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The other day someone sent me an email asking for advice on finding quality stainless steel dog dishes. I responded that I shop at a local pet store or on Chewy.com. When I read the reply, I quickly realized that I've proven myself to be a disappointment. Apparently, among all the other things we have to worry about, we now have to worry about dog dishes.
Just when I thought I was KILLIN' IT as a dog mom, someone hits me with a curveball and I suck once again.
Warnings About Dog Dishes
For a while, I've been hearing that several types of dog dishes on the market are unsafe. But this didn't start with dog dishes. The first “unsafe” dishes I was warned about are the nonstick pots and pans. Over time, the chemicals in the nonstick coating and be absorbed in our food as we cook. For there, I was warned about ceramic dishes (lead in the glaze), plastic containers (toxins), and now, stainless steel dog dishes (rust and other toxins).
Initially, we were warned not to purchase anything from China, however, that's not enough and there is something we need to look for when purchasing our dog dishes. Although they can be noisy, stainless steel dog dishes are affordable, dishwasher safe, durable, and they come in several sizes.
If you're still not convinced, think about this:
- plastic dog dishes may succumb to a bored dog that likes to chew things; replacing dog dishes regularly is expensive.
- if you have a dog with skin issues around the mouth, consider swapping out that plastic dog dish with stainless steel.
- if you feed a raw food diet, a stainless steel dog dish is easier to clean; I always worry that some plastic dishes hold on to bacteria even after cleaned.
Stainless Steel Dishes for Dogs
Although stainless steel dog dishes appear to be the most recommended, not all stainless steel dishes are created equal. There are different grades of stainless steel.
18/8 and 18/10 stainless steel are the most common. The first number (18) represents the percentage of chromium in the dish, while the second number (8 and 10) represents the percentage of nickel. Both the chromium and nickel work to prevent corrosion (rust) and the higher the percentage of nickel, the more rust resistant the dish is.
If you're shopping for stainless steel dog dishes and don't see these numbers, look for “300 series.”
There are also 200 series stainless steel dishes, which are less expensive and lower in quality. These dishes are marketed as food-safe, however, they won't last as long as the 300 series stainless steel dog dishes because the 200 series aren't as resistant to corrosion.
Cleaning Stainless Steel Dog Dishes
Stainless steel dog dishes are easy to clean and they're dishwasher safe. When handwashing your stainless steel dishes, avoid using abrasive materials that will scratch the surface and expose the dish to corrosion.
The easiest ways to clean your dog's dishes are:
- soak in white vinegar and warm water
- soak in bleach and cold water
It's recommended that we wash our dog's food dishes after every meal or at least daily. I usually wash my dogs' food dishes a few times a week by hand, running them in the dishwasher at least once a week. With their water dishes, I thoroughly rinse them before adding new water and I wash them by hand weekly.
Best Stainless Steel Dog Dishes for Raw Feeders
When shopping for stainless steel dog dishes, you can find information about what materials they're made of and where they are made in the description or the “answered questions” area. If it's still not clear, I recommend contacting the brand. The following are stainless steel dishes that I've purchased for my dogs.
- Ethical Pet Stainless Steel Mirror Finish Dog Bowl – $3.99 each
- Dogit Stainless Steel Dog & Cat Bowl – $5.99 each
- Frisco Heavy Duty Non-Skid Stainless Steel Bowl – $3.95 each
Chewy.com has fabulous customer service and can help you if you have additional questions about these dog dishes.