The Safest Pet Food Bowls (And the Ones You Definitely Want to Avoid)
With the wide selection of pet bowls on the market today, choosing the safest one is typically overlooked by many loving owners.
Certain materials may actually release toxins into your dog or cat’s food and water, providing your pet with an unsafe meal and exposure to a multiplicity of unforeseen health problems.
But before you head to your local pet store to buy new dishes, here is a rundown of three common pet bowl materials and their potential risks:
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1. Steer Clear of Stoneware
Stoneware dog and cat bowls may contain lead thereby exposing your furry best friend to numerous health risks ultimately resulting in lead poisoning. Studies by the Environmental Working Group have found that symptoms of lead poisoning may include memory loss, kidney damage, decreased intelligence and possible cancer. An array of stoneware pet bowls remain untested for traces of lead, so it is best to steer clear of bowls made of this material for now.
2. Never Use Plastic
When you walk into your favorite pet store, you may notice plastic is everywhere. As you walk up and down the aisles, plastic bowls, crates and toys abound. What many loving “pet parents” don’t know is that these items contain many chemicals that can be hazardous to your little one’s health. When plastics scratch, the tiny crevices become a breeding ground for unsafe bacteria. Even a thorough washing of the container can’t eliminate these toxins from the lining.
The types of toxic chemicals released by plastic include phthalates, lead and the ever-harmful Bisphenal A (BPA) which is a synthetic estrogen that can result in irreversible health problems even when ingested in small amounts. Findings from a study published by the Environmental Working Group show that even minor traces of BPA exposure can elicit a wide range of disorders including cancer, diabetes and reproductive system damage. The hazardous chemicals can actually seep into your pet’s meal causing him to directly consume these toxins. So if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to ditch those contaminated plastic bowls.
3. Ceramic is Safe, Sometimes
Ceramic bowls are a safe option as long as you know what to look for. Make sure the dish is certified for food use and is coated with a lead-free finish. It is crucial to check for any cracks or chips in the bowl. Just as the scratches in plastic containers can hold harmful bacteria, so can cracks in the coating on a ceramic bowl. Ceramic bowls also require a lot of upkeep so make certain you are taking care of them so that they don’t chip. Each time you go to fill up the bowl, check for any new cracks or chips.
4. Use Caution When Using Raised Bowls
Raised bowls sound like a great idea, especially if your furry friend is on the taller side. But beware. Depending on the construction of the bowl, your pet’s collar tags can get stuck which creates quite an alarming scene. If opting for a raised bowl, be sure to use that that’s without holes such as this one or this one.
The Safest Pet Bowls: Stainless Steel
So what’s the safest type of pet bowl? Experts agree, stainless steel is the safest choice. There is a multitude of stainless steel pet bowls on the market due to their durability and sturdiness. Stainless steel dishes are also easy to maintain and keep clean. As long as you take care of your little guy’s stainless steel bowls, and properly wash them in hot water after each meal, they won’t house harmful bacterial or release hazardous chemicals since it is a non-porous material.
Before you dispose of your pet’s dangerous food and water bowls, double check your pet’s food storage containers as well. A lot of times, they are made of plastic. Now it’s time to visit your neighborhood pet shop and opt for some new safe bowls!