Best Slow Feed Dog Bowls

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

17 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
132 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

Buying guide for best slow feeder dog bowls

Last Updated October 2019

Some dogs eat their meals at lightning speed, which can cause issues such as choking, vomiting, and even potentially fatal gastric dilation (also known as bloat). If you only have to blink to miss your canine companion wolfing down their food, consider buying a slow feeder dog bowl to steady their pace.

When picking out the right slow feeder bowl to fit your dog's needs, you should consider the size of the bowl to be sure it can hold enough food for your four-legged friend. Also look closely at the ridge pattern to see how simple or complex it is and how much it's likely to slow down your dog. Other factors to consider include nonslip bases, anti-tip capabilities, and whether you want a bowl made of plastic, ceramic or stainless steel (each type has its pros and cons).

To learn more, read on. When you’re ready to buy, take a look at our top recommendations. 

If your four-legged friend is an avid chewer, we recommend a metal or ceramic slow feeder dog bowl over a plastic one.

Key considerations

Ridge pattern

In order to slow your canine companion down while eating, slow feeder dog bowls feature ridges laid out in a certain pattern or configuration. The most simple slow feeders feature a single raised bump in the center that your dog must eat around. More complex ridge patterns include flower petals, spirals, and concentric circles.

Slow feeder bowls with complicated, narrow-spaced ridge patterns tend to be more tricky for dogs to eat from, slowing them down much more than simpler patterns with wider spaces between ridges. Some have shallower ridges than others, too, which work best for dogs with short snouts.

Size

You can buy slow feeder dog bowls in a range of sizes and capacities to suit dogs little and large. Choose a bowl that will suit the size of your dog and how much food they eat. Many slow feeders list their capacity in cups in the product description, which is handy if you measure your pooch's dinner, rather than simply eyeballing it.

Many slow feeder dog bowls come in at least two sizes, and you can buy some in as many as five sizes. It's important to choose a bowl of the right size as a small dog might have trouble eating from a too-large bowl and a too-small bowl might not fit all of a big dog's dinner.

Materials

Plastic: The most common material for slow feeder dog bowls, plastic can be easily molded into a wide range of shapes, so it's the best material for making slow feeders with intricate ridge patterns. Unfortunately, it's also fairly easy for dogs to chew through. Also, it can be fragile if the plastic is too thin, and it can harbor bacteria in its porous surface. While we think plastic slow feeder bowls are fine for most dogs (except dogs who'll chew anything), you will need to wash them regularly so bacteria doesn't build up and cause problems.

Ceramic or stainless steel: Both of these materials are less porous, making bacteria buildup less of an issue (though you should still clean them when they get dirty). They tend to have extremely simple ridge patterns, however, so they won't slow your dog's eating down as effectively.

EXPERT TIP

If one of your dogs eats their food extra-quickly so they can steal your other dog's food before they're done, consider buying a slow feeder for the fast-eating dog and sticking with a regular bowl for the slower eater.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Anti-tip capabilities

Some impatient pooches will try to tip their slow feeder bowls over and eat their food off the floor, bypassing those pesky ridges. If you think this is a trick your dog might try, look for a bowl that's hard to tip. Some are either weighted or are naturally heavy (such as ceramic bowls). Others are quite flat or have a low center of gravity, so tipping is off the cards.

Nonslip base

If you feed your dog on tile, linoleum, or other uncarpeted surfaces, their bowl is likely to slide around as they eat. Choosing a slow feeder dog bowl with a nonslip base is an easy solution to this problem.

Color

You can find slow feeder dog bowls in a variety of colors, depending on the bowl’s material.

  • Plastic bowls tend to be the most colorful on offer, with everything from basic black to luminous orange available.
  • Stainless steel bowls are unfinished, so you'll only find those in silver.
  • Ceramic slow feeders often have a cream or tan finish but can be more colorful.

Some slow feeder bowls may not be suited to brachycephalic (flat-nosed) dogs.

Slow feeder dog bowl prices

How much should you expect to pay for a slow feeder dog bowl? The price can vary based on a range of factors, including size, material, and overall durability.

Inexpensive: Some slow feeder dog bowls can cost as little as $5 to $10. These tend to be small plastic bowls and may not be extremely durable.

Mid-range: For $10 to $20, you can find some excellent sturdy plastic and stainless steel models.

Expensive: High-end slow feeder dog bowls can cost as much as $20 to $35. At this price point, you'll find extra-large bowls and ceramic bowls, which should be highly durable.

EXPERT TIP

Supervise your canine companion the first few times they use their slow feeder dog bowl, as we've heard about a tiny number of dogs attempting to chew the bowl to more easily get to their food.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Consider how durable your slow feeder dog bowl is. You might spend less initially on a flimsy bowl, but it will cost you more in the long run, as it will likely need to be replaced quickly.
  • Check whether your chosen slow feeder bowl is dishwasher-safe. It can be tough to clean all the nooks and crannies of your dog's slow feeder bowl. If you buy a model that's dishwasher-safe, cleanup will be far easier.
  • Select a slow feeder dog bowl that's nontoxic and BPA-free. It might seem obvious that your chosen dog bowl should be nontoxic, but some extremely cheap models can contain toxic chemicals. You may also want to consider choosing a BPA-free bowl, if you opt for plastic.
  • Think about buying a slow feeder bowl if your dog is overweight. Since your four-legged friend will eat more slowly, it might help them feel fuller on a slightly reduced amount of food.

Other products we considered

The Neater Slow Feeder is a great bowl for large dogs, with a huge six-cup capacity and removable legs. You also have the option to lift off the top of the bowl and use the part underneath as a water bowl. If you'd prefer a stainless steel option, consider Our Pets DuraPet Slow Feed Premium Stainless Steel Dog Bowl, which comes in small, medium, and large sizes. The raised middle will slow your dog down a little, but not as much as more complex patterns. The purple flower version of the Outward Hound Fun Feeder has a shallow-ridged design that works well for flat-faced breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs (though other dogs can use it, too). Finally, we love the Dogit Go Slow Anti-Gulping Dog Bowl. The simple ridge pattern makes it ideal for wet food, in addition to dry. Though it might not sufficiently slow down the most aggressively quick eaters, it's great for the majority of dogs.

A slow feeder dog bowl can help make mealtimes more entertaining for your furry pal, since they must work for their food.

FAQ

Q. Are there any alternatives to a slow feeder dog bowl?
A.
If a slow feeder dog bowl doesn't adequately slow down your quick-eating pooch, or you'd like to extend their mealtime to keep them entertained, consider feeding kibble in a treat-dispensing toy or other canine puzzle toy. Alternatively, you can buy slow feeder mats and other slow feeders that can't quite be classed as bowls but have the same purpose.

Q. Can you find raised slow feeder dog bowls?
A.
Yes, although they're not as widely available as standard slow feeder bowls, you can find a handful of raised slow feeders. These are great for large dogs or dogs with ailments that make it hard for them to eat at floor-level. The trouble with raised slow feeder bowls is that they're easier to tip if your dog gets frustrated by not being able to munch their meals at top speed.

Q. Can you use a slow feeder dog bowl for both wet and dry foods?
A.
Yes, in theory, you can use slow feeder dog bowls for both wet and dry food. But, in practice, some are better for wet food than others. It's more difficult for your dog to eat wet food from slow feeders with extremely intricate or tightly spaced ridge patterns, so food often remains stuck in tight spots. If you want to feed wet food in a slow feeder, select one with a simple design.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Karen
    Karen
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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