A Few Tips About Your Dogs Dishes

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A Few Tips About Your Dogs Dishes

by John Edwards

When it comes to buying dog dishes, you have a lot of options, from using an old pot to buying a hand-thrown ceramic bowl with your dog's name painted on it. Dishes designed to store up to a couple of days' worth of food or water are available, as are paper bowls good for one meal only (the latter most commonly used at boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals).

You will probably prefer sturdy dishes of molded plastic or stainless steel that resist chewing or scratching and can be sterilized in the dishwasher. These dishes ? especially stainless steel - retain their good looks, handle any abuse a dog can dish out, and last forever. Dishes that damage easily are hard to keep clean and invite the buildup of food and bacteria in the dents and scratches. Some dogs also have a sensitivity to plastic bowls.

For tall dogs, consider an elevated unit that brings the bowl up to the dog's level, an especially nice product for older dogs. For dogs with long, silky ears - like cocker spaniels - look for bowls with a narrow opening and high sloped sides to keep that fur out of the muck. If your dog is a ravenous eater, a bowl with a nonskid base will help keep the dish from ending up sliding all over the house.

Some people are a little squeamish about putting dog dishes in the dishwasher, but, honestly, if your dishwasher's doing its job right, the water will be hot enough to render everything in it clean enough for you to eat out of.

The Water Bowl

While food dishes should be picked up, washed, and put away after meals, water dishes need to be kept full and available at all times. Here, too, stainless steel is your best choice. Dishes with reservoirs are fine, but they're hard to keep clean. And, unless your dog needs a lot of water, these products get mucky before the water needs to be refilled.

For outside water, the "Lixit," available in any pet-supply store or catalog, has long been a popular device. Attached to a faucet, it releases fresh water when the dog licks or nuzzles the trigger - and stops the flow when the dog is through. They need to be installed in a protected area, however, for the metal can become frying-pan hot if exposed to full summer sun.

All water sources need to be sheltered from both heat and freezing cold, or they won't be available to your dog - a potentially deadly situation in extreme weather. As for keeping water warm, there are heated bowls available to keep water from freezing, as well as special devices designed to fit into buckets to do the same thing.

If you and your dog are constantly on the go, look into a more portable water source. Several different kinds of traveling bowls are designed to reduce splashing, and some collapsible products can be put away in a space as small as a fanny pack.

John Edwards is a long time dog lover. Visit his website to learn which dandruff shampoo for dog is good for dog and many more tips at: http://www.dogcaretraining.com

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