Does the Size of a Bowl Matter for a Puppy?

by Susan Revermann Google
    Little dog breeds need smaller dog dishes.

    Little dog breeds need smaller dog dishes.

    Gayla Bailey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    Any trip to the pet store will provide a plethora of dog bowl choices. You’ll find many different sizes, materials and colors to choose from. There are a few factors to consider when making your puppy’s food and water bowl choices.

    Water Bowl Size

    You should have water available to your puppy at all times. It’s best to have a day’s worth of water in the bowl. states that dogs drink up to 25 milliliters of water a day or a bit less than an ounce of water per doggie pound. Purchase a water bowl that holds your puppy’s daily water requirements. For example, a 20-pound dog should have a bowl with at least a 20-ounce capacity.

    Food Bowl Size

    The size of the food bowl should be big enough to fit your puppy’s food serving in and accommodate the dog’s head and mouth size. If you have a 7-pound terrier puppy, you don’t need a huge bowl, as he doesn’t eat that much and his head and mouth are small. On the other end of the spectrum, a Bernese mountain dog will need a bigger, wider bowl to be able to fit his nose and mouth in and comfortably eat. If you have any other questions about the proper size for your pooch, ask the pet store sales associate or your vet.


    Bowls with a wide rubber bottom and tapered sides work well. This helps prevent the pooch from pushing the bowl around or tipping it over when he eats. Narrow, deep bowls are an optimal choice for long-eared dogs. Wide, shallow bowls run the risk of getting those ears in the food and water. Short-eared dogs don’t have this issue and shallow bowls will work for most puppies.


    Stainless steel bowls hold up against chewing, tipping over, dropping and general puppy use. You can throw them in the dishwasher to wash and sanitize them. Lightweight plastic doesn’t fair too well under puppy gnawing and chewing. Ceramic bowls will work, too, just wash them daily to prevent bacteria from growing their porous surface.

    Photo Credits

    • Gayla Bailey/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.

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