How we picked our favorites
We built a list of standout bowls — We compiled a list of about 30 super popular options based on customer reviews and recommendations from our advisory team.
Then we looked for dishwasher-safe and machine-washable options — Cleaning and disinfecting your dog’s food bowl regularly is important, so we only considered bowls that make that easy.
Finally, we handpicked the smartest, safest bowls — Buying a dog bowl isn’t rocket science. There are a billion different options out there, so we focused on the most unique and intuitive. We also skipped over ceramic bowls since they’re prone to chip.
Our favorite slow feed bowls
- Dogit Go Slow Anti-Gulping Dog Dish — Best all-around, perfect for wet food
- Hyper Pet SloDog Slow-Feed Pet Bowl — Best for short-nosed dogs
- PAW5 Wooly Snuffle Mat — A really cool foraging mat
- Mr. Peanut’s Slow-Feed Stainless Steel Dog Bowl — Durable, great for large breeds
- Animal Planet 14″ Pet Feeder Maze — The best maze for big dogs
Slow feeding bowls are great for pretty much any dog
Slow feed bowls are designed to force your dog to slow down when they eat. Some are literal games; others have bumps and ridges inside them that separate food and make your dog work for their meal.
They help protect your dog’s digestive health — The most important benefit of eating slowly is that it helps reduce the load on your pooch’s digestive system and improve their overall health. Gastrointestinal problems in dogs are incredibly common, and they happen for a lot of different reasons. Using a slow-feed bowl is a simple step you can take to help alleviate — or even prevent — those types of health conditions down the road.
They can help fix resource guarding — Slow feed bowls help to curb a carnal instinct called resource guarding, which is when insecure dogs protect their food by barking, biting, or staring. Slow feed bowls can help distract dogs and even fix the problem altogether. All dogs are different, but our team’s seen pretty good results.
They help prevent stealing — If your dog loves to inhale their food and then go steal food from other pets, your entire crew will benefit from a slow feed bowl.
What to look for when you shop
Think about size — Larger dogs need larger bowls. Raised feeders are super helpful for large and medium-sized breeds because they help reduce neck strain. (You can also put a regular bowl on a stand, of course.)
Think about the snout — Dogs with short snouts, like pugs and other brachycephalic breeds, can have a harder time fishing kibble out shallow bowls with lots of knubs.
Think about your dog’s habits — If your dog loves to shred things, invest in a stainless steel or rugged-built bowl. If your dog likes to move their bowl around or tip it over, get a bowl with a non-slip base.
The risk of canine bloat
Gulping dogs swallow air along with their food. This can cause an upset stomach, gas, or vomiting. It even puts them at risk for a serious condition called canine bloat.
This bloating happens when a dog’s stomach is filled with air, causing the abdomen to twist. That can result in an immediate shock or even death.
Though bloating can happen to dogs of any breed and size, large or giant-sized breeds have a higher risk of canine bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Canine bloat is most common in purebred dogs, though mixed breeds can also suffer. These higher-risk breeds tend to have narrow, deep chests.
Breeds at a high risk of canine bloat
- German Shepards
- Great Danes
- Irish Settlers
- Doberman Pinschers
- Standard Poodles
- Basset Hounds
- Saint Bernards
If your dog is obese, using a slow feed bowl can help them lose weight, as the portion control will make them feel full even as they eat slowly. Some dogs, particularly puppies, benefit from the workout needed to get their food.