Brachycephalic dogs (AKA dogs with flat faces) include breeds like bulldogs, pugs, boxers, Boston terriers, Chow Chows, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. These breeds are both popular and adorable, but their flat faces require extra special care — especially during mealtime — and that’s where the best dog bowls for flat-faced dogs come in. While I’m the owner of a Shih Tzu mix myself, in order to source the best options, I also reached out to a vet for expert advice and researched reviews from other smushed-face dog owners.
Gary Richter (MS, DVM, CVC, CVA) is a veterinarian and a veterinary health expert with Rover. In 2002, Dr. Richter became the owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital, and in 2009, he launched Holistic Veterinary Care. He and his two animal hospitals have earned more than 30 awards.
What To Look For In A Bowl For Flat-Faced Dogs
According to Dr. Richter, if your dog has a flat face, “a shallow bowl or plate might be a little easier and more comfortable.” That way, the kibble or wet food is still within reach of their shorter snout, and they won’t have to strain for it. Much like the best dog bowls for dogs with no teeth, however, many reviewers have also found that their flat-faced dogs do best with bowls that are rounded and tilted, too. This ensures that gravity does much of the hard work for them, as the food collects in one accessible spot at the bottom.
That said, brachycephalic dog breeds might also have trouble breathing or bending down, which is where a slow-feeder or an elevated dog bowl which helps with mobility might come in handy. No matter which shape or design you choose though, ensure that it’s durable, adequately sized for your dog, and made from safe, easy-to-clean materials.
Shop The Best Dog Bowls For Flat-Faced Dogs
In a hurry? Here are the top dog bowls for brachycephalic dog breeds.
- The Overall Best Tilted Dog Bowl: JWPC Bulldog Bowl
- The Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl: Leashboss Flat Face Feeder
- The Best Elevated Dog Bowl: YMAXGO Ceramics Tilted Elevated Food Bowl
- The Best Food & Water Bowls Set: PETKIT CYBERTAIL Elevated Food And Water Bowls
1. The Overall Best Tilted Dog Food Bowl
- Tilted and slightly elevated
- Designed for flat-faced dogs
- Less than $20
- Only comes in one size and two pink colors
This tilted dog bowl was specifically designed for bulldogs and other breeds with flat faces. The shallow, rounded bowl sits inside of an adjustable stand, which not only elevates the bowl slightly, but also you to change the tilt so your dog can find the most comfortable angle for eating. It’s also anti-slip, scratch-resistant, and made from non-toxic, easy-to-clean resin. Not bad for less than $20.
One reviewer wrote: “This bowl is amazing! I got this for my FrenchBulldog who has always had a difficult time reaching her food in a regular bowl. She is now able to eat every last bit without drama.I like the material, it’s very easy to clean and holds up well in the dishwasher.”
Dimensions: 6.7 inches in diameter by 4.3 inches high | Capacity: 2 cups | Material: non-toxic resin | Available colors: light pink/white, pink
2. The Best Slow Feeder Dog Bowl For Flat-Faced Dogs
- Maze design slows down eating
- Shallow, raised, and tilted for flat-faced breeds
- Single size and small capacity might not be suitable for larger breeds
Like dogs of any breed, some flat-faced dogs might have a habit of eating too quickly — but because they may also experience difficulty breathing, this could especially create a choking hazard. Many slower feeder bowls are too deep for a brachycephalic breed, but the Leashboss Flat Face Feeder was designed specifically for shorter snouts. Its maze-like design forces your pup to eat more slowly (with dry food or wet), but the compartments are shallow and the base is raised and tilted to accommodate those shorter snouts. The material is also non-slip, dishwasher-safe, and has a built-in handle for portability.
One reviewer wrote: “My six-month-old Frenchie would inhale his food and sometimes throw up after eating. I broke his feedings up into three times a day and that didn’t help. Using this bowl has worked wonderfully! It had slowed him down when eating and I am feeding him twice a day now.”
Dimensions: 8 by 8 inches | Capacity: 1.5 cup capacity | Material: plastic | Available colors: gray, blue
3. The Best Elevated Dog Bowl
- Raised base can be beneficial for digestion and reduce neck strain
- Bowl is tilted, rounded, and shallow
- Ceramic is microwave-safe and dishwasher-friendly
Because they might also have issues with their joints, flat-faced dog breeds may benefit from a raised dog bowl. (This allows them to eat at a more ergonomic angle without having to strain their necks — and it could also be beneficial for digestion.) The YMAXGO raised bowl has a 3.5-inch-tall base, but its ceramic bowl is also shallow, tilted , and rounded. For that reason, it works especially well for flat-faced pets. It also has two non-slip mats for security and mess-reduction: one under the base and one under the bowl.
One reviewer wrote: “My Frenchie was having problems with reflux with traditional bowls this eliminated the problem of him having to dig down and fight for his food. This raised his ability to reach and have access to all the food.”
Dimensions: 7.9 by 7.9 by 7.48 inches | Capacity: 2 cups | Material: ceramic, plastic | Available colors: black, pink, white
4. The Best Food & Water Bowl Set
- Two bowls for both food and water
- Both are raised, tilted, and shallow for flat-faced breeds
- Made from dishwasher-safe stainless steel
- Small capacity is not suitable for large breeds
Finally, if you’re looking for a matching set of bowls for both food and water simultaneously, this one is the way to go. It comes with two dishwasher-safe stainless steel bowls which are both shallow, tilted, spill-resistant, dishwasher-safe, and raised up on a 2-inch base. While it’s marketed for cats, reviewers agree that it’s also a great option for dog breeds with flat faces. Finally, the bowls screw into the base, so it’s harder for your pet to tip them over.
One reviewer wrote: “Bought this for my French Bulldog who needs an inclined bowl for her flatface. We were previously using a different brand of dog bowls that started to rust and I wanted something that I can throw in the dishwasher. These are so great and I wish I had bought it sooner!”
Dimensions: 13 by 6.3 by 5 inches | Capacity: 1 cup | Material: stainless steel, plastic | Available colors: black
Gary Richter, MS, DVM, CVC, CVA and Veterinary Health Expert with Rover
Ekenstedt, KJ, Crosse, KR, & Risselada, M. (2020). Canine Brachycephaly: Anatomy, Pathology, Genetics and Welfare. Journal of comparative pathology, 176, 109–115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcpa.2020.02.008