The 8 Best Eco-Friendly Dog Bowls of 2022

Attractive and sustainable, our top choice is the Beco Classic Bamboo Dog Bowl.

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Dog eating out of bowl

Westend61 / Getty

To help lower your dog’s carbon footprint, one easy place to start is the dinner table. 

The best eco-friendly pet bowls are made from sustainable materials like bamboo and stainless steel or recycled products like bicycle tires and plastic bottles. They come in many sizes and often different colors. Most are easy to wash and many can be cleaned in the dishwasher.

There are also options for dogs that eat too fast and large dogs and seniors so they don’t have to stretch their necks.

Here’s a look at some of the best eco-friendly pet bowls.

Best Overall

Beco Pets Classic Bamboo Bowl

5
Beco Pets Classic Bamboo Bowl

Beco Pets

Sometimes a dog’s water and food bowls aren’t all that attractive, but these sustainable bowls from Beco are out top pick because they're both pretty and made with sustainable materials. They come in several colors and patterns including a deep midnight blue and fun ocean waves. The bowls are made of bamboo, cornstarch, and rice husks. Bamboo is a sustainable material because it grows quickly and needs few resources. It’s also a strong fiber, resulting in durable products.

The classic comes in two sizes: The small bowl holds 3 cups and the large holds 6 cups. There’s also another sustainable Beco non-slip style that comes in four colors and has rubber pads on the bottom. It’s available in three sizes, holding between 2 and 6 cups.

Best Recycled Plastic

West Paw No-Slip Bowl

West Paw No-Slip Bowl

Amazon

West Paw makes considerate environmental choices when creating and manufacturing products like toys and treats. The company’s Seaflex line of toys and feeding accessories utilizes what would have been ocean-bound plastic, giving it a new life out of the water. The resulting products are also recyclable at the end of their lifespan.

The no-slip bowl is made without BPAs, latex, or phthalates. It’s certified food safe by the FDA and is dishwasher-safe. It’s non-skid and there’s no loud clanking of dog tags against a bowl when your pup is eating a meal.

Best Splurge

Yeti Boomer 8 Dog Bowl

4.7
Yeti Dog Bowl

Amazon

This bowl is definitely expensive, but hopefully you won’t have to buy another one. It’s made from very rugged, double-walled stainless steel. The Boomer 8 holds up to 8 cups (64 ounces) of water or food and comes in a rainbow of colors including navy, black, olive, and plain silver. The smaller version holds 4 cups or 32 ounces.

The bowl is dishwasher safe and has a non-slip ring incorporated into the bottom, making it tougher for pets to nibble on or remove. Unlike many other Yeti products, it’s not insulated, however, so don’t expect this bowl to keep your pet’s water chilled.

Best Elevated

Case Concepts 2000 Reclaimed Barn Wood Large Raised Dog Feeder

Case Concepts 2000 Reclaimed Barn Wood Large Raised Dog Feeder

Etsy

Raised bowls can be more comfortable for taller dogs and those with some health conditions like arthritis. There’s less stretching and straining, and often less mess. These elevated bowls are useful, but they’re also really attractive. The wood comes from barns, mills, and farmhouses in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Some of the wood is from the 1800s.

Repurposing the wood gives it a new life. The bowls that fit in the feeder are stainless steel and come in small, medium/large, and extra-large. The feeder is available with one, two, or three bowls.

Best Slow Feed

Our Pets Durapet Premium Stainless Steel Slow-Feed Dog Bowl

Our Pets Durapet Premium Stainless Steel Slow-Feed Dog Bowl

Amazon

If your dog eats really fast and scarfs down dinner, this stainless steel bowl can help slow them down at meal time. There’s a large molded dome in the middle so dogs are forced to take smaller bites as they nibble and savor their meals.

The portion-control bowl is made from heavyweight stainless steel and comes in three sizes that can hold 3, 5, or 8 cups of food or water. It is dishwasher-safe and has a rubber ring on the base to keep it from sliding while your eager pet eats.

Best Stainless Steel

Max and Neo Stainless Steel Heavy Non-Skid Dog Bowl

Max and Neo Stainless Steel Heavy Non-Skid Dog Bowl

Amazon

Stainless steel bowls are great because they are typically durable, so they don’t have to be replaced often, and they are easy to clean. Some are lightweight, however, and can be tipped over more easily than others. That’s why we like the bowls from Max & Neo. They are made from thick stainless steel and are tested by third-party labs to make sure they don’t contain any heavy metals.

To keep the bowl from moving, there’s a full rubber bottom instead of just a rubber ring around the edge. In addition to making durable products, Max & Neo donates an item to rescues and shelters for everyone purchased.

Best Travel

Cycle Dog Trail Buddy Collapsible Dog Travel Bowl

Cycle Dog Trail Buddy Collapsible Dog Travel Bowl

Cycle Dog

When you’re on a hike or just away from home, a collapsible, lightweight bowl can be convenient. These travel bowls are handcrafted in Portland, Oregon, using post-consumer upcycled bicycle inner tube as the outer liner and leakproof FDA food-grade silicone liner. The carrying ribbon is made from recycled plastic bottles.

The bowls are available in more than two dozen patterns on the company’s website. They hold 20 ounces of water when expanded to 6 x 6 x 2 inches, but then easily fold down for carrying. Most bowls have matching collars and leashes.

Best Decorative

Blue Hen Craft Personalized Ceramic Pottery Pet Dishes

Blue Hen Craft Personalized Ceramic Pottery Pet Dishes

Etsy

These beautiful, handmade pottery bowls come in 15 glaze colors ranging from bright dandelion and apple red to more subdued shades like lettuce, oatmeal, and honeydew. Choose from six sizes all the way from very small (for tiny dogs or treats) to extra-large. (For reference, the “small” size holds a small 3-ounce can of pet food.)

The bowls are treated with food-safe glazes and are microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and oven-safe. You can have your pet’s name or a short message stamped inside with a heart-shaped paw print. Or you can opt for the standard “kibbles” or “water.”

Final Verdict

Our top choice is the Beco Classic Bamboo Dog Bowl, for its combo of sustainable materials and attractive design. If your dog needs a raised feeder, consider the Reclaimed Barn Wood Large Raised Dog Feeder.

What to Look for in Eco-Friendly Pet Dishes

Materials

You can find eco-friendly pet bowls made out of sustainable materials like bamboo and stainless steel, as well as recycled/upcycled materials like bicycle tires and plastic bottles. Some options may be more durable than others. A heavyweight stainless steel, for example, can seemingly last forever. But other options might be more attractive or make better sense if you want the bowl to be portable or pretty.

Washing Instructions

All bowls should be washed regularly in hot, soapy water. But it might be easier to clean bowls in the dishwasher. Check manufacturer instructions to see if the product you buy can be washed in a dishwasher. Some bowls may only be safe on the top rack, or are hand-wash only.

Size and Shape

It’s smart to choose a bowl based on how much food and/or water you typically offer your pet. A too-big bowl might be overwhelming for a tiny dog while a small bowl is impractical for a large pet. Large dogs and some older dogs with arthritis might also benefit from an elevated feeder so they don’t have to stretch their necks to eat. And dogs that gobble their food can slow down at meal time with slow-feeder bowls.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the most eco-friendly way to wash pet bowls?

    What’s lurking in your pet’s bowls? A study by the National Sanitation Foundation found that pet bowls were the germiest places in the home, just behind the kitchen sponge and sink and the toothbrush holder. The group recommends that pet dishes should be washed every day. (Dump your pet’s extra water onto a plant instead of down the drain.)

    Follow the directions from the manufacturer and wash in the dishwasher if allowed. If not, scrub by hand in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. The foundation experts also recommend soaking pet bowls in a solution of about 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water for about a minute a week. Rinse very well.

  • What is the best natural way to keep ants out of pet bowls?

    Just like your dog is attracted to a bowl of food, ants can also sense the remnants of your pet’s yummy meal. It can be unsettling to find your dog’s bowl swarmed by an army of ants. Of course you don’t want to spray chemicals around anywhere your dog eats.

    One suggestion is to put your dog’s food bowl in a shallow pan and fill that pan with water. Most ants will be unable to swim the moat to get to the food. Some people also try dabbing petroleum jelly (Vasoline) all along the bottom edges of a bowl. That makes it too slippery for ants to scale the sides. (But it can be messy.)

  • Are stainless steel pet bowls safe?

    A small study presented by researchers at Hartpury University at the 69th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science in 2018 looked at how dog bowls can be a breeding ground for dangerous germs. They compared the levels of bacteria, including E.coli, salmonella, and MRSA, on bowls made of plastic, ceramic, and stainless steel and found that harmful germs were more likely to thrive on bowls made of plastic and ceramic than those made of stainless steel.

    “It is clear from our study that dog water bowls pose a disease risk to both human and animal health,” researcher Aisling Carroll from Hartpury said. "We found the highest amount of bacteria in plastic bowls over time, but the most harmful bacterial species, including E.coli and MRSA, were most frequently identified in the ceramic bowls.”

    Researchers point out that these findings suggest how important it is to keep dog bowls clean.

Why Trust Treehugger?

The proud mom of a rescue dog, Mary Jo DiLonardo has fostered more than three dozen puppies and dogs. She’s always looking for the most durable products that are healthiest for the dogs and the environment. She’s tested a lot of dog bowls and some didn’t survive curious puppies and their teething and playful antics.

For more than 25 years, Mary Jo has covered a wide range of topics focused on nature, pets, health, science, and anything that helps make the world a better place. She has spent more than six years with Treehugger, formerly under the Mother Nature Network brand.

View Article Sources
  1. Atanda, J. “Environmental Impacts of Bamboo as a Substitute Constructional Material in Nigeria.” Case Studies in Construction Materials, vol. 3, 2015, pp. 33–39. doi: 10.1016/j.cscm.2015.06.002

  2. 2011 NSF International Household Germ Study.” NSF International.

  3. Wright, C & Carroll, A 2018, 'Microbiological Assessment of Canine Drinking Water and the Impact of Bowl Construction Material', 69th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science.

  4. Life-Threatening Bacteria Thrives in Pets' Water Bowls, Hartpury Experts Discover.Hartpury University and Hartpury College, Hartpury University and Hartpury College.