On the surface, choosing a dog bowl for your canine may seem like a simple decision. However, for larger dogs like German Shepherds, it can be a bit complicated.
These dogs need relatively big bowls. Some dogs also benefit from the bowl being raised, as they may be a bit too tall to reach bowls laid on the floor.
These unique difficulties make finding a dog bowl suddenly a bit complicated.
For this reason, we’re written this whole article complete with reviews to help you make the best decision for your German Shepherd.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2022
The 7 Best Dog Bowls for German Shepherds
1. Loving Pets Bella Bowls Pet Bowl – Best Overall
Out of all the more giant bowls on the market, the Loving Pets Bella Bowls Pet Bowl is the best by far. There are multiple sizes available, so be sure you select the most prominent option for your German Shepherd. The interior is made out of stainless steel, which is the recommended material by most vets. This material ensures that bacteria don’t grow in the food or water. Plus, it’s also easier to clean when needed.
The pattern is simple and straightforward. There is a rubber base so that the bowl won’t scoot around when the dog is using it. This prevents spills and keeps the bowl in one place, which can be a problem when you’re working with a giant dog like a German Shepherd. The exterior is made of a poly-resin. This material is durable and can withstand plenty of dog slobber.
The whole bowl is dishwasher safe after the removal of the rubber base. Overall, these bowls are aesthetically pleasing, sturdy, and don’t move around—everything you could want from a bowl. That’s why this is our pick for the best dog bowl for German Shepherds!
2. Frisco Stainless Steel Bowl – Best Value
For the price of one bowl, you can get a pack of two Frisco Stainless Steel Bowls. These bowls are considerably cheaper because you can purchase them in multiples. If you’re looking for something simple that gets the job done, we highly recommend this bowl. Each bowl is designed with a broad base to keep it from tipping over. The bottom is rubber, which prevents it from sliding around on the floor and decreasing the clanging amount.
The interior and exterior are made out of stainless steel, which is stain-proof and rust-resistant. It is also less prone to bacterial growth. This bowl is dishwasher safe as well. There is only one size available, but it should be plenty big enough for a German Shepherd.
3. Ethical Pet Stoneware Crock Pet Dish – Premium Choice
If you’re looking for a stylish bowl, you may want to select the Ethical Pet Stoneware Crock Pet Dish. This dish is perfect for German Shepherds, as it comes in sizes big enough for up to 9 cups of food. The bowl is heavyweight and made out of stoneware, making it harder for your dog to move them around. The base is quite large, so it isn’t going to tip when your overexcited dog chows down.
Because this bowl is so heavy, it isn’t easy to knock over. It stays in one spot very well without using a rubber bottom like other pet dishes use. It features a high-gloss finish for a stylish look and is accessible to hand-wash. It is dishwasher safe as well. It comes in 5 different sizes, but we recommend the largest one for German Shepherds.
The only problem with this bowl is that you’ll have to be extra cautious when it comes to cleaning the bowl. It is not made of stainless steel, which means it doesn’t have any natural anti-bacterial features. You’ll need to clean it often and regularly.
4. Signature Housewares Bones Non-Skid Ceramic Dog Bowl
The Signature Housewares Bones Non-Skid Ceramic Dog Bowl may be a suitable food bowl for German Shepherds. However, it is a bit too small to be used as a water bowl unless you’re around to fill up the water multiple times a day. It is also a bit expensive for its size, which is another reason we rated it slightly lower on our list.
This bowl is very aesthetically pleasing. It has a simple dog bone design that should fit most décor styles. It is made from glazed stoneware, which makes it quite heavy. It stands up to constant use and larger dogs. It is dishwasher safe, which makes clean-up much more accessible. It is both lead and BPA-free.
The main problem is that it isn’t made with stainless steel, so that it may grow bacteria a bit easier than other options. You’ll need to stay on top of cleaning it for this reason.
5. Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Dog Bowl
The Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Dog Bowl is straightforward. You can choose to get it with two bowls, which helps cut your costs down slightly. The bowls are made out of stainless steel, which helps prevent bacteria from growing. They’re also durable and rust-resistant. Each bowl can hold 38 ounces, which should be enough for most larger dogs.
The bowls don’t hold odors, primarily because they don’t harbor bacteria. They are a healthy alternative to plastic, which tends to hold bacteria and odors. The larger rubber base prevents the bowl from tipping over. It protects your floors and prevents sliding around while your German Shepherd munches. The clanging is also minimized thanks to the soft rubber.
The whole thing is dishwasher safe for fast and easy cleaning.
6. Petmate Easy Reach Pet Diner Elevated Dog Bowls
Often, raised bowls are recommended for larger dogs, preventing the dog from needing to lean down quite as much. The Petmate Easy Reach Pet Diner Elevated Dog Bowls are raised, making them seem perfect for larger dogs. However, raised bowls have been linked with an increased risk of bloat, a deadly disease larger dogs are prone to.
One study found that 52% of bloat cases came from dogs with raised food bowls. For this reason, we cannot recommend feeding out of raised bowls unless there is a specific reason your dog needs them, such as mobility issues.
Plus, these bowls are pretty expensive when compared to others. They are nearly triple the cost of our top pick. The only reason they seem to be more expensive is due to the raised nature of the bowl. However, there is little benefit to raising your dog’s food bowl, and it may cause problems down the road.
7. PEGGY11 Light Non-Slip Stainless Steel Dog Bowl
At first glance, the PEGGY11 Light Non-Slip Stainless Steel Dog Bowl may seem like a good option. One pack comes with two different bowls so that you may save a bit of money overall. The bowls are very simplistically made out of primarily stainless steel. This prevents them from holding bacteria and odors. They’re also straightforward to clean.
The bottom is made of silicone, which prevents them from slipping and rattling while your pet eats. The silicone also protects the floor. These bowls are completely dishwasher safe.
These bowls come in different sizes, so be sure you choose the more practical option for larger dogs. There is a 6-cup size, which should be fine for most larger canines. However, they are smaller than some of the other bowls on this list. For this reason, if you have a huge German Shepherd, you may want to look elsewhere.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Dog Bowl for German Shepherds
There is quite a bit that can go into choosing the perfect dog bowl for your German Shepherd. Size is going to be a significant component. You don’t want to get a bowl that is too small. However, you also have to consider the materials, shape, and bottom of the bowl. These things are easy to overlook, but they can be essential to choose a functional bowl.
The material of the bowl matters considerably. Most inexpensive bowls are made out of plastic. However, plastic is not the best option you can choose. Plastic can harbor chemicals that may affect your canine’s health. Some like BPA can mirror hormones, which can lead to plenty of health problems. Plastic is also easy to scratch and can then harbor bacteria. This material is not easy to clean in the least. Some dogs also have a terrible reaction to plastic and can develop irritation around their muzzle.
Ceramic is a bit better than plastic, but it still comes with its issues. Ceramic is heavy. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. It prevents your dogs from knocking it over, but it also means that it will sit heavier in your dishwasher, which can cause damage. Ceramic also isn’t as durable as some other options. If you drop it, it may shatter or crack more easily.
Some ceramic is coated with dangerous glazes, like lead and other heavy metals. Be sure any bowl you choose is specifically made with a lead-free glaze. The coating is required to keep the bowl clean. Otherwise, the tiny pores in the ceramic will harbor bacteria.
Stainless steel is the best material for these bowls. It is durable and won’t crack or break if dropped. Most of the time, it is also dishwasher safe and easy to keep clean. The grade of the stainless steel is essential. The most common food-grade stainless steel is 304, which is also called 18/8 stainless steel. However, some cheaper bowls use lesser grades of stainless steel. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can compromise the quality of the bowl.
Avoid bowls that aren’t dishwasher safe, as they are likely made of lower-quality stainless steel bowls. Also, avoid bowls that are labeled as for “pet use only.” These are usually made with lower-quality materials that don’t exactly count as “food grade”.
You need to choose a larger bowl since you have a larger dog. The exact size of the bowl may vary, though. German Shepherds can come in different sizes, so you may need to adjust the bowl’s size to fit the size of your dog. How often you feed your dog also matters. If you feed your dog once a day, you may need a larger bowl than a dog that gets three meals a day.
Generally, the water bowl needs to be quite large. Dogs should always have access to fresh water. Sometimes, the only way to ensure this is to get a larger dog bowl.
There is a lot of controversy out there about raised dog bowls. Some people adamantly recommend raised bowls. They lessen the amount of stress on your pet’s neck and are best for mobility issues common in older dogs. Furthermore, the stance dogs take when eating out of raised bowls looks more comfortable to us, so it is only natural for us to prefer raised bowls for our canines.
However, some evidence shows that raised bowls may cause bloat, which is a severe condition that is most common in bigger dogs. For this reason, many experts suggest not using them. Most of the evidence for bloat and raised bowls is related to a single study done in 2000, which included 1,637 dogs. They found that 20% of bloat cases in large dogs and 52% of cases in large and giant breed dogs were attributed to raised feeding bowls.
Of course, this is a single study. Some medical institutions still claim that raised bowls help prevent bloat, though there is no evidence for this.
It may be in your best interest to avoid raised bowls, at least until we have more evidence. Of course, in the end, it is entirely your decision. Dogs with mobility issues may benefit from a raised bowl, as it lessens the strain on their neck. Otherwise, there is little reason to utilize a raised bowl anyway.
Ease of Cleaning
You should clean your dog’s food bowls regularly and often. This prevents bacteria from building up, which can potentially make your canine sick. Some bowls are easier to clean than others. Those that are stainless steel and dishwasher safe are probably the easiest. They can be scrubbed down quickly or thrown into the dishwasher for a fast cycle.
You should avoid plastic bowls. Scratches on plastic bowls can harbor bacteria and are nearly impossible to clean. Ceramic bowls can be a solid choice as long as the glaze holds up. Once the glaze chips off, it is essential to replace the bowl, as it can no longer be adequately cleaned.
Generally, we recommend avoiding bowls that are not dishwasher safe. These are harder to clean for obvious reasons, so they should be avoided.
Are elevated dog bowls suitable for German Shepherds?
Unless your German Shepherd has arthritis or some mobility problems, then you’ll likely be better off using a regular bowl. Raised bowls have been shown to increase the likelihood of bloat, which is a severe problem for larger dogs. Bloat involves a build-up of gasses in your dog’s stomach, which will eventually cut off blood flow to the surrounding area. This causes the tissue to die. Bloat is severe and deadly. Dogs can die within 12 hours.
Luckily, it is also very treatable with surgery. If your dog shows signs of bloat, it is essential to get them to help right away. It is an emergency.
We hope this guide has helped you choose the best dog bowl for German Shepherds. Out of all the bowls we reviewed, we preferred the Loving Pets Bella Bowls Pet Bowl. This bowl is made with stainless steel, so it doesn’t harbor odors or bacteria. It is dishwasher safe and made with quality materials. Plus, it is nearly impossible to break, which is always a nice plus. The rubber on the bottom prevents it from slipping and sliding and decreases the clanging noise while your dog eats.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, the Frisco Stainless Steel Bowl is a solid option. You can purchase it in a two-pack, which can save you quite a bit of money. Furthermore, it is made of stainless steel and is dishwasher safe. The only potential problem is that it only comes in one size. However, the size available is suitable for most German Shepherds.
There are many bowls available for German Shepherds. While they may look very similar at first glance, there are many differences between them. Hopefully, this article helped you sort through the sea of bowls and choose the best one for your German Shepherd.