Is Your Pet's Food Bowl Creating a Toxic Meal?

One of the quality, safe ceramic dog bowls we offer - ceramic is healthier than plastic for your pets food!

Ceramic is healthier than plastic for your pet's food bowl!

I have only fed my pets with stainless steel bowls since sometime around 1998, when I heard a news story somewhere about how the chemicals used to make plastic bowls can leach into your pet’s food and cause health issues. I didn’t have to dive into the details; hearing the story once was enough for me to make a simple switch and never look back.

Ingesting BPA? Yummy!
Every few years, articles regarding the safety of plastics return to news headlines – most recently in the form of reports of a chemical found in baby and sports bottles: Bisphenal A, or BPA.

From Wikipedia:
Bisphenol A is prepared by the condensation of acetone with two equivalents of phenol. The reaction is catalyzed by an acid, such as hydrochloric acid (HCl) or a sulfonated polystyrene resin.

Bisphenol A has low acute toxicity, with an oral LD50 of 3250 mg/kg in rats, but it is an endocrine disruptor. Low doses of bisphenol A can mimic the body’s own hormones, possibly causing negative health effects. There is thus concern that long term low dose exposure to bisphenol A may induce chronic toxicity in humans.

This caused a run on glass and stainless steel bottles from concerned parents and water enthusiasts. I also traded in my plastic water bottles for one reusable stainless steel bottle, and I must say, the water tastes much better. (Have you ever noticed how the water in your bottle tastes terrible if left in the car overnight and it experiences a change in temperature? That doesn’t happen with the BPA-free stainless steel bottles!)

Stainless steel bowls like this are easy to keep sanitary for a healthy pet.

Stainless steel bowls like this are easy to keep sanitary for a healthy pet.

So what about your pet’s food bowl? There are many different types and materials, but according to the National Institue of Health and other major environmental groups, the chemicals used to make plastic bowls and bottles *can* get into its contents, especially if the container is scratched or put in the microwave. And those chemicals contain toxins that can cause cancer, impaired immune function, hyperactivity, and other health problems.

But there are safe products you can use to feed your pets. Pet bowls made of ceramic, stoneware, porcelain, and of course, stainless steel, are less porous than plastic, so they harbor less bacteria and are easier to keep clean and sanitary (remember all those stainless steel tools you see in the doctor’s office?). They also look more beautiful, for longer! Quality hand-painted stoneware, ceramic, and porcelain products are covered with lead-free glaze (always look for the “lead-free” distinction) and fired at high temperatures to create not only vibrant colors but safe, non-porous, strong, chip-resistant structure.

In Part 2 of this article, we’ll discuss more downsides of plastic pet bowls and how to keep your pet’s dishes truly sanitary.

11 thoughts on “Is Your Pet's Food Bowl Creating a Toxic Meal?

  1. [...] flecks in it. This is most often caused by the use of plastic feeding bowls, because as I wrote in part one of this article, those dishes are porous, trap bacteria, and are never reliably clean. This shallow stainless steel [...]

  2. [...] used to create plastic bowls can also be affected when you microwave it or apply heat to it.  Go Fetch Gifts wrote a nice article about the safety of plastic bowls and how it’s probably safer to switch [...]

  3. [...] are the water basics for dogs: 1) Water bowls should be cleaned daily to avoid any potentially dangerous bacterial growth. Ceramic is healthier than plastic for your pet’s food and water [...]

  4. Jeez, I never thought to consider what my dogs bowls were made of! Thankfully she has a stainless steel one. I’m not sure what made me pick that but I’m sure glad I didn’t choose plastic.

  5. I use several types of bowl in the house as we care for customers dogs as well as our own. Hygiene is important for both the pets and humans.in this relationship. If you do purchase plastic bowls make sure they are from a reputable supplier and have a flat bottom. The flat bottom is for my main point. We run a maximum temp doggie dishwasher cycle for all the dog bowls and utensils daily. This eliminates both bacteria and the build up of limescale in water bowls.
    The practice of leaving food out for dogs should be avoided at all costs feeding time is feeding time and that is that. The only bowls we leave out are the water bowles these are all ceramic. as stainless attracts limescale.

  6. We use a ceramic dish for our cats’ food,but we have a plastic water fountain (a Drinkwell 360.) Does anyone know if the plastic in the Drinkwell is dangerous? Now I’m quite worried…

  7. I’m so glad that a long time ago I decided to use stainless steel bowls for my dogs’ meals!

  8. Antoinette Sherman says:

    So what about these anti-gulp or anti-bloat bowls? I used to use stainless steel bowls, but I have two dogs that gulp their food down so fast, they will actually vomit it back up – not only is this very unappealing, it can be dangerous and even lead to bloat. I found the anit-gulp bowls (I think the brand name is Brake-Fast), with the little pillars inside that make the dog slow down and pick around the pillars (which act as obstructions in the bowl), for their food. This did the trick for my gulpers, but they are all made of plastic. I prefer stainless steel, but what do I do in this situation?

    • I’ve heard of people hand feeding their dogs in situations like this. However, I was able to find at least one stainless steel solution: http://www.amazon.com/Indipets-Extra-Heavy-Piece-Stainless/dp/B0033PR7CI/ref=pd_sim_petsupplies_2/176-0241461-5799609

    • laurie prince says:

      Hi there! If your dogs are gulping there food that fast it could be there dogfood is lacking in nutrition. Unfortunately there are alot of dog foods that are very low quality out there. If you google “Home cooking for dogs” you can find alot of info/recipes online regarding giving your dogs people food to supplement their dog food. Also of course do some looking around for a better quality dogfood. Wellness is supposed to be good and I give my dogs Wenaewe adult dog food which I think is the best out there to my knowledge. We feed our dogs people food every day. Whatever we are eating the dogs get there portion of whatever they like. The exception is spicy foods like tortillas dogs can’t handle spicy foods. meat eggs fruits and vegetables if they like it they get their portion of a cup or so. If we have chicken they get some chicken, they like red cabbage so we give them some every day. What you eat is bound to be more nutritious than dry dog food. Very good guidelines are available online and I ordered books on the subject from the library also.. A daily boiled or scrambled egg also is a very economical way to boost a dogs nutrition. best wishes! Laurie

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