The following paragraphs describe pottery containers, plastic containers, and metal containers.
Pottery containers : As long as dogs are fed on dry foods, pottery containers serve effectively. But when containers have to be cleaned and handled after each feeding, pottery containers become too heavy and bulky. They, too, can be chipped and broken if handled too roughly. Pottery containers for feeding dogs have largely been replaced by those made from other materials.
Plastic containers: This type of container has some of the advantages of both glass and pottery containers. But it also has some serious faults. While plastic bowls can be thrown around and generally withstand considerable abuse, they are quite vulnerable to a dog's teeth. A determined or bored dog can reduce most plastic containers to a sieve, or worse, a pile of shreds. If these shreds are eaten they may cause serious stomach upsets. Some plastics are made from solvents that are irritating to the stomach's tender lining. In addition, some plastics cannot tolerate boiling water; others have a low resistance to certain chemicals, while still others crack when they get cold or fold and bend when they get too hot.
Metal containers : They are probably the most satisfactory all-round food and water containers available to the dog owner. Their only major disadvantage is the damage inflicted by a dog's teeth. Even this can be reduced to almost zero when seamless stainless steel is used. Most metal containers come in a convenient array of sizes. They are light-weight, easily stacked, can be handled without fear of breakage, and are probably the least expensive if initial cost is spread over the duration of their effective use.
One of the major advantages of metal containers is their adaptability to proper cleaning procedures. They can be washed in hot soapy water, literally thrown into hot, boiling rinse water, and then removed with metal tongs and stacked without too much care on top of each other to drain and air dry. All of this can be done without danger to either the food containers or the dog owner. Another obvious advantage of metal containers is that they can be dropped repeatedly without breaking. Eventually this abuse will cause them to bend and then crack and finally become unserviceable. But given the proper handling and care, metal containers will give many years of satisfactory service.
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