Choices. There are so many choices. Plastic? Metal? Ceramic? The choices are vast! One would think that purchasing food and water bowls in anticipation of one's new bundle of joy would be easy, and it is, until you actually experience the adventures your new puppy will have with these new "toys." I had no idea something as simple as food and water bowls could matter so much. So, let's rehash my experience.
I've found the Dollar Tree to be a good source for items like collars puppies when they are very small. Recently, I noticed that they had some nice looking, nice sized flat bottomed plastic dog bowls. I purchased a few, telling myself that if they got destroyed (think puppy teeth) that it wouldn't be a big deal. What I found was that it is a big deal, a very big deal. These bowls are light weight, seeming to invite the puppies to chew on them and dump them at will. This chewing & dumping gets frustrating when you are cleaning and refilling the bowls ten times a day. It can also be destructive to the floors of your home and to your wallet. Puppy food is expensive. After this experience, I moved on to flat bottomed stainless steel bowls. They are a little more expensive and come in lots of colors and styles, and are easily disinfected and basically indestructible, right? Well...they are all of these things, but they are also lightweight. While they won't get chewed on, they are also lightweight and you will likely find (while your are cleaning up spilled food and water) that the bowls are their favorite playthings. There is one exception, which is my second favorite choice, stainless non tip bowls.
Now, your probably asking yourself, "What does she know? I'll get plastic or stainless bowls with a stand to hold them. Been there. Done that. Most of the stands are very lightweight and seem to invite puppies to flip them with their nose or paw as soon as you fill them. There are stands that do function well, but they also come with a hefty price tag.
The next option is ceramic. Ceramic comes in many different colors, shapes, and sizes. It is easy to be drawn into the many cute designs & sayings many of the bowls sport. While heavier than plastic and stainless, ceramic is still lighter in weight, and can be tipped or spilled easily.
My favorite material for dog bowls is the one that has actually been around the longest, stoneware. Stoneware is different from ceramic. It is heavier, and usually much plainer in design. What does stoneware have going for it that the other material don't? A couple of things. Stoneware is chew proof. While I wouldn't put anything past a puppy, even if they do try to chew on these bowls, the bowls won't be damaged. One caveat about stoneware that is sometimes a disadvantage is also its greatest advantage -- it is heavy. This is perfect for a curious puppy. It's not likely that they will turn a stoneware bowl over. The weight of stoneware can be a hindrance to some pet owners. While it's indestructible for your puppy, if dropped, stoneware will break, and it can be hard to pick up for some, like children & the elderly. For me, it is worth the risk, since it functions so well. Stoneware is also economical, but it does not come in as many color and designs as the plastic and stainless, but recently, I have seen some in a variety of colors. When choosing stoneware, you want to pick one that has some weight to it, the mark of true stoneware.