Dog Water Dishes & Bowls – Which Is The Best for Your Pet? – The Dog Clinic

Dog Water Dishes & Bowls – Which Is The Best for Your Pet?

Our guide to every type of dog bowl - including automatic and spill-proof bowls

Dogs need plenty of water throughout the day, so a water bowl should be accessible at all times. Which are the best dog water bowls though? And are there any brands or types you should avoid? Keep reading for our top picks.

Our guide to the best water dishes for puppies and dogs

Dog dehydration is one of the most serious conditions your pet can suffer. It can happen to any dog - especially in warm weather conditions - and if left untreated can be fatal.

The scariest thing about dehydration is how quickly it can happen. A dog's body is 80% water, so it doesn't take much of a drop for biological processes to be affected.

That's why it's vital to provide fresh water for your dog at all times. This isn't always enough to prevent dehydration if your dog is sick, but for everyday purposes allows your pet to remain safely hydrated.

Despite the importance of water, many owners don't put much thought into which water bowl or dish to buy. In my opinion, the best dog bowls should be:

  • Strong and able to withstand the daily use of your pet (including chewing).
  • Difficult to tip over as this can leave your dog without water until you notice.
  • Large enough to hold enough water for your pet, depending on his breed and size.
  • Suitable for whatever conditions you need it for, such as freezing weather, travel or outdoor use.
  • If your dog drinks too fast, a mechanism to slow him down could help avoid stomach complaints.
  • Attractive to look at - especially if it's an indoor bowl!

Finding the right dog bowl isn't always easy though. There are hundreds on the market, ranging from basic bowls up to automatically filling watering devices with a filter to keep water clean.

To help you make the right choice, I've put together a list of the best dog water bowls on the market. I've included a variety of types of bowls, such as elevated, heated, collapsible, outdoor and spill-proof. The list also covers various materials, such as ceramic, stainless steel and plastic, so there's something for everyone.

Note: Looking for a water fountain? Check out our pet fountains page for my top picks. Fountains are great if you want to provide running water, but this article focuses on static bowls that you replenish manually. We also have a page about programmable pet feeders.

Which Are the Best Water Dishes for Dogs?

Listed below are my top recommendations for a dog water bowl. Make sure you read each review carefully, as the right option for your pet depends on his requirements.

Our #1 Choice for a Standard Bowl...

Loving Pets Metallic Bella

1. Loving Pets Metallic Bella (Stainless Steel)

If you just need a simple water bowl for indoor use, my top pick is the Loving Pets Metallic Bella. It's a stylish indoor bowl with paw-print design and four sizes. There are also a variety of colors available, depending on the size you choose, such as Blueberry, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple and Brown. 

The Bella is made with a stainless steel interior. This is bacteria resistant and doesn't hold odors like other materials. The exterior is made from a poly-resin to provide a more attractive appearance, while the base is made from rubber to prevent slipping and spilling.

One thing to note is that the Loving Pets Bella is not particularly heavy. While the standard design means it's not easy to tip over, for large dog breeds you may want to look for a weighted design. The stainless steel construction is highly durable though, and it's great for indoors in a kitchen, lounge or even a crate.

The wide range of sizes means the Loving pets is suitable for a variety of breeds and even for puppies (if you choose the small option). While it's not as portable as a collapsible bowl, it's not heavy to carry with you.​

A bonus is the metal bowl is machine washable. Just make sure you remove the non slip rubber ring first!

  • ​Type: Standard
  • Material: Stainless Steel Interior & Poly-Resin Exterior
  • Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
  • Price Range: $
  • Attractive design and multiple colors
  • Stainless steel interior
  • Machine washable if rubber ring is removed
  • Not particularly heavy, so may spill if used by a boisterous dog

Top Pick for a Spill Proof Bowl

Pet Supply Imports Anti-Spill

2. Pet Supply Imports Anti-Spill Waterhole

One of the most common issues with a dog bowl is spilt water. This is particularly annoying with large dogs, as their vigorous slurping can splash water everywhere!

For this reason, spill proof, unspillable or "no mess" dog bowls are often a good choice. They are also useful for car travel or for dogs with long ears, as they are less likely to dip in the water.

My top recommendation for an spill proof dog bowl bowl is the Pet Supply Imports Waterhole. It's a simple product that can reduce sloshing - plus it's available for a great price.

The WaterHole holds 48oz. of water and has a slip-on lid to prevent water spilling. It's not quite as attractive as the stainless steel Bella, but is much better for preventing spilt water. If you're tired of mopping up water, it's one of the best dog bowls.

  • ​Type: Spill Proof
  • Material: Plastic
  • Sizes Available: One Size (Holds 48 oz.)
  • Price Range: $
  • Great price
  • Useful for preventing spilling
  • Made in the US
  • Not as attractive as other bowls
  • Lightweight design

Top Pick for an Elevated Dish

YML Raised Dog Bowl

3. YML Wrought Iron Stand & Bowl

If your dog has joint issues that make it difficult for him to drink or eat from the floor, an elevated bowl can be a good solution. My favorite is the YRML Wrought Iron Stand with Bowl, as it combines durable construction with an attractive appearance.

The first thing you probably noticed about the YML is that it looks fantastic. Unlike most raised dog bowls, the iron stand provides a classy appearance while elevating the bowl to 10" off the ground.

Along with the stand, the YML also comes with a stainless steel bowl. This can be used for either food or water, and has a 2.5 litre capacity. Most importantly, it's a well made stand that provides excellent value for money.

  • ​Type: Elevated / Raised
  • Material: Stainless Steel & Iron Base
  • Sizes Available: Small, Medium, Large
  • Price Range: $$
  • Stylish wrought iron frame
  • Stainless steel bowl is easy to clean
  • Excellent price considering the quality design
  • Sticker on inside of bowl can be hard to remove

Top Pick for Large Breeds

Bergan Standard Stainless Steel

4. Bergan Standard 17 Cup

Big dogs need big water bowls to ensure they always have enough fluid to stay hydrated. One of the best large water bowls is the excellent Bergan Standard, as the biggest size is a huge 17 cups (which is around 135 fl. oz). 

Aside from its size, there's nothing particularly special about the Bergan - but it's a solid and durable water bowl. The stainless steel design means it looks great, while being immune to rust and easy to clean. The bowl is also dishwasher safe.

I also like the wide base of the Bergan, which is another reason why it's amongst the best large dog water bowls. This makes it might less likely to tip over - even if a giant dog is slurping from it after a hot walk!

  • ​Type: Standard
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Sizes Available: 3 cup, 11 cup, 17 cup
  • Price Range: $
  • Huge water capacity for big dogs
  • Easy to clean or machine washable
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Not as heavy as it looks

Top Pick for Outdoors

Van Ness Heavyweight Dog Boals

5. Van Ness Heavyweight Large Crock Dish

Outdoor bowls need to be able to cope with harsh weather conditions and a range of temperatures. My top recommendation is the Pureness Heavyweight Large Crock Pet Dish, as it's a sturdy bowl that can withstand freezing winters or hot summers.

The Van Ness is made with an FDA approved white plastic, which is safe for your dog to drink and eat from. The plastic is also highly durable, which is why it's a great choice for outdoors.

There are several sizes available. The "Large," which is the most popular, has a capacity of 52 oz. The biggest, which is called "Jumbo," has a 106 ounce water capacity, so it's great for big breeds.

One thing to note is that the Van Ness is not a heated bowl. If you want your dog to be able to drink from a bowl during freezing temperatures, take a look at my top heated bowl below.

  • ​Type: Standard / Outdoor
  • Material: Plastic
  • Sizes Available: Medium, Large, Jumbo
  • Price Range: $
  • One of the best dog bowls for outdoors or a kennel
  • Available in several sizes
  • Tough heavy duty plastic
  • Not entirely chew proof

Top Pick for a Collapsible Travel Bowl

Comsun Foldable Water Bowl

6. Comsun Collapsible Silicone Dish

A large and bulky dog bowl isn't always convenient to take with you when travelling or hiking. That's why collapsible dog bowls are such a popular choice - and my favorite is made by Comsun.

This bowl collapses down to a much thinner size, so it's great for travelling. When expanded, it can hold a modest 12 oz of fluid, which wouldn't be enough for a home bowl but is fine for travelling (assuming you bring a larger container of water with you).

Importantly, the materials are made using food-grade materials (silicone), so they are safe for your dog to drink or eat from. The silicone surface is also easy to clean and the bottom is designed to be non-slip. 

A useful feature is the carabiners clip which can be attached to your trousers or dog's leash. Comsun also offers a lifetime warranty for extra peace of mind.

  • ​Type: Foldable
  • Material: Silicone
  • Sizes Available: One Size (12 oz.)
  • Price Range: $
  • Easy to fold down and highly portable
  • Made from FDA approved materials
  • Clip for attaching to your trousers, rucksack or leash
  • Small water capacity

Top Pick for a Heated Dish

Farm Innovators QT-1

7. Farm Innovators QT-1 Heated

If you want your dog to have access to water even in freezing conditions, a heated dog water bowl can be a useful purchase. My top recommendation is the Farm Innovators QT-1, which features a thermostatic control so it only uses energy when necessary.

When the temperature falls to the point where water might freeze, the QT-1 heats up so it remains liquid. This is a gentle heating effect, so it won't make the water hot - just stop it from freezing. It's much more effective than a simple insulated dish though.

Another feature of the QT-1 heated dog water bowl is the anti-chew cable. Dogs don't tend to chew cables (although some do - especially as a puppy), but if the bowl is to be used outside it's good to know other animals can't chew through it either.

​Most importantly, it's great for making sure your pup has access to drinkable water even in freezing conditions. So, if you need a bowl with an auto heater, it's a great choice.

Note: Keep in mind that water evaporates from the bowl and other animals might drink it, so you'll need to top it up regularly.​

  • ​Type: Heated / Outdoor
  • Material: Plastic
  • Sizes Available: Various
  • Price Range: $$$
  • Gently heats water to prevent it freezing
  • Only switches on when required
  • Chew-proof cable
  • Requires a plug socket

Top Pick for a Water Bottle

Anpet Travel Water Bottle

8. Anpet Water Bottle & Dispenser

Dog water bottles are becoming increasingly popular, as they have a dispensing tray attached. This allows you to store water and provide a drink without spilling during a journey. They are also great for preventing dehydration on a hike and are much more convenient than a regular bowl.

My top recommendation for a dog water bottle is the Anpet Travel. It features a simple refillable design, with an 11oz bottle capacity and plastic tray. It can be quickly disassembled for cleaning and the plastic is BPA-free. It's also easy to refill.

A bonus is the Anpet is relatively cheap to buy. It should last a long time too.

  • ​Type: Bottle
  • Material: Plastic
  • Sizes Available: One Size (11 oz.)
  • Price Range: $
  • 11oz bottle and water dispenser
  • Convenient for providing water when travelling
  • Easy to disassemble and clean
  • Bottle can be awkward to screw into the base after refilling

Other Notable Water Bowls

The bowls above are my top picks, so I recommend going for one of these if possible. If none suit your requirements, however, some other options include:

  • ​If you're looking for a funny bowl, the BigMouth Toilet Water Dish is an interesting choice for small dogs. It's made of ceramic and holds a standard 2 litre bottle.
  • If you need something more solid than a plastic bowl, the Stoneware Dog Dish is a great alternative. It's also available in several sizes and has a glossy finish.

FAQ

Why Are There Worms in My Dog's Water?

If you see worms in your dog's bowl, they are likely a type of parasite. They may not be coming from your pet, however, so you should visit your vet to get them checked out. You may want to call in advance and ask whether the vet would like you to bring a sample of the worms (but make sure not to touch them!)

How Can I Prevent Algae?

The best way to prevent algae in your dog's bowl is to clean it regularly. In the summer months, a bowl might need to be cleaned everyday - especially if it's kept outside. Changing the water each day can also prevent algae from building up.

Where Can I Buy One?

Most standard bowls are available at online retailers, such as Amazon, Walmart and others. For customized bowls or unique designs you may need to look at a retailer that provides custom printing. 

Won't Water Splash Everywhere?

Water may actually splash less from a fountain, as it's easier for a dog to drink. If you're worried about this, however, then consider placing the fountain on a microfiber mat. These are great for absorbing water.

Summary

Getting the right dog water bowl and keeping it properly filled ensures your pet always has access to clean water. This is vital for his health, as dogs need to drink throughout the day to stay hydrated.

My favorite "standard" dog bowl is the Loving Pets Metallic Bella. It's a stylish model that's available in several colors and sizes - plus it's highly durable. If you aren't sure which to go for, you won't be disappointed.

I hope this article has helped you choose the best dog water bowl for your pet. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please use the comments form below.