Which material should I choose for a collapsible dog bowl?
The most difficult part of choosing a travel bowl is definitely determining which kind of material is going to be best for you and your pup.
Portable, collapsible dog bowls tend to be made from one of three options: a nylon-based fabric, plastic or silicone, each with its own pros and cons.
Fabric options are often the easiest to store thanks to their soft, malleable material and is commonly used for collapsible bowls. However, it also absorbs water more easily so is harder to dry, is less hygienic when it comes to storing food and is also a lot less durable.
Plastic options are certainly the cheapest and very lightweight, but they aren’t very durable and are even possibly unsafe for pups. If chewed and torn, plastic chunks could damage your dog’s mouth and the presence of chemicals such as BPA in plastic can leach into food, making them pretty unsuitable.
The best choice is undoubtedly silicone, which is the material used for most collapsible bowls. They are scratch-resistant, flexible and lightweight, making them perfect for travel and they are also easier to clean than fabric bowls. They take up a little more room than fabric options, but they won’t pick up food or odours and are BPA and toxin-free, unlike plastic options.
How big does a collapsible dog bowl have to be?
Naturally, you want to ensure that when you purchase a travel bowl it’s going to offer your dog more than just a tipple. Think about how often your dog drinks per day to help you determine the size of bowl you need. Be aware they may have to drink more if you’re on a long walk.
Most bowls tend to store around 500ml of water, which is fine if you’re using it for one long hike or walk, but for more extensive camping trips you might want to find one which holds closer to a litre.
As a general guide based on dog breeds, we have used the height of a bowl to give a rough size classification:
13 cm – 15 cm: Small Breeds
15cm – 18 cm: Medium Breeds
18cm – 20cm: Large Breeds
20cm – 25cm: Extra Large Breeds
However the actual volume a bowl can hold tends to vary greatly no matter what the size, so always make sure to check the capacity!
What is BPA and why is it bad for my dog?
When browsing travel bowls, you will often notice certain models being advertised as BPA free or toxin-free. This can be confusing, especially when you see bowls advertised as not BPA free – so, should you be worried?
BPA is bisphenol A, a chemical found in lots of industrial plastics. Studies have shown it can seep into food and beverages when used as a container and is a chemical linked with reproductive problems and even cancer in some animals.
Therefore it should mainly be a consideration when shopping for plastic dog bowls. There are some plastic travel bowls that will be BPA free, but be wary if they don’t advertise so on the product.
What’s the best material for a travel dog bowl?
Although there is no perfect travel bowl material, silicone comes the closest to hitting all the criteria you need for a quality dish on the move.
It’s lightweight and flexible, meaning it’s the most common material for collapsible bowls and it’s also very durable, meaning it can’t be easily chewed and ripped up by boisterous pups.
It’s also efficient to clean and lacks any of the toxins that plastic bowls provide.
How much should a travel bowl cost?
Travel bowls are very inexpensive, and so you shouldn’t be spending more than £10 on one unless they are part of a special set or boast some particularly unique feature.