A common joke within the dog fancy community is the tongue-in-cheek assertion that when we’re not looking, every leash we own is feverishly mating and reproducing inside tack boxes and while hanging on hooks. There is no other explanation for how it is that when most of us started out “in dogs,” we had a leash for every dog in the house, but in the proverbial blink of an eye, those few leashes became 114 leashes. We were talking about this puzzle at a recent dog show where one fancier invited me to look into her tack box. I literally leapt back in horror from what looked like the snake pit from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Swear to God, the jumble of leashes inside the box were writhing. The fancier told me that only a week ago, there had been but six leashes in the box.
Not content to leave fertility to leashes, the dog bowls in my house have also shown remarkable fecundity, something I learned following my promise to review a new line of dog bowls. To that end, I thought I should assess my current stock of bowls since it’s been years since I bought a new one. The first few bowls I pulled out of the “dog bowl shelf” made me smile; dinged and dented, these bowls “carbon dated” my life in dogs, each a reminder of a particular dog now long gone. I quit smiling when I kept pulling out bowl after bowl after bowl. Below is a photograph of the contents of one shelf.
Not seen are the water bowls I have at various “stations” throughout the house (because dogs get “Sahara-Desert-Parched” by walking from one room to another, you know?) , or the “special needs” bowls I have stored in boxes (“flying saucer” bowls for when I have puppies, “raised” bowls for when I have geriatric dogs, etc).
I never thought of myself as having a “bowl” problem, but when a box arrived the other day of the bowls I was to review, my long suffering spouse peeked inside it and said dryly, “Bowls. By golly, you needed new dog bowls. The dogs have gone without far too long.”
How does one review decorative dog bowls when in reality, the more serious the dog person, the more utilitarian their dog bowls are? Round and stainless steel gets the job done, a formula from which I’ve strayed only once. I offered dinner to one of the Pulik in a cute square dog food bowl I’d been gifted. The dog acted as if there were piranhas circling in the kibble and refused to go near it. Ever. Seeing her reaction convinced the other dogs that there was something to be feared in a square bowl. The bowl now holds paper clips.
Still, there are times when it would be nice to have a bowl “for show,” and the bowls I’m reviewing below fit the bill on two fronts: They’re stainless steel and decorative, and make a nice gift to a new dog owner or puppy home. Without further fuss, the review:
What: The Milano Collection™ Designer Dog Bowls in small, medium and large sizes;
Details: From the website: “The removable, skid-free rubber base resists slips and spills. The bacteria resistant stainless bowl removes for easy cleaning and is dishwasher safe. The shell is made from tough BPA-free ABS plastic. Milano bowls are available in three sizes and a growing variety unique designs.”
Prices: Large – 14.99, Medium – 9.99, Small – 7.99
The Good: As seen, the bowls have a stainless steel insert and are dishwasher safe, as are the decorative shells made from tough BPA-free ABS plastic. I can attest to the durability of the shells since I accidentally dropped one from waist height and it didn’t as much as chip. The bowls have a rubber ring base which are skid-resistent (and consequently less noisy) as well as removable. The blue “Breeds of the World” bowl actually has the breed “Pulik” written on it, always good for brownie points with me;
The Bad: The bowls are made in India, and the stainless steel insert bowls aren’t as heavy as some of the “industrial strength” bowls many of us use on a daily basis;
The Ugly: I didn’t find anything I’d regard as “ugly” about this collection of bowls other than that I wish they were made in the USA. They’re fun, are a nice change from plain bowls, and make good gifts.
Additional: As part of my review package, I received a bag of chicken flavored “Barksters” which are a “soft chew” as opposed to a crunchy biscuit, but the Pulik like them. These are made in the USA.
I also received a couple of Bone-shaped Bella® Spill-Proof Dog Mats.From the web site: The mats….”stylishly prevents splashes and retains spills. Bella Spill-Proof Dog Mats have raised edges for maximum spill capacity, a slip-resistant, bone-embossed surface, and anti-skid feet to prevent slips, slides, noise and floor damage. Non-toxic, BPA-free and quality tested. For both indoor and outdoor use. Cleans easily – just rinse with water.”
Wth a hairy-faced breed, I appreciate the raised dog bone surface on the inside of the mats, though I wish the mats were more skid-resistant on the bottom.
And there you have it.