to customize the number of individual water streams—up to five.
Most of the fountain is OK to put in the dishwasher, although the pump needs to be washed by hand.
Price at time of publish: $64
Dimensions: 14 x 9 inches | Volume: 1 gallon | Material: Stainless steel and plastic | Colors: Stainless steel (silver) | Dishwasher Safe? Yes (most parts)
Best Travel Water Bowl
Leashboss Splashless Travel Dog Water Bowl
Doesn’t bend when you pick it up
Not recommended for flat-face, bearded, or giant breeds
Can be hard to clean completely
When you want to keep your pup hydrated on the go, a travel water bowl is a neat idea. The Leashboss Splashless has a geometric shape that helps keep the bowl from tipping over. The lip of the bowl is designed to keep water from sloshing all over when you’re in transit. It’s not totally splashless as the name suggests, but it’s pretty close.
This attractive bowl is made of soft but sturdy silicone that is free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. It has a tapered lip and high sides to keep water from spilling. You can put it in the dishwasher, but you might have to clean out the pointy corners by hand to make sure no slime was left behind.
Price at time of publish: $20
Dimensions: 9.45 x 7.48 x 2.87 inches | Volume: 40 ounces (24 ounces, suggested fill line when traveling) | Material: Silicone | Colors: Gray | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Fringe Studio Stoneware Bowl
Microwave and dishwasher safe
No large size
If your dog’s dish sits out all the time, maybe you want something that’s a little more stylish than a utilitarian stainless steel bowl. This contemporary white bowl has horizontal ridges and pinched sides, making dinner time a little more fashionable. It’s made of clay stoneware with a semi-transparent glaze.
The bowl comes in two sizes—small and medium. Even the medium is relatively small, so it’s not a logical choice for a bigger pup. The bowl can be used in both the dishwasher and the microwave, which is great if you like to warm up your dog’s dinner.
Price at time of publish: $14
Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 1.75 inches (small), 1 x 6.75 x 2.5 inches (medium) | Volume: N/A | Material: Clay stoneware | Colors: White | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Best for Flat-Faced Dogs
Enhanced Pet Bowl Slanted Stainless Steel Dog Bowl
Slanted but still has a lip
Sturdy stainless steel
Non-slip bottom ring
More expensive than many slanted bowls
It can be hard for dogs with short noses—like pugs and bulldogs–to eat out of a traditional food bowl. Called brachycephalic breeds, they have flat faces so they can’t put their mouth down easily into a dish with high sides. Instead, a slanted bowl that is lower on one side can make it easier to dine.
This stainless steel bowl has a rubber ring on the bottom to keep it from sliding. It’s slanted at 45 degrees and still has a lip all around to keep spills at a minimum. The bowl is made of sturdy stainless steel. It is dishwasher safe, although some people say they prefer to hand wash because of the rubber slip-resistant ring.
Price at time of publish: $38
Dimensions: 10.9 x 10.9 x 3.2 inches, 11 x 11 x 2.5 inches | Volume: 2.5 cups, 5 cups | Material: Stainless Steel | Colors: Silver | Dishwasher Safe? Yes
Our favorite overall pick is the Max & Neo Heavy Stainless Steel Non-Slip Dog Bowl. The sturdy bowl is deep with a nice rim and a full non-skid bottom to keep things from splashing and sliding. For dogs that eat quickly, we also love the Outward Hound Slow Feed Interactive Dog Bowl. Its labyrinth design makes pups slow down as they eat their meals.
What to Look for in a Dog Bowl
Stainless steel bowls are durable, easy to clean, and aren’t porous, so bacteria can’t easily thrive on them. They don’t break if you drop them and are usually dishwasher safe. The healthiest is food grade stainless steel (not “for pets only”) where the company says it’s been tested for heavy metals.
Ceramic or stoneware bowls are heavy and the protective glaze makes them easy to clean. However, they can break easily when dropped and if they chip or crack, bacteria can sneak in.
Plastic bowls should be BPA- and phthalate-free to avoid potentially harmful chemicals. Plastic doesn’t break if it’s dropped but it can retain smells and some dogs can chew or scratch them, creating a spot for bacteria.
It’s always a good idea to get a food bowl larger than the exact amount of food your dog eats. If you feed 1 cup and that’s how much the bowl holds, it’s easier for your dog to spill food and make a mess. A large water bowl makes it less likely that your pet will run out of water, but be sure you clean it regularly and don’t just top it off.
“You should give fresh water at least once a day, so the bowls should be cleaned daily and you’ll want to size the bowl appropriately so they’re never running out,” Judy Duhr, director of Speak Rescue and Sanctuary, says. “For food bowls, they should be big enough that they’re not making a mess.”
In addition to basic dog bowls, some serve an added function. Slow feeder puzzle bowls had nooks and crannies that force your dog to slow down and enjoy meal time. That’s healthier and it’s mentally challenging. Other feeders keep a stash of food on hand so you can dole it out throughout the day or if you’re running late at mealtime and your pup is hungry. And water fountains keep water filtered and moving so your pet always has a fresh, healthy drink.
Ease of Cleaning
Don’t forget to wash your dog’s bowls at least a few times a week and definitely after any messy meal. Some bowls are easier to clean because you can pop them in the dishwasher. Most of those are top rack only, so read the label. But inspect bowls closely. Slow feeders, for example, can be difficult to clean even in the dishwasher and may require some soaking first and scrubbing after.
How often should I clean my dog’s bowls?
“Ideally, you should wash pet bowls daily, especially if you feed with wet food or if you have a senior pet who may be more susceptible to illness,” Jessica Ek of the American Cleaning Institute tells Spruce Pets. “At a minimum, you should be deep cleaning them once a week.”
You can use soap and warm water, then rinse and dry. Many pet bowls are also safe to use in a dishwasher.
For a deep clean, Ek recommends washing and then sanitizing bowls. Add 2 teaspoons of bleach to one gallon of water in a plastic dish pan, and stir to mix. Soak pre-washed pet bowls in the solution for two minutes. Then drain, rinse the bowls well, and allow them to air dry.
How do I keep dog bowls from sliding?
Many bowls come with silicone bottoms or tabs to help keep them in place when your pup is eating. The full bottoms or inset bottoms seem to be the most durable and offer the most slip protection. Some manufacturers suggest removing the silicone parts when cleaning in a dishwasher, while others say it’s fine in the top rack.
For bowls that are slippery with no extra features, consider placing a silicone mat underneath them. It will keep the bowls from moving and catch any spills or messes. (Check out the West Paw dog placement with raised edges and a non-slip surface. It’s partially made from recycled plastic.
Do elevated dog bowls help with digestion?
You might have heard that elevated dog bowls can be safer and more comfortable, particularly for larger dogs. The belief is that it can lower the chances of the potentially deadline condition called bloat or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) where a dog’s stomach rotates and fills with gas. However, little research has been done in this area and a study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association instead found that large and giant dogs that ate from elevated bowls have a higher risk of GDV. The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine suggests that dogs with a high risk of GDV should avoid eating out of raised bowls.
Why Trust the Spruce Pets?
For this roundup, we considered dozens of dog bowls to pick the best ones for food and water. We evaluated them on materials, size, special features, and whether they could be cleaned easily in the dishwasher.
Mary Jo DiLonardo has been writing about pets and animals for several decades. She has a rescue dog and has fostered about 60 dogs and puppies. She is always trying different products to keep the dogs in her care entertained, healthy, and safe.