Choosing food dishes for your Labrador can be a complicated decision. It depends on many factors: how strong a chewer your dog is, how many health issues your dog has (i.e., allergy and joint problems), how easy-to-clean you want the dishes to be, how decorative you want the dishes to be and how much you want to spend.
Plastic Dog Dishes
Plastic dog dishes are the most economical choice, but they may not be the best for Labradors. As the breed is known for eating both edible and non-edible objects, as well as for having powerful jaws, a plastic dish might not fare well. Additionally, the dishes can crack, harboring dangerous bacteria, and can break down and leach harmful chemicals.
Stainless Steel Dog Dishes
Stainless steel dog dishes are also an economical option. Additionally, they are sturdier, safer and easier to clean than plastic dog dishes and are dishwasher-safe. They also often have rubber non-skid rings on the bottom to prevent spillage. Their only real drawback is their lack of variety, but they blend in fairly well with any decor.
Ceramic Dog Dishes
Ceramic dog dishes are more expensive than plastic or stainless steel dishes, but they can be found in a wide variety of designs and colors. They are easy to clean, generally dishwasher-safe and fairly durable. They are, however, susceptible to cracks and chips that can harbor bacteria and injure your dog, so it's important to check the dishes frequently to make sure they're safe.
Elevated Dog Dish
Elevated dog dishes are ideal for Labradors as they prevent hip, elbow and knee problems, which are common in the breed, as well as back and neck problems, by allowing dogs to eat while standing upright. They are also more sanitary, as they keep the food up off the floor and away from bugs. Elevated dog dishes come in a variety of materials, including all the options mentioned above, as well as a variety of colors, styles and price ranges.