Are you looking for the best stainless steel dog bowl for your precious pooch?
Well, you’ve come to the right place!
At DogLab, we spent 150+ hours testing and reviewing over 30 different stainless steel dog bowls to find the highest quality, most durable and suitable stainless steel dog bowls available.
All to answer one simple question…
Which stainless steel dog bowl is the best?
Want the answer? Read on!
Our Top Choices
Best stainless steel dog bowls
To kick things off, I’m going to declare an outright winner – the best stainless steel dog bowl for the widest range of dogs.
After that, I list suitable options for those looking for something a little more specialized, including a premium pick as well as a slow-feeder, flat-faced and water varieties.
1. Best all-around stainless steel dog bowl
What can I say, Basis Pet just gets dog owners. They sell only one product: stainless steel dog bowls, and they stand behind each one of them.
I’m sure it helps that the owner, Mike, originally created these stainless steel dog bowls with his own pooch in mind – Ono a Shiba Inu.
They test every batch of their 304 stainless steel bowls for lead, mercury and cadmium – nasty heavy metals that can contaminate stainless steel bowls, causing negative effects on the health of your dog. [ 6] [ 7]
But what made this dog bowl our number one recommendation is its size. Available in four sizes, ranging from small to extra-large, this stainless steel bowl is suitable for every dog from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane.
The 22-gauge steel can take a beating. We kicked it, threw it, stepped on it, and our overly enthusiastic Labradors even used it as a play toy. Besides a few minor scuffs, the bowl held strong. With proper care, I can see this stainless steel bowl lasting years.
Best of all, Basis Pet offered a feature that no other stainless steel dog bowl could – it’s made right here in the USA.
And you know what? All this effort shows in the final product. Basis Pet created the best stainless steel bowl for most dogs.
In the unlikely event that you find the Basis Pet stainless steel dog bowl isn’t for you, they accept returns within 30 days of purchase, even if you used it. They even send you a pre-paid shipping label so that you don’t have to pay for postage! [ 8]
Coupled with amazing customer support, there is little reason why you should choose any other stainless steel dog bowl.
|Size||Dimensions (inches)||Capacity (cups)|
|Basis Pet Small||5.75 x 1.5||2|
|Basis Pet Medium||6.25 x 2.34||4.5|
|Basis Pet Large||7.5 x 3||8|
|Basis Pet X-Large||10 x 3.5||18|
Spoiler: Basis Pet is also our number one recommendation for those with flat-faced dogs, such as Bulldogs, Pugs and Shih Tzus.
2. Best premium stainless steel bowl
Everything about the Yeti Boomer 8 screams premium. From its hidden non-slip base to the thickness, it’s clear that a lot of effort went into the design of this bowl.
I would love to have tested how roughly our dogs could treat it, but none of them could move the darn thing. Not even Chloe, our Pit Bull mix who loves to push and flip her bowls, could budge it.
Even when I threw the bowl around and tried to damage it, the bowl held strong.
Weighing in at just under two pounds and finished with double-walled 304 stainless steel, the Yeti Boomer 8 was created with outdoor use in mind. This bowl should hold up for years even with bad weather and rough play.
As you might expect, you pay a premium price for this premium product.
It’s only downside was that it came in a single size. While it’s good for a wide range of dogs, it falls short for extra-small and extra-large breeds. While the smaller dogs struggled with the size, the eight-cup capacity didn’t hold enough to feed a large dog, like a hungry Mastiff.
If Yeti offered this bowl in multiple sizes, it would give our top pick a good run for its money. Even so, if your dog’s size could be classified as average, you’ll be very happy with this stainless steel dog bowl.
3. Best stainless steel slow-feed dog bowl
When it comes to slow-feed stainless steel dog bowls, this is as good as it gets. Mr. Peanut is a family-owned business that tests all the products they manufacture on their own dogs… And, it shows.
While the design may look simple, the gap between the hump and the sides of the bowl were precisely measured. It is the perfect distance to slow down your dog’s feeding time while still allowing him access to his food.
Other slow-feed stainless steel bowls either made the gap too wide, allowing dogs easy access to the food, or too tight, preventing them from eating altogether.
The non-skid silicone base did exactly what it claimed, preventing our dogs from pushing their bowl across the floor.
My concern is that Mr. Peanut only offers two sizes – medium and large. While the medium still slowed down small dogs, I cannot help but feel that a smaller size would work better.
Want to see more recommendations to slow down your dogs mealtime? Check out our slow feed dog bowl guide.
4. Best stainless steel dog bowl for flat-faced dogs
Yep, the same stainless steel bowl that took our top recommendation is also our number one pick for flat-faced dogs!
Many stainless steel dog bowls cause issues for flat-faced dogs. The spot where the wall and the bottom of the dog bowl meet forms a sharp angle. Dogs with smooshed faces can have difficulty retrieving food that falls in this area.
Basis Pet overcame this problem by rounding out the bottom where these two edges meet.
Combine this with the wide opening and your flat-faced friend can move her entire head around the inside of the bowl.
The result? Your flat-faced dog can easily gobble up food from all corners of her bowl, without effort.
Choose the appropriate size for your pooch, and she will never struggle during feeding time again!
|Size||Dimensions (inches)||Capacity (cups)|
|Basis Pet Small||5.75 x 1.5||2|
|Basis Pet Medium||6.25 x 2.34||4.5|
|Basis Pet Large||7.5 x 3||8|
|Basis Pet X-Large||10 x 3.5||18|
5. Best stainless steel water bowl
Okay, so I’m going to be upfront with you here…
Any old stainless steel bowl that holds your dog’s food will work just fine as a water bowl too.
However, there is one stainless steel bowl designed specifically with water in mind.
If your dog is anything like my precious pooch, she won’t drink warm water. Flat out refuses to. She would prefer to dehydrate than drink warm water.
During the summer, I am forever adding ice cubes to my dog’s water so that she will remain hydrated.
Well, the Polar Bowl is an alternate solution to keeping your dog’s drinking water cold. Simply place the bowl in your freezer and wait a couple of hours. Now all that’s left to do is fill it with water and give it to your dog. The bowl keeps your water cooler much longer than regular ice cubes.
It’s all thanks to the cooling gel core, hidden inside the bowl. This non-toxic gel helps keep water cold for longer.
Now, granted New York doesn’t get nearly as hot as Arizona, but I filled the bowl at 8 in the morning and was impressed that the water was still cool when I checked back at 4 in the afternoon.
As you expect, the bowl stays cooler for longer when kept inside rather than outside in the harsh sun. Still, I am happy that I have an alternative to ice cubes.
I bought two and have one in the freezer at all times, rotating them. This way my dog doesn’t have to wait around while I refreeze the bowl.
If you are looking for a water bowl that prevents spills, check out our no-spill dog bowl guide.
The stainless steel dog bowls that didn’t make the cut
It’s a sad fact of life: You can’t have winners without losers. While our top picks outperformed, the following stainless steel dog bowls were flawed in one way or another.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that these are bad stainless steel bowls. After all, they are all more than capable of holding both food and water. However, based on our testing, we see no reason to choose these over our top picks.
There wasn’t much to like about the budget Bergan Standard Dog Bowl. It was made from thin stainless steel. Bergan made the only stainless steel bowl that rusted during our testing, leading us to believe that it likely isn’t made of the high-quality 304 stainless steel. The thin metal dented easily and was effortlessly pushed around during feeding, even by our smallest tester, Fiona. And to top it off, the sticker on the bottom of the bowl left an almost impossible to remove residue.
Bergan’s other offering, the Non-Skid Pet Bowl was only marginally better. Same issues, but with this one, it didn’t skid as easily. So, I guess that’s something. However, the added rubber rim made the bowl more difficult to clean.
The Bella Bowl is a great example of why you don’t need a fancy-colored stainless steel dog bowl. While the colorful patterns were adorable, the poly-resin scratched on the first use. I shudder to think what it would look like after a couple of months.
The Neater Pet Brands Hammered Bowl was a so-so bowl for the price. The hammered pattern had the potential to trap wet food.
Attention dog bowl manufactures: Stop putting impossible to remove stickers on the inside of the bowl! I don’t want leftover adhesive where my dog is going to eat. Yep, Neater Pet Brands does this too.
I had high hopes for the Our Pets Tilt-A-Bowl, especially for flat-faced dogs. Unfortunately, the lowered side didn’t show any benefit – food still became stuck in the seam where the wall meets the base of the bowl. I’d only recommend it if your dog struggles to get his head inside a regular stainless steel bowl.
If you really have to go the budget route, then the Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Bowl is as good as it gets. In fact, you could pick up four of them for the same price as our recommendations. With that said, they only come in a single size, and while we didn’t experience it ourselves, many users report rusting before long.
PetFusion Premium Bowls were so light. They slid everywhere, even when our smallest of testers was eating from the biggest bowl.
What is a stainless steel dog bowl?
The name is a dead giveaway – it’s a dog bowl made from stainless steel. Stainless steel is the same material used to make the utensils you eat with.
High-quality stainless steel is durable and can last years. It’s easy to see why this is a popular material for dog bowls.
While some bowls are made entirely of stainless steel, others have rubber or silicone bases to prevent the bowl from sliding around while your dog eats.
Which dogs need a stainless steel dog bowl?
Let’s look closer at the most compelling reasons for using a stainless steel dog bowl…
1. Do you want the toughest dog bowl possible?
Stainless steel dog bowls are durable. Really durable.
You can drop ’em, throw ’em and step on ’em… A good stainless steel bowl can take a lot of punishment!
In fact, my Golden Retriever has used the same stainless steel bowl since she was a puppy. That was over seven years ago (although she’ll always be a puppy to me!).
To put this into perspective, no other product that I have for bought my dog has lasted nearly that long – not one that she uses on a daily basis anyway.
2. Do you have a chewer in the house?
If your dog likes to gnaw, then the last thing you want is a plastic dog bowl – it will be chomped to pieces in no time.
While it may seem like your dog can chew through anything, I have yet to see one that can tear through metal. If your dog can, then you have bigger problems than choosing the correct dog bowl.
Your dog may nibble on a stainless steel bowl, but he will soon give up when he realizes just how tough it is. [ 1]
3. Does your dog suffer from acne?
Here’s a throwback to your teenage years. Well, mine at least – acne. It turns out that dogs can also break out in these ugly spots. [ 2]
Many dog owners report that their dog’s acne vanished after making the switch from plastic. [ 3]
4. Do you want a dog bowl that is easy-to-clean?
I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say: Cleaning dog bowls sucks!
Stainless steel bowls are easy-to-clean, there is no risk of them breaking in the dishwasher, and they hold up to a good scrubbing.
However, that’s not to say that stainless steel bowls are perfect. There are some downsides to be aware of…
If you feed your dog on a tile or cement floor, you want to choose a stainless steel bowl with a rubber or silicone base or place it on a mat to prevent it from sliding around.
You should also be aware that if exposed to the sun, your stainless steel bowl will warm up faster than other materials – so keep it in a shady spot!
Stainless steel bowls can be scary – particularly if your dog has a hanging metal dog tag like this one…
These dog tags make a loud tink sound as they bump against the side of the bowl when your pooch eats his meal. This noise is loud enough to startle a jumpy dog.
Also, if you have a cowardly pup who is scared of his own reflection, avoid polished stainless steel bowls – these bowls are so shiny that your dog will see himself. More on this later.
Finally, stainless steel bowls all look like… Well, stainless steel bowls. When it comes to designs, not much variation exists from one brand to the next. If you want a colorful bowl for your pooch, plastic or ceramic is a better choice.
Despite these downsides, stainless steel dog bowls are most commonly recommended by dog owners, pet store employees and dog shelter volunteers.
As always, weigh the pros and cons to determine if a stainless steel bowl is appropriate for your dog.
- Won’t cause acne
- Suitable for chewers (without a silicone base)
- Slides around (without a silicone base or mat)
- Can rust if not properly cared for
- Dog tags make noise as they clang against the bowl
- If your dog barks at his reflection, avoid highly polished stainless steel bowls
- Heats up quicker than other materials
- Limited designs
Types of stainless steel dog bowls
Stainless steel dog bowls are typically available in three different finishes… [ 4]
Matte stainless steel
The surface is smooth and dull in appearance.
Brushed stainless steel
Named because it resembles the pattern made after dragging a brush over paint. This finish is more reflective than matte.
Polished stainless steel
The surface is polished to an incredibly smooth, mirror finish. Your dog will see his own reflection in this bowl. This finish is also most prone to smudging – dog licks and fingerprints are particularly obvious.
Despite these drawbacks, there may be an advantage to using polished stainless steel – its smooth surface may help prevent bacteria from clinging to it. [ 5]
It is also worth mentioning that you can find two finishes on the same dog bowl. For example, a matte finish on the outside and a polished finish on the inside.
Our testing process
At DogLab, we take reviewing darn seriously. We never recommend a product we wouldn’t give our own precious pooches. That’s why we thoroughly reviewed every stainless steel dog bowl featured in this guide.
By the end of the process, we spent a combined 150+ hours researching, testing and reviewing the most popular (and even some unpopular) stainless steel dog bowls on the market.
No dogs were overfed or starved during our testing process. In fact, each of our pups enjoyed assisting us as we reviewed the bowls.
Who could blame them? Cuddles and food? That would be anyone’s dream job!
Want to learn more about our testing process? Read on!
Which stainless steel dog bowls did we test?
It all started with choosing which stainless steel dog bowls to test.
Did you know that there are hundreds of different stainless steel dog bowls on the market?
Stainless dog bowls come in all different shapes and sizes. Slow-feed bowls with prongs and bumps, non-drip bowls to prevent messes, elevated bowls and even tilted bowls for small pups.
So, the first thing we had to do was narrow down our selection.
After researching hundreds of bowls, analyzing user reviews and interviewing experts, we narrowed down the selection to 35 stainless steel bowls.
Now this may seem like a lot, but it is worth mentioning that many of these stainless steel bowls are variations offered by a single brand. You see, some brands offered a stainless steel bowl in different sizes, for smaller and larger dogs.
By the end, we put 9 different brands to the test…
- Amazon Basics
- Basis Pet
- Loving Pets
- Mr. Peanut
- Neater Pet Brands
- Our Pets
With our list complete, it was time to go shopping. Each stainless steel bowl was purchased from Amazon.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 our mountain of stainless steel dog bowls was delivered, it was time to test them!
How did we test the stainless steel dog bowls?
Now that we had our pile of stainless steel dog bowls, it was time to compare them to each other, to determine which was truly the best.
To find the number one stainless steel dog bowl we tested for the following:
- Durability – How did the bowl hold up to rough play, being dropped or stepped on?
- Movability – How easy was the bowl to flip or push during feeding?
- Suitability – Was the bowl easy to use for different breeds and sizes of dog?
- Quality – Was 304 stainless steel used? How did the workmanship fair?
While testing for the qualities listed above, we made some observations that are worth mentioning…
Stainless steel bowls with non-slip rubber bases
During testing, we quickly began to hate the non-slip rubber bases similar to the picture above – not something we expected going into this.
We found that the rubber trapped food, grime and slobber. While some rubber bases could be removed, placing them back on the bowl proved to be cumbersome.
Oh and if your dog is a chewer, she will happily tear these rubber rings to pieces.
Perhaps even more annoying, most rubber bases didn’t even stop our testers from pushing or flipping the bowl.
The most effective non-skid bases we saw were hidden from view, underneath the bowl. However, even these required extra care during cleaning.
If you want to stop your stainless steel bowl from sliding around, I suggest placing it on top of a non-slip dog food mat. A mat has the added bonus of catching any food spills – easy cleaning!
The varying thickness of stainless steel
We noticed, particularly on cheaper stainless steel bowls, that thinner steel was used – obviously to save money.
However, this directly impacted just how resistant to wear the dog bowl was. Thinner stainless steel appeared to be more prone to dents and wear.
Based on our testing, we suggest paying slightly more for a higher-quality stainless steel bowl – it will last longer.
Who tested the stainless steel dog bowls?
Now that you know what and how we tested, it’s time to introduce you to who tested the stainless steel bowls.
All told, we had seven team members help test and review our collection of stainless steel bowls.
Let me introduce you to…
Breed: Black Labrador Retriever
A little on the chubby side and super lovable, Cooper doesn’t love going for walks. In fact, when the leash comes out, Cooper hides. Since he has been instructed by his vet to lose a few pounds, he doesn’t really have a say in the matter. Testing stainless steel bowls has been the highlight of Cooper’s outings.
Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever
Tucker’s dangerously friendly and completely unaware of his size. He thinks he is a lapdog! This gentle giant spooked when his collar clinked against the side of the stainless steel bowls he tested.
Breed: Valley Bulldog
Olivia is an avid beachgoer. When she isn’t helping us test dog bowls, you can find her awkwardly running along the beach.
Breed: Border Collie x German Shepherd
Harper loves to hike. While she loved to test the stainless steel dog bowls, she was more interested in wrangling snakes. She has since been banned from tall grass.
Breed: Pit Bull mix
Other testers prefer to use their dog bowl as an eating dish. Not Chloe. She prefers to use bowls as a toy. As an expert bowl chewer and flipper, she was brought in to test the durability of the stainless steel bowls we reviewed.
Fiona is a wiggle monster who just won’t sit still. She is constantly chasing after new things to bark at. This pint-sized pup tested out the small-sized stainless steel dog bowls.
Someone had to fill the stainless steel bowls with food and shower the dogs with love and affection. That’s me! I put the testers’ experience into words that humans can understand.
Caring for your stainless steel dog bowl – avoiding rust
If properly cared for, your stainless steel dog bowl will last for years.
As mentioned earlier, my dog’s stainless steel bowl is over seven years old.
And, I’m confident I’ll get a few more years out of it, assuming I keep the rust away.
Speaking of which, I want to touch on a common misconception about stainless steel bowls…
I hear this comment over and over, both on message boards and when chatting with fellow dog owners at my local dog park:
“Stainless steel dog bowls don’t rust. If it rusts, then it isn’t stainless steel!”
Sure, cheap metal bowls that try to pass themselves off as stainless steel when they are actually regular steel (carbon steel) will rust in no time.
But if not properly cared for, a dog bowl made from genuine stainless steel can also rust.
Stainless steel is rust-resistant, but it certainly isn’t 100% rust-proof – even the highest-quality stainless steel cannot escape rust.
You see, stainless steel contains chromium. And when chromium is exposed to air, it forms an invisible protective layer over the surface of the steel, protecting it from rust.
However, if this protective layer disappears, it leaves rust free to form on your dog’s bowl.
The following are the most common culprits responsible for causing your dog’s bowl to rust.
1. Your drinking water
It might surprise you to learn that chlorine and stainless steel do not mix – chlorine causes stainless steel to corrode. [ 9]
The bad news? Chlorine is found in your tap water. The very same tap water that you leave in your dog’s water bowl all day.
Some city water supplies contain higher than usual levels of chlorine. The chlorine penetrates the protective film found on stainless steel, causing it to rust.
While your well water may be free from chlorine, it could also be the reason why your stainless steel dog bowl is rusting…
You see, well water can contain a nasty bacteria that eats stainless steel, causing rust. [ 10]
If you use a stainless steel bowl as your dog’s water bowl, use purified or bottled water.
2. Your dish soap
When you clean your dog bowl, you could be scrubbing away the protective layer away and not even realize it.
Some dish soaps contain ingredients that can cause stainless steel to rust, including:
- Halogen salts – Chlorine, Fluorine, Bromine and Iodine
- Antibacterial agents – Triclosan
- Bleach – Sodium Hypochlorite
While this list is not exhaustive, these are the most common ingredients found in dish soap that can cause rust.
Carefully check the ingredients in your dish soap. If necessary, switch to one that is a little more stainless steel friendly. I personally use this one – natural and effective!
3. Other metals
Metal-on-metal rust is an incredibly complicated topic. I’ll spare you the details and explain it as simply as I can…
First, you don’t want to rub your stainless steel dog bowl with any metal object. This includes utensils or metal cleaning pads – these can embed microscopic pieces of metal into your bowl, causing it to rust. [ 11]
Next, you don’t want any metal touching your stainless steel dog bowl for extended periods of time. If your bowl leans against a metal doorstop, rests on a screw head or touches any other metal object, it can rust through a process called galvanic corrosion. [ 12]
Don’t scrub your stainless steel dog bowl with steel wool, and avoid resting it on metal objects.
As you see, you could accidentally be responsible for your stainless steel dog bowl rusting, but that rust doesn’t necessarily mean that you were sold a poor-quality dog bowl.
Phew, if you made it this far, then you know everything you need to choose the ideal stainless steel bowl for your dog.
Just to recap our results…
The best stainless steel dog bowls we tested:
- Basis Pet – Most dogs
- Yeti Boomer 8 – Premium pick
- Mr. Peanut’s Bloat Stop Feeder – Fast eaters
- Basis Pet – Flat-faced dogs
- Neater Pet Brands Polar Bowl – Drinking water
Which stainless steel dog bowl does your precious pooch use? Let me know in the comments below!