I had a “light bulb” moment recently about the cleanest, most comfortable and healthy way to feed my dogs – one of those “Ah duh!” moments where you hit your forehead with the bottom of your palm and say, “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!”
Like me, you may be one of those dog owners whose house (and basement) are full of many different styles and types of dog beds your dog doesn’t really like – and just as many types of rejected dog bowls, too. It’s my belief that many dogs would lodge a complaint about their feeding bowl if you put up a Suggestion Box.
Do You have a Pug or Bulldog?
If you have one of the bracephalic breeds – a Boxer, English Bulldog, Pug or Puggle, French Bulldog or an Affenpinscher – those short-snorted dogs have additional challenges in trying to get their flat little faces into deep bowls with high sides. And my dog bowl solution suits them best of all!
The Long List of Discarded Bowls
Do you have bowls which are gathering dust under a cabinet because your dog wasn’t all that comfortable using it – or you weren’t?
The too-light aluminum bowls that skitter around (and the dog’s collar tags jangle against it bothering you and him) (plus it turns out a lot of stainless bowls were made unsafely in China and have some sort of toxicity)?
Or the heavy ceramic bowls you need two hands to lift once filled, plus they are shaped like a casserole baking dish, with an inner shape that bears no resemblance to how a dog’s snout and mouth function, so she has to travel all around the bowl to get at the food stuck in the crevice…or just give up?
Or a plastic bowl that has gotten scratched over time and now you cannot reliably get it really clean because bacteria lingers in the scratched surface?
Or one of the many variations on raised feeders in decorative platforms – only to discover that raised feeders can actually be dangerous to proper digestion because it interferes with the way a dog naturally eats, putting her head down to the ground, the way a horse and many other animals naturally eat.
So What’s The Magic Solution?
You may laugh when I tell you what I figured out – because it seems too easy and obvious. Buy an ordinary glass pie pan! It can be Pyrex or another brand; it can have a plain edge or a fluted one. Every supermarket or kitchen store sells them and it will cost under $10. Get a size that is appropriate to the size of your dog – anything from small (intended for making individual quiches or tarts) to the large circumference for big pooches like my Weimaraners. And glass pie pans are indestructible: I have a soapstone sink and even if the dish slips it doesn’t break. You can see perfectly when they are clean – and every so often they pop right into the dish washer where their agreeable shape fits nicely. Your dog will find the pie pan’s flat surface lovely for comfortably slurping up food, and if your dog is a wolf-it-down type, the spread out surface actually can slow them down.
My Dogs’ Dinner
Maisie and Wanda each get a smorgasbord for their meals. The basis of their diet starts with a scoop (or 1 1/12) of their Halo kibble (they appreciate the earth and animal friendly new recipes!) and then there is a scoop of low fat cottage cheese (or sometimes it is scrambled eggs instead) and a spoonful either of home-cooked ground turkey or chicken, string beans and oats (as you see here) or for their second meal of the day I use a big spoon of canned Halo food – the salmon (wild caught), chicken (cage free) or (hormone-free) beef.
Get yourself a glass pie plate and it will be the last “dog bowl” you ever need to buy!
Tracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.
Tracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.
Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.