Are you looking for the best ceramic dog bowl for your pooch?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
At DogLab, we spent 90+ hours testing and reviewing over 25 different ceramic dog bowls to find the highest quality, most durable and usable ceramic dog bowls on the market.
All to answer one question…
Which ceramic dog bowl is best?
Want the answer? Read on!
- What is a ceramic dog bowl?
- Why should you choose a ceramic dog bowl?
- How did we test the ceramic dog bowls?
- Best all-around ceramic dog bowl
- Best ceramic dog bowl for small dogs
- Best ceramic dog bowl for large dogs
- Best ceramic dog bowls for messy drinkers
What is a ceramic dog bowl?
When it comes to dog bowls, the word ceramic refers to any bowl made from earthenware, stoneware, porcelain or even bone china.
The majority of the time, however, dog bowls are made from stoneware – it hits the sweet spot between durability, affordability and weight.
Ceramic dog bowls are made from fired clay. As a result, it is inherently more difficult to work ceramic into unusual shapes. Because of this, you are less likely to come across specialized dog bowls such as slow feeders or collapsible dog bowls.
Why should you choose a ceramic dog bowl?
Let’s look at some of the most compelling reasons for using a ceramic dog bowl…
1. Does your dog push or carry his bowl around?
Does your dog push his bowl? Maybe he uses his paw or perhaps his nose. This cute behavior can get old quickly as your dog flips his meal on the floor or pushes the bowl around the room.
Or, maybe your dog prefers to carry his bowl between his jaws, taking it on a tour of your home. While the behavior may seem cute, when feeding time rolls around, you have to go on a bowl hunt, searching all over until you find it.
Both of these playful behaviors can be fixed with a ceramic bowl. You see, ceramic bowls are the heaviest type of dog bowl around, making them difficult for your dog to push or carry.
2. Do you microwave your dog’s food?
Look, I know the jury is still out on whether or not you should microwave your dog’s food. But if you experience Maine winters or just own a fussy old dog, then there is good reason to microwave your dog’s meal.
Unlike most other dog bowls, ceramic is microwavable, meaning that you can heat your dog’s food without the bowl melting or sparking.
3. Do you own a puppy?
To a puppy, eeeeverything is a toy. Especially things that are not supposed to be toys, like your shoes and dog bowl.
If you are tired of your puppy gnawing on his plastic dog bowl or clanging his stainless steel dish, a heavy ceramic bowl is a great solution – your puppy will be much less interested when he realizes he cannot move it.
4. Do you want an easy-to-clean dog bowl?
Look at your dinnerware. Ceramic, right? Well, let’s just say there is a good reason for that…
Ceramic is easy-to-clean!
The smooth gloss finish prevents food from taking hold.
A quick scrub with soap and a sponge will remove all but the most stubborn, caked-on dog food – and even then, a soak helps remove the tough stuff.
However, that’s not to say that ceramic dog bowls are perfect. There are some downsides you should be aware of…
If you have ever dropped ceramic before, you know how easily it breaks. If you are particularly clumsy, then this bowl might not be suitable for you.
Then, there is the weight. Ceramic dog bowls can be quite heavy, making them unsuitable for use as a travel bowl.
Also, once your ceramic bowl chips, it needs to be tossed in the trash. Not only do chipped and cracked areas harbor bacteria, but your dog could also eat any loose pieces that break off.
There is also the downside that ceramic should be cleaned by hand – even the dishwasher-safe brands. To put it simply, the rapid temperature change and water pressure can cause micro-fractures in the bowl, which can lead to chipping. If you want your ceramic bowl to last as long as possible, you need to wash it by hand.
Finally, if you are after a specialized ceramic dog bowl, then be prepared to pay extra for it. While standard bowl shapes are affordable, expect to hand over a wad of cash for specialty designs such as splash proof or slow-feed ceramic bowls.
As always, weigh the pros and cons to determine if ceramic is a suitable material for your dog’s bowl.
- Can be microwaved
- Less likely to move around
- Must be cleaned by hand
- Less portable
- Fewer specialized designs available
- Often more expensive
- Any chip or crack means the bowl must be thrown away
How did we test the ceramic dog bowls?
At DogLab, we take reviewing darn seriously. We never recommend a product that we wouldn’t give to our own precious pooches. That’s why we thoroughly reviewed every ceramic dog bowl featured in this guide.
By the end of the process, we spent a combined 90+ hours researching, testing and reviewing the most popular (and even some unpopular!) ceramic dog bowls on the market.
No dogs were overfed or starved during our testing process. In fact, each of our pups had a blast assisting us as we reviewed the ceramic bowls.
Who could blame them? Cuddles and food? Let’s be realistic – it’s pretty much anyone’s dream job.
Want to learn more about our testing process? Read on!
Which ceramic dog bowls did we test?
It all started with choosing which ceramic dog bowls to test.
While ceramic dog bowls are certainly less common than stainless steel or plastic bowls, there were still hundreds of different types to choose from.
From different shapes, depths, wall thicknesses, weights, prints and colors, there was a lot to choose from.
So, the first thing we had to do was narrow down our selection.
After spending much time analyzing user reviews and interviewing experts to determine what was important in a ceramic bowl, we narrowed down the selection to 25 bowls.
While this may seem like a lot, it’s worth mentioning that many of the bowls were variations offered by a single brand. For example, some brands offered one style of ceramic bowl in varying sizes – for smaller and larger dogs.
By the end, we put 7 different brands to the test:
- Alfie Pet
- Bone Dry
- Ethical Pet
- Modern Artisans
- Signature Housewares
With our list complete, it was time to go shopping. Each ceramic dog bowl was purchased from Amazon.com or Chewy.com. Yep, at DogLab, we buy every product we review at the same price you pay. We don’t receive special treatment or discounts for reviewing these products.
Once the mountain of ceramic dog bowls was delivered, it was time to test them.
What criteria did we use?
Now that we had our pile of ceramic dog bowls, it was time to compare them to each other to determine which was truly best.
To find the number one ceramic dog bowl, we tested the following:
Suitability – How well the bowl performed when used by different breeds of dogs.
Durability – How well the bowl held up to scratching, washing and regular use by excited dogs.
Mobility – A good ceramic dog bowl should be heavy with minimal sliding during meal time. We measured how much each bowl moved around during chow time.
Capacity – How much kibble and water can each bowl realistically hold. Each bowl was filled to ⅛ inch below the rim with Rachel Ray Nutrish Kibble and water (separately), and then, we measured the amount in each bowl.
Who tested the ceramic dog bowls?
It’s now time to introduce you to who tested the ceramic dog bowls.
We assembled a team of five testers to interact with, observe and rate how well each ceramic bowl performed.
Where possible, we source testers from Fetch A Friend Rescue, a no-kill rescue organization that takes in dogs from local shelters who would otherwise be put down, giving them a second chance to find a forever home. If you live in Upstate New York and are looking for a four-legged family friend, check them out!
Let me introduce you to…
Breed: Long-Haired Chihuahua
Given up by a family that was not prepared for the responsibility of dog ownership, he is hoping for a second chance with a loving family. Gizmo has bug eyes that point in two different directions, which we think adds to his charm. Seriously, isn’t he adorable? Gizmo isn’t a barker and instead prefers to get attention by nuzzling your ankle. His favorite hobby is squeezing into tight spaces, such as under the couch, running in circles and pretending he is an Instagram model – he loves selfies! Gizmo’s small size made him perfect for testing which ceramic dog bowls were suitable for small dogs.
Good news! Gizmo has been adopted.
Breed: Beagle/Labrador/Pitbull mix
Lena is a former rescue pup that has been given a second chance with a loving family. Now, she spends her days chilling on the couch, receiving lots of scratches behind her ears and playing too roughly with her toys. Seriously, during testing alone, she managed to break two dog toys that were advertised as unbreakable.
Breed: American Bulldog mix
Champ’s story is a sad one, spending his early years chained up in a yard. Preferring to communicate with soft grunts, he is looking for a patient owner who will provide him with all the love, experiences and training he missed out on as a puppy. Champ is still learning what is and isn’t a toy. In his eyes, dog bowls are just one more thing for him to play with. Unfortunately, Champ had an incident with a brittle ceramic bowl designed for flat-faced dogs – he dropped it, and it shattered into pieces, cutting his lip in the process. This is exactly why we thoroughly test each product we recommend so that the same thing won’t happen to your pooch. Don’t worry! Champ made a full recovery.
Good news! Champ has been adopted.
Breed: German Shepherd and Border Collie mix
Harper is a regular at DogLab. Outdoors, she is fearless and will happily hunt snakes, bringing them back as a gift to her screaming owner. She has since been banned from long grass. Her bravery outside doesn’t extend in other areas, however. She is deathly afraid of umbrellas and rollerskates.
Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
Another regular tester, Tucker has happily gotten into the routine of testing products. He knows that whenever testing time rolls around, he receives treats. Here, you can see him resting on his favorite blanket between testing the ceramic dog bowls – it’s a hard life!
Which ceramic dog bowl is best?
To kick things off, I’m going to declare an outright winner – the best ceramic dog bowl for the widest range of dogs.
After that, I list suitable options for those looking for something a little more specialized, including ceramic bowls that outperformed for small dogs, large dogs and messy drinkers.
Best all-around ceramic dog bowl
Simple but stylish, this modern design is both functional and eye-catching. There are no cute paw prints or any dog motifs, which were commonly featured on other ceramic bowls – just an uncomplicated two-tone design that will look right great in any home.
Best of all, the bowl comes in a wide range of colors, from bright red and yellow to pastel green and brown. No other ceramic bowl offered a wider color selection. If you are like me and want your décor to match, then you’ll be thrilled by the number of color choices.
But why we recommend the Waggo Dipper for most dogs is that it comes in three sizes:
|Kibble Capacity||2 cups||4 cups||8 cups|
|Small Kibble Capacity||2 cups||5 cups||9 cups|
|Water Capacity (without spilling)||11 oz||30 oz||58 oz|
Surprisingly, every other brand of ceramic dog bowl we tested had irregular sizing. One brand thought that a bowl that holds 3 cups of kibble should be called large. Another didn’t offer a medium size at all.
Waggo gets sizing correct, offering a ceramic bowl for all breeds. Small will be fine for everything from a Chihuahua to a Beagle. Medium for dogs like Border Collies, Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Large holds enough kibble to feed a hungry German Shepherd or St. Bernard.
Here is Gizmo, the long-haired Chihuahua testing the small model…
While Lena chows down using the large…
The bowl is finished in a smooth gloss. There are no crevices or raised edges that trap dog food. After a quick soapy soak, I easily removed all traces of food from the bowl with a sponge. Those of you with less time for cleaning will be happy to know that this ceramic dog bowl is also dishwasher-safe.
An added bonus of the smooth surface and weight of the ceramic made this one of the more difficult bowls for a dog to pick up. Even Champ, who insisted on treating every bowl like a toy, couldn’t get a good grip.
While the bowl is weighted, excited larger dogs were still able to slightly move the bowl around during eating. Although, no dog tipped it over. This was more noticeable on slippery flooring like tiles or hardwoods. If this is a concern for you, I suggest either grabbing a non-skid mat to place under it or checking out our recommended ceramic bowl for large dogs.
The Waggo Dipper ceramic dog bowl proves that a bowl doesn’t need to be fancy to be great. It gets everything right, for breeds of all sizes. And that’s why it’s our top pick for the best all-around ceramic dog bowl.
Best ceramic dog bowl for small dogs
The number one complaint about Bone Dry Lattice bowls? Their sizing. Despite offering three different sizes of ceramic bowl, they run small…
|Kibble Capacity||0.75 cups||1.75 cups||3 cups|
|Small Kibble Capacity||1 cups||2.5 cups||4 cups|
|Water Capacity (without spilling)||6 oz||12 oz||20 oz|
They would be better described as extra small, small and medium…
Funny enough, it’s this sizing that makes the bowl perfect for small-sized dogs such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Dachshunds and any other petite dog you can think of that doesn’t have a flat face.
But if you have a medium to large dog, you’ll likely find this bowl too small for your pooch.
The small size and shallow sides meant that even our tiny tester could reach every last piece of kibble at the bottom of the bowl without straining.
Here you can see Gizmo, our long-haired Chihuahua, excitedly tap dancing around the bowl.
What really sets the Bone Dry bowls apart from the competition is the non-slip silicone rubber ring. This ring runs around the base of the bowl and prevents the bowl from sliding around even on wooden and tiled floors.
This was a blessing for Gizmo, who has a bad habit of leaning against the side of bowls when he eats. The result? Every time he took a mouthful of food, the bowl slid. But not with this non-slip ring.
Don’t get me wrong, larger dogs were able to move this bowl around without issue. But then, it isn’t for large dogs anyway. Our smaller pooches couldn’t move it at all.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a clear drawback to this non-slip ring. A common complaint was that the dishwasher caused the ring to stretch. Over time, the ring became so loose that it fell off the bowl – we recommend washing it by hand.
Speaking of removing the ring, you’ll probably want to remove it completely if your dog is a chewer. Dogs that love to chew will find the ring too tempting to pass up.
If your petite dog isn’t a chewer, then there is a lot to love about this ceramic dog bowl.
Best ceramic bowl for large dogs
Do you have a giant breed, such as a Newfoundland or St. Bernard? You’ll want a large ceramic dog bowl to match, and Waggo once again proves no one makes a better ceramic bowl…
While the Waggo Gloss is also available in small and medium options, they just didn’t compare to the large size.
Why? Well first, it’s going to keep your hungry pooch full. Capable of holding 8 cups of kibble, no other ceramic bowl we tested could match the amount of food that large Waggo bowls could hold.
But the reason we singled this bowl out as the winner? It’s weight.
At just shy of 3 pounds, this is one hefty bowl. In fact, it’s the heaviest traditional dog bowl we tested.
If you are looking for a hefty dog bowl that your giant pooch won’t try to pick up, then this is as good as it gets. Like our all-around pick, it has a smooth gloss surface that is both difficult for a dog to grip and easy-to-clean.
If you are concerned about the bowl sliding around on your floor, it depends on the surface. Tiles, laminate and wooden floors saw the most movement, but even then, this was minimal. Let’s face it, if your Great Dane wants to move a bowl, then there isn’t much you can do about it. However, as far as accidental bumps go, we were impressed at this sturdy ceramic bowl’s ability to stand its ground.
If you have issues with your bowl sliding, I highly recommend investing in a non-slip mat. As a bonus, it will catch any food that your dog spills – which makes cleaning up easier for you!
In addition, due to the high sides on the bowl, we found even our messiest eaters were able to contain their meal to the bowl.
It’s worth mentioning that it is the depth of the bowl that makes it less suited to smaller pups. Our smallest tester had difficulty reaching over the edge to comfortably reach the base of the bowl.
Normally, a bowl with higher sides is easier to tip. However, due to the weight of the bowl, we didn’t have any issues with the bowl flipping like we experienced with certain plastic and stainless steel bowls.
I would add that this bowl is less suitable for large breeds with flat faces, such as Mastiffs and Boxers. The bowl narrows toward the bottom, which makes it difficult for these breeds to eat efficiently.
But for all other large-sized dogs, this is a fantastic dog bowl. Like the other Waggo bowls, it’s available in a range of different colors.
Best ceramic dog bowl for messy drinkers
Is your dog a messy drinker? I’m talking about puddles surrounding your dog’s bowl each time he takes a drink.
If so, check out this ceramic dog bowl from Modern Artisans. Hand-made right here in the USA, the bowl features edges that fold in, to prevent water from splashing out of the bowl while your dog drinks.
Available in two sizes, these bowls are heavy. The smaller size weighs an impressive 2 pounds while the larger comes in at 4. With so much weight holding them down, these bowls didn’t budge while our dogs slurped away. With that said, a German Shepherd that is determined to play will likely be able to carry these around – nothing gets in the way of playtime for them!
|Weight||2 pounds||4 pounds|
|Water Capacity (without spilling)||22 oz||45 oz|
The inward curling edges effectively stopped water from sloshing over the edges – even when used by our messiest drinkers.
Dotted around the lip are three drainage holes. These allow water to escape when washing, preventing the risk of mold and mildew that often comes with trapped water.
Speaking of the lip, we did note that it made the opening a little too narrow to accommodate a flat-faced dog.
The price may be off-putting, but you are paying for quality workmanship right here in America.
Okay, so it’s only really usable as a water bowl, but if you want a ceramic bowl that cuts down on splashing, then there is no going past it.
The ceramic dog bowls that didn’t make the cut
Signature Housewares makes a wide range of ceramic bowls with a variety of cute prints. Highly praised, nicely weighted, deep and reasonably priced, these were a strong contender for our top pick. Unfortunately, both our medium and large bowl chipped during testing. They were the only ceramic dog bowls we tested to do so. We will retest this brand when the time comes to update this guide.
The shallow Ethical Pet Stoneware Crock Dishes would be better suited to cats than dogs. All but the largest size is considered too small for most dogs. The sides are too shallow, and the reflective dark blue inside made it oddly difficult to determine how much water was left in the bowl at a glance. Otherwise, the bowl is heavily weighted and sturdy.
The PetRageous Food and Water Bowls were adorable. These bowls came in a wide range of prints. The ones we tested had “food” and “water” printed on the outside. The bowls run small and are surprisingly light, sliding easily during mealtime. Also, the water bowl held only 20 ounces of water – not nearly enough for most breeds of dogs.
Alfie Pet was a unique tilted ceramic dog bowl designed for flat-faced dogs. Just one problem, the thing is darn breakable, too lightweight and brittle. Champ, our American Bulldog mix picked the bowl up in testing. It fell 3 inches and shattered to pieces, cutting his lip in the process. While this bowl is possibly suitable for a small, flat-faced dog like a Pug, who won’t pick up or bump the bowl, we don’t recommend it.
The Key West Paw Saucer was another style of ceramic dish from PetRageous. It may perform well for a small, flat-faced dog who won’t pick up his bowl, but the dish is almost too shallow to be called a bowl. Like the rest of the PetRageous range, this ceramic bowl was too light and easily moved around during meal time.
Phew! If you have made it this far, then you know everything you need in order to choose the ideal ceramic bowl for your dog.
Just to recap our results…
The best ceramic dog bowls we tested:
|Waggo Dipper||Most dogs|
|Bone Dry Lattice||Small dogs|
|Waggo Gloss||Large dogs|
|Modern Artisans Stoneware Water Bowl||Messy drinkers|
Does your dog use a ceramic dog bowl? Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!