Archive for September, 2010

You Bowl Me Over

September 7, 2010

It may seem a little silly to post about pet food bowls, but in fact, there are some very important things to consider about your pet’s bowls.

First, you should never use plastic bowls unless there is no other choice. Plastic is very porous and is hard to sanitize. Bacteria can live in the small pits and chips that can occur with regular use. These bacteria can cause everything from salmonella to coxydia. Both dogs and cats can develop infections on their chins from unclean plastic pet food bowls. They can also develop a form of acne that is directly related to plastic pet food bowls.

Most plastic bowls are made with the chemical BPA-Bisphenol A, which can be an endocrine disruptor. Dogs and cats with certain illnesses can really be at risk of developing impaired immune systems from the disruption. This chemical is also suspected of causing cancer.

Stainless steel and ceramic are much safer choices to make. These can easily be sanitized in the dishwasher. The chance of chin infections is basically nonexistent. If you decide to use ceramic bowls, just make sure they are lead-free. Ceramic bowls should also be checked often for cracks or chips in which bacteria can easily grow.

Next we’ll discuss raised bowls.  If your pet is a large breed — or even a small breed that just happens to have long legs — a raised bowl is a must. Your pet has to crouch down to reach its bowl, putting strain on the shoulders and neck. Just raising the bowl a few inches can really relieve the pressure, especially on the pet’s shoulders. It’s better for their digestion as well.

Some pets “wolf” down their food eating too fast — which can cause stomach problems, such as gas in the stomach caused by swallowing too much air. Some pets may vomit or have severe gas pains.  To avoid this problem you can purchase special bowls that have “fingers” or a raised area in the middle that means the dog will have to eat his food more slowly.

So while pet bowls, may seem simple, pay attention to details. A good bowl will save your pet many problems down the road.