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Stainless steel is a popular material for dog bowls...but did you know these facts?
Stainless steel is a popular material for dog bowls…but did you know these facts?
Courtesy of Rowan Peter via Flickr

So you’re probably shopping around and looking for a dog bowl. Who knows what kinda bowl you want.

Maybe a shiny, expensive, decorative one.

Or maybe a customized one with your dog’s etched around the rim. Or maybe you want just a simple, cheap regular dog bowl.

The point is, regardless of whatever you get, make sure what you get is the good stuff. What do I mean by good stuff? Stainless steel.

Yeah, that’s the good stuff.


Yeah, you already know what it is. That lustrous, shiny, lightweight material that seems to be all the rage.

You’ve heard about it in kitchenware, hospitals, refrigerators, electronics…pretty much everywhere.

If you haven’t, it’s time to get out from under that rock, take a cool shower, and put on your thinking cap to get brainstorming.

Here are 5 things you (probably) didn’t know about stainless steel and what makes it awesome, especially as a dog bowl…

Last updated: 6/27/19.

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1. Stainless steel is non-porous

What’s a porous?

Well, a pore is basically a hole.

Non-porous means non-holes. Anti-hole. No holes. What’s that have to do with stainless steel? Stainless steel has no microscopic holes for bacteria, fungi, and other nasties to get into and start eating and breeding. If you took a microscope and looked a slice of stainless steel, you’ll find that it’s perfectly smooth and has a uniform surface.

Now, try doing the same to a slice of plastic. Uh-oh. You’ll see holes, creases, edges, cliffs, bumps, and the whole plethora of environments that bacteria absolutely love to thrive in. Bacteria in plastic dog bowls can easily thrive. They have a source of food (your dog’s leftovers), water (your dog’s saliva), and an environment to live in (pores).

New bacteria is added whenever your dog eats from the bowl that drop off from your dog’s saliva from when he licked that random plant during his morning walk.

Plastic makes a great breeding ground for all sorts of good stuff (i.e. bad stuff). And washing it won’t help. You’ll only wash the smooth surfaces, not inside the holes. So why would you ever want to use that for your dog’s bowl? Use stainless steel. No pores. Just a clean, smooth surface. Wash it and scrub it. Bacteria gone.

Stainless steel is non-porous. No bacteria.
Stainless steel is non-porous. No bacteria.
Courtesy of Didriks via Flickr

2. Stainless steel is heat-resistant

Have you ever melted a stick of butter and poured it over your popcorn?


Have you ever melted plastic and poured it into your soup?

Double yum.

That’s what happens when you serve Fido some hot food. Whether you cooked up a storm and poured it into his bowl, or you simply left the bowl outside in the sun, the bowl is slowly melting. The melted plastic gets into the food, and therefore into your dog’s stomach. You definitely don’t want this.

Now, try stainless steel. Stainless steel can tolerate a much, much higher temperature (much higher than whatever you’re cooking).

So when you pour the food into his bowl, he’ll taste exactly what you just taste-tested. Or maybe you leave your bowls in an area exposed to sunlight, no sweat. Literally.

Stainless steel is heat-resistant. Perfect for hot foods for your dog.
Stainless steel is heat-resistant. Perfect for hot foods for your dog.
Courtesy of Grannies Kitchen via Flickr

3. Stainless steel is more durable

This is pretty self-explanatory. Stainless steel is super durable in more than one way.It’s resistant to scratches,

It’s resistant to scratches, rust, drops, temperature, and some cuts are even fingerprint proof. It’s probably the most durable material that’s readily on the market that you can buy for your dog’s bowl. Plastic would be the second runner-up (but brings a slew of other problems).

But there are a multitude of other options that are just asking for it.

Melamine? Microwave it and it becomes hazardous.

Ceramic? Drop it and it’s gone.

Glass? Yeah, right.

If you’re involved with your dog, chances are you move the food and water dishes around daily, whether for refills or cleansing.

t only makes sense to get something that has lasting strength. After all, you can’t feed a dog from a bowl if you have no dog bowl- whether or not you paid $50 for that customized dog bowl with rhinestone letters and a laser-etched photograph inside the “O.”

Your dog will knock and tip his bowl, but stainless steel will hold up.
Your dog will knock and tip his bowl, but stainless steel will hold up.
Courtesy of toholio via Flickr

4. Stainless steel is super lightweight

Stainless steel offers a lot for its weight. It’s durable, non-porous, heat-resistant, cheap, and doesn’t weigh a ton.

Plastic offers durability and is also cheap, but weighs nearly 3 times as much as a similarly-sized stainless bowl.

Glass offers bacteria-resistance and heat-resistance but weighs 10 times as much.

Ceramic offers an aesthetic look but weighs 20 times as much.

Of course, I’m just making up these numbers, but that’s seriously how it relatively feels in comparison to stainless steel.

Next time you’re in the housewares department, pick up a dinner bowl and try it yourself. Don’t believe me?  Try it out yourself.

Stainless steel is lightweight and durable.
Stainless steel is lightweight and durable. Yes.
Courtesy of Cooks & Kitchens via Flickr

5. Stainless steel is cheap

…but not the cheap version of cheap. You know, the good kind. Seriously.

You get all these features for the cost of a regular plastic dog bowl. If you had a plastic and a stainless steel version of an identical dog bowl for nearly the same price, why would you go for plastic? Stainless steel is clean, durable, lightweight, non-porous, temperature-resistant, and costs nearly the same.

Need another reason? It’s green. It’s much easier to break down and recycle than plastic. The main components separate and can be reused. Say no to bacteria, fungi, dirty, heavy, melted, and one of the most non-green materials on Earth. Ditch the plastic. Go for the steel. With the pricing being about the same, there’s no reason to go steel and never look back plastic.

Same price. Different materials. Vastly different pros and cons.

After all, people are attracted to shiny things for a reason, right? So listen to your instincts and go for the shiny thing.

Ooooooh… shiny.

Keep your dog happy and get the good stuff.

Stainless steel for your dog's bowl = win.
Stainless steel for your dog’s bowl = win.
Courtesy of Chung Shao Tung via Flickr
All images licensed under Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 4.0).

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