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Are you ready to learn about the best bowls for raw dog food?
Hi, I’m Barbara and I’ve been feeding both premade and homemade raw dog food since 2015.
First, to two Boxer mixes, and now to one Feist mix.
That said, I’ve narrowed it down to four best bowls for raw dog food (with one CLEAR favorite!) that I switch between on a regular basis.
Why only four when there’s so many different options to choose from?
Because these types of dog bowls meet very specific criteria!
Beyond that, I also mention specific raw feeding options for flat faced dogs such as Bulldogs.
Ready to take a closer look?
5 Criteria For Raw Dog Food Bowls
When you’re looking for the best bowls for raw dog food, try to have them check the following boxes:
First of all, I need my raw dog food bowls to be durable because:
- I don’t want to constantly have to buy new dog bowls
- I don’t want my dogs to eat parts of the food bowl and potentially cause an internal blockage
That means my raw dog food bowls need to be made of a material that’s not prone to cracking, chipping, absorbing liquids and odors, nor trapping allergens.
2. Easy to Clean
Next, they need to be easy to clean because they’re obviously holding raw meat as part of the raw dog food diet.
So unless they’re dishwasher-safe, it’s a hard pass for me.
While you can, of course, hand wash raw dog food bowls, I always feel like the dishwasher does a much better job at thoroughly cleaning any dishes that contain raw meat.
Just as a side note, but I feel the same way about cutting boards that I cut raw chunks of meat on.
While I love the look of wooden cutting boards, I don’t use them to cut raw meat as they easily trap odors and juices yet they aren’t dishwasher-safe.
3. Resistant to Bacteria Growth
In my opinion, the best bowls for raw dog food also need to prevent the growth of bacteria, which means they have to be made of non-porous materials.
That’s because these types of materials don’t have microscopic pores or small openings that can trap food particles, bacteria, or allergens like pollen, dust and mold.
Obviously, this makes it easier to clean them and maintain good hygiene for your dog’s bowl.
4. Slow Feeding Properties
Additionally, my raw dog food bowls need to encourage slow eating.
It doesn’t matter to me if they have a built-in slow feeder or if they can be combined with a slow feed insert as long as they slow Wally down.
Because here’s the thing:
Many dogs who are fed pre-made, ground raw dog food inhale it within seconds as raw meat with this consistency doesn’t require any chewing or ripping.
Even dogs who eat homemade raw meals that feature smaller chunks of meat have a tendency of eating too fast.
That can be problematic because eating too fast can cause bloat, a potentially deadly condition where the dog’s stomach flips on itself and cuts off the oxygen supply.
5. Large Enough
Last but not least, the best bowls for raw dog food are large enough to comfortably hold the raw meal without spilling.
That’s particularly important when you’re not just feeding ground meats but also whole cuts of meat like raw meaty bones and whole fish.
For example, chicken leg quarters, turkey necks and mackerel or herring.
So regardless of the type of dog bowl you choose, make sure it’s appropriately sized for your dog’s needs.
Stainless Steel Dog Bowls
If I had to choose JUST one best bowl for raw dog food, it would be a stainless steel dog bowl.
A stainless steel slow feeder dog bowl with built-in obstacles, to be specific, because it helps Wally slow down when he eats his raw meals.
Wally’s stainless steel slow feeder bowl
But even without any built-in barriers, stainless steel dog bowls are on the top of my list of best bowls for raw dog food because they’re:
- Easy to clean
- Resistant to bacteria growth
My favorite ones without any built-in barriers are the stainless steel dog bowls by Yeti.
Yeti’s Boomer 4 dog bowl with Wally’s homemade raw dog food
While they’re a bit more on the expensive side, they’re pretty much impossible to break unless you take an ax or a steel cutting saw to it!
They’re also dishwasher-safe and come with an anti-slip ring on the bottom.
Bonus: For anyone who enjoys minimalistic design elements such as myself, stainless steel dog bowls are also a great choice because they’re visually appealing.
They’re also generally safe for dogs with allergies or sensitivities because they don’t contain materials known to cause allergic reactions, and they also don’t trap any allergens like pollen, dust or mold.
Our guide dog school issues a basic stainless steel dog bowl similar to the Mighty Paw stainless steel dog bowls. These are very basic and less expensive then the above dog bowls and they still get the job done.
How Do I Know What Size Bowl To Get My Dog For Their Raw Dog Food?
Generally speaking, your dog’s bowl should be large enough to hold one meal worth of raw dog food + at least one extra meal.
That way, it’s unlikely for the contents to spill.
I personally have the Yeti Boomer 4 (in Navy blue) which holds 4 cups or 32 ounces of dog food.
Wally eats about 7.5 oz of raw dog food twice per day, so the Boomer 4 is a great size for him because it doesn’t spill even when it holds Wally’s full daily allowance of food.
But it also comes in an 8 cup or 64 oz version for (extra) large pups.
That one’s called the Yeti Boomer 8.
BPA-Free, Food Grade Plastic Dog Bowls
My second recommendation of best bowls for raw dog food are specific hard plastic dog bowls (optional: with built-in slow feeders).
They should be made with food-safe materials such as BPA-free, food grade hard plastic to be considered safe for your pups to eat from.
- Pureness Heavy Weight Large Crock Dish (holds 52 oz)
- Leashboss Heavy Duty Plastic Food and Water Bowl For Large Dogs (holds 14 cups = 114 oz)
My personal favorite hard plastic dog bowl is the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl, and I love that this design also includes a non-slip base.
The Fun Feeder Slo Bowl comes in the 3 following sizes:
- Small/Tiny (holds ¾ cup)
- Medium/Mini (holds 2 cups)
- Large/Regular (holds 4 cups)
I have the medium size in turquoise with the meal lengthening ridges. But they also come in different colors and patterns.
These types of dog bowls are lightweight and dishwasher-safe hence easy to clean.
Wally’s raw dog food in the Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slo Bowl
BPA-Free, Food-Grade Silicone Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Inserts
Next up on my list of best bowls for raw dog food are silicone bowls (and inserts).
They’re lightweight, flexible, resistant to stains and odors, and most are (top rack) dishwasher-safe.
My personal favorite is the Mighty Paw Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Insert.
While it can be used on its own, it also works perfectly in combination with the Yeti Boomer 4, and that’s how I use it a lot.
Combining the Yeti Boomer 4 dog owl with Mighty Paw’s Slow Feeder dog bowl insert
BPA-Free, Food-Grade Silicone Dog Bowls For Travel
Since Wally loves car rides, I take him along on many road trips, and my number one choice for our adventures are collapsible silicone dog bowls.
I love the collapsible travel dog bowls from Mighty Paw because they come in a set of two, which means I can use one for feeding purposes and one for water.
Each bowl holds 27 oz of food or water.
Bonus: They come with carabiner clips that you can either clip to your own gear or to your dog’s harness or backpack.
Wally is about to eat a raw meal on the road. It’s served in one of Mighty Paw’s collapsible travel dog bowls.
Lead Free, Glazed, Food Grade Ceramic Dog Bowls
Last but not least, ceramic dog bowls can also be a good option for raw dog food as they are typically heavy and less likely to tip over.
They come in various designs and colors, and the one I have features a bone on the inside of the bowl.
Wally’s ceramic dog bowl
The brand LE TAUCI even makes food-grade ceramic slow feeders in multiple colors, sizes and a variety of different built-in mazes.
Tip: When selecting a ceramic bowl, make sure that it’s lead-free and has a food-grade glaze to ensure safety.
That’s because dogs with sensitivities or allergies might have reactions if they come into contact with porous ceramic materials, like unglazed terracotta.
So try to avoid this material if possible as it can also harbor allergens like dust, pollen, or mold.
Best Raw Dog Food Bowls For Flat Faced Dogs
Since flat faced dogs, aka brachycephalic dogs, have a wider snout than dogs with longer muzzles, dog bowls with tall edges are more difficult for them to maneuver.
So raw-fed dogs like Mastiffs, (French) Bulldogs, Chow Chows and Boxers do best with flat dog bowls with low edges.
- AIPERRO Slow Feeder Dog Bowl Stainless Steel (4 cup capacity). Height: 2”, Diameter: 9.5”.
- Coldest Dog Bowl Stainless Steel Non Slip (21 oz capacity). Height: 1.8”, Diameter: 7”.
- Enhanced Pet Bowl Stainless Steel Slanted Dog Bowl (2.5 cups capacity). Specifically designed for flat faced dogs with a 45° angled ledge.
For comparison sake, the Yeti Boomer 4 is 3.1” tall, and the Yeti Boomer 8 is 3.5” tall.
Another alternative is to feed flat faced dogs on dishwasher-safe pet feeding mats with lips such as these:
- Gorilla Grip 100% Waterproof Raised Edge BPA-Free Pet Feeding Mat. 32” x 24”.
- Mighty Paw Dog Food Splash Mat BPA-Free Food-Grade Silicone. 19” x 12”.
Technically speaking, they’re designed to line dog food bowls, but hey, sometimes it pays off to think outside the box, right?
And since they’re dishwasher-safe, clean up is easy and thorough too.
Wally eating his raw frozen treats from Mighty Paw’s dog food splash mat.
When considering the best bowls for raw dog food, there are a few factors to keep in mind such as:
- Are they dishwasher-safe?
- How durable are the dog bowls?
- Are they made of non-porous materials?
- Can my (flat faced) dog easily maneuver the bowl?
- Optional: Do they promote slow eating with built-in obstacles?
Remember, porous materials such as unglazed terracotta can harbor bacteria, odors and allergens even after thorough cleaning.
When selecting a raw dog food bowl, consider your dog’s specific needs, such as their size and breed.
If they’re prone to inhaling their raw dog food, consider going with a slow feeder dog bowl.
They’re available in different materials such as stainless steel, hard plastic, silicone and even ceramic.
Opt for a size that allows your dog to comfortably eat without strain or discomfort.
If you have a brachycephalic dog, try to go with a flat bowl, one that’s angled or forgo the bowl altogether and feed them on a dishwasher-safe pet feeding mat!
Do you have a favorite dog bowl for your raw-fed dog? Let us know in the comment section below this blog post!
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