Food & Water Bowls
How much water should a healthy dog drink?
I prefer stainless steel food and water bowls since they are easy to clean. Glass is also easy to clean but there is always the chance of it breaking. Plastic, stoneware or ceramic bowls can scratch and the crevices can harbor bacteria.
A good general guideline is that a healthy dog should drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. So a healthy 65-pound Labrador Retriever should be drinking between about 33 and 65 ounces, or about ¼ to ½ gallon of water daily.
If your dog is eating a moisture-rich, species-appropriate diet, she’s getting some of her water needs met with each meal, so she may not drink as much from her water bowl. But if she’s eating primarily dry dog food (which I don’t recommend), she may actually need more than the average daily intake to compensate for the lack of moisture in her diet.
After a period of hard play or exercise, use caution when your dog rehydrates. If he immediately laps up the contents of his water bowl, rest him for a bit before you refill his bowl. If your dog is very active, it’s a good idea to have water with you when he exercises so that you can give him frequent short water breaks to keep him hydrated.
Dehydration / Overheating (Get Medical Help)
Tongue and mucous membranes bright red
Saliva is thick and tenacious
Foreign-made ceramics can contain high levels of lead that can leach, and plastic, and aluminum bowls can also leach and contaminate bowls.
Cleaning dog bowls
Wash the food and water bowls regularly to remove the biofilm from saliva that can harbor salmonella in the bowls.
“Plastic food and water bowls are probably the most popular with pet parents, but I’m not a fan. While plastic bowls are inexpensive and convenient, they’re also impossible to thoroughly sanitize, and in addition, as the plastic begins to break down it can leach toxic chemicals into your dog’s food and water.
Bacteria and oils can also get trapped in the peeling plastic, potentially causing skin irritation or worse. Some dogs can develop allergies to the dyes and materials in plastic bowls, and they’ve also been linked to tear staining. In addition, aggressive chewers have been known to gnaw their bowls into small pieces and swallow them.
I recommend stainless steel, porcelain or glass food and water bowls for your dog, but even those options have some disclaimers. BPA-free plastic bowls can be used in a pinch when you’re traveling with your canine family member or in other temporary situations, as long as you clean it thoroughly after each use and replace it at the first sign the plastic is degrading.
Buying 18-gauge stainless steel is important, and preferably through a company that has done third party purity testing, since even stainless steel has proven to be contaminated, as demonstrated by the Petco metal bowl recall several years ago. Some porcelains can contain lead and others are not approved for food products, so make sure you buy good-quality porcelain made for food use from a company you trust.
 Dr. Earl Mindell’s Nutrition And Health For Dogs Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D. and Elizabeth Renaghan
 DOG Watch Vol. 16, No. 10 October 2012 The Environment’s Impact on Nutrition