When it comes to bowls for feeding your Cockapoo, you will find that they come  in many sizes, types, colors, and designs. The three most common choices of material are ceramic, plastics, or stainless steel. There are benefits to all three and there are disadvantages. You, as the pet parent, will have to decide which works the best for you after checking out the facts.

CERAMIC DOG BOWLS: Ceramic dogs bowls are a popular choice and come in many designs. You can often find these at flea markets and dollar stores, as well as your local big box pet store. They are affordable, although not quite so cheap as many plastic bowls. Ceramic bowls are usually glazed to cover the porous surface, but if the bowl becomes cracked or chipped, you may want to replace them to keep bacteria from accumulating in the bowl. These types are often heavyweight and therefore harder for your dog to push around while eating, which is a good thing.  Obviously, your dog doesn’t prefer eating from a bowl that is sliding across the floor every time he tries for a few pieces of kibble. Ceramic bowls generally tend to last a long time if well cared for and can be chosen in a design that complements your decor.

STAINLESS STEEL DOG BOWLS: Metal bowls are also fairly low cost and they do not change the flavor of your pets food or water. If this is your choice, be sure to look for stainless steel bowls, and don’t choose a cheap metal version. Stainless steel bowls are easy to clean and usually dishwasher safe, and they are generally our preferred choice in the Cockapoo Crazy household. They tend to come in large sizes and you may want to get a larger size for your dogs water, to ensure that you keep adequate water available throughout the day. If a metal bowl gets dented, it could start to rust. If you see any signs of rust, replace the bowl.

PLASTIC DOG BOWLS: Plastic bowls are the least expensive in general and can be a fine choice in a pinch. The most important thing to make sure of, if choosing a plastic bowl, is that it is a BPA free bowl. These are toxic chemicals that can leach out of the plastic and into your dogs food or water. BPA free plastics are a choice that can work when you want to buy a plastic bowl. Bear in mind that plastic becomes scratched easily and your dog may chew on the sides, so it will need to be cleaned often and replaced if you dog chews it.

Editor’s Note: How do you tell if a plastic is BPA free? Look for a number in a  triangle on the bottom of the bowl. If it is a 7, it may be made with BPA. If it is a 1, 2, or 5, it is not. If in doubt, check with the manufacturer online.

AUTOMATIC BOWLS: You may also choose an automatic feeding bowl. These can be battery operated or electric. There are also some versions that put food or water out by gravity, as it is eaten throughout the day. While these can work for busy people they are not necessarily recommended, unless you know your Cockapoo will not eat all of the food in one sitting, and you fill it with just enough for a day. Automatic watering bowls and fountains are a fine choice, especially if they recirculate the water to keep it fresh.

SLOW FEED BOWLS: These slow-feeding bowls have an impediment to encourage your dog to eat slower. They come in various materials. Eating too quickly may give a dog stomach discomfort, gas, or possibly bloat.

RAISED BOWLS: When it comes to raised bowls, this is another matter of preference. Larger dogs tend to benefit from these, to keep them from having to bend too far. With Cockapoos, since they are lower to the ground, it may not be necessary to use a raised dish, but can be if this is your preference.

Editor’s Note: Some people believe raised food bowls may help keep your dog from developing bloat, but actual studies are constantly flip-flopping on this issue. We have also written a thorough article on bloat and how to prevent it.

When feeding and watering your dog, here are a few guidelines to follow. If you choose to free feed your dog, be sure to monitor her weight and watch for overeating. If your dog gulps her food, try giving smaller meals spaced throughout the day. This will help with her overall health and may prevent other health issues. When giving water, a dog needs one ounce per pound daily, so a thirty pound dog needs at least 30 ounces of water a day. Try to discourage your dog from drinking right before or after eating, as the food can expand in the stomach, leading to bloat or gas. As a general rule, put the water up for half an hour before and after your dogs meal, to avoid them drinking the water too soon.

Always keep in mind that your Cockapoo does not care where his food is coming from or what it is served to him in, so you make the choice and enjoy.

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