Have you ever noticed that if you put food on a big plate it looks so little, and by the time the plate is full, the portion is enough for dinner as well as lunch the next day? The same principle is true for dog bowls. A big bowl makes a correct size portion look tiny, and it’s easy to put on too much.
In 2013, the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine made an experiment with 54 dogs and their owners. Four combinations were tested:
- Small bowl with a small scoop
- Small bowl with a large scoop
- Large bowl with a small scoop
- Large bowl with a large scoop
Just as one might guess, the servings in the small bowl with the small scoop were significantly smaller than all other combinations.
Does it matter?
Yes. Obesity is a health problem on the rise for pets as well as people, and keeping track of portions is especially important for pets eating dry food. Kibble is generally high in calories, and just a few extra pieces each day can make a small pet gain weight quickly.
Good ideas are to use a graded measuring cup, and to use the large bowl for water. Many pet owners have a small water bowl and a huge food bowl, but pets need much more water than they do food.