Does it matter what kind of bowl your pet eats or drinks from? We have discovered it does. Plastic water bowls, food dishes, and food storage containers are a popular find in most households. Plastic has become a popular material used because it is sturdy, dishwasher safe, and inexpensive. However, there are some inherent health concerns associated with the chemicals used to make plastic.

      Most plastics contain the chemicals phenol and formaldehyde. Phenol and formaldehyde are water-soluble chemicals. This means, they start to break down and dissolve in water. When food or water sit in a plastic container the food and water start to absorb the phenol and formaldehyde being released from the plastic container. As this occurs the food and water becomes contaminated and your pet ingests these toxins directly into it's digestive system with every meal or drink taken. Granted, these amounts are small, perhaps even "trace". We look at the long term, or life-term effects however.

      Continuous ingestion of phenol and formaldehyde can cause asthma, upper respiratory tract irritation, coughing bronchitis, skin allergies (including loss of pigment in the nose area especially), itching, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting and in severe cases, different types of growths which can include cancerous tumors. The effects are not limited to just pets either. These deadly chemicals effect human health as well.

      Fortunately there are plenty of alternatives to plastic dishware. There are many other types of dishes and food containers that are non toxic. For big dogs especially, stainless steel is a better, heavier and more durable choice. Stainless steel dishes are dishwasher safe and extremely durable. Stainless steel small containers with airtight lids are also a very safe way to store pet food kibble. These are available at most hardware and pet "super" stores. (Remember to store food in a cool dry place).

      Ceramic and glass dishes are also a healthy alternative to plastic dishes. Both are dishwasher safe and much more decorative than stainless steel. The only downfall with ceramic and glass is that they are breakable. So be sure to purchase a dish or bowl that will withstand your pets size and strength. Also make sure it is lead free glass or paint for the ceramic bowls. Lead poisoning could be fatal to your pet.

      We feel that while this may not pose a severe and immediate health concern for you and your pet, you can avoid all risk by making a simple choice. We want you to have the choice.