Baby Proof Dog Food and Water Bowls: Plus 12 Tips for Safely Child Proofing Dog Food and Water
Is your baby’s favorite toy the dog food bowl? Is keeping your toddler out of the dog water bowl a never ending race? There are several options for baby-proof dog bowls to keep your baby safe and your house tidy!
Dog food and water are a safety hazard for young children. Babies can drown in as little as 1 inch of water, like in the water bowl or choke on the food. And pets may be food aggressive and react poorly to someone messing with their food.
And of course, there’s the germs. Plus, any child loves making a mess splashing in the water and throwing kibble everywhere!
This is where I started scratching my head. Anywhere I can think of putting my dog’s food bowl will be accessible to my baby. Fortunately, there are several solutions to keep your baby safe and your dog fed and watered!
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Can I teach my toddler to stay out of the dog water and food?
Possibly. Some parents pick up their baby whenever they get near the dog food, say “No,” and repeat until the baby understands.
This may take hundreds of attempts. And it may be frustrating since your baby might enjoy getting a ride around the house when you pick them up. And you’ll always need to be vigilant!
- Costs nothing
- High effort
Best solution for baby-proofing any dog food bowl
Do you leave food out for your dogs all day? Try feeding the dog at certain times like while your baby is in their high chair or after bedtime. As a busy parent, however, you may not have time for this. An automated pet food dispenser is a great baby proof dog bowl!
The PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder (available on Amazon) is a great option for families with kids and pets. Use the smartphone app to program feeding times or feed “on demand” by simply pressing a button. Or ask one of your smart home devices to feed the dog!
So in the morning and evening, you can simply use the PetSafe Smart Feed to automatically dispense food to your pets while your baby is in the high chair or in bed! You’ll only need to refill the food reservoir once a week or so.
It can dispense up to 4 cups of food, so is a great option for small, medium, or large dogs. A special splitter attachment lets you feed multiple pets at once.
The main downside is the button on the top of the container that you can use to manually dispense food. Smart pets may figure out how to press the button themselves. If you have a pet that figures this out, you can tape the lid of a soda bottle or something similar over the top. Not the greatest looking answer, but it gets the job done. And it’s still a baby proof dog bowl!
- Totally automatic
- Dishwasher safe bowl
- Has a slow feed option to prevent pets from gulping down their food
- Attachment allows you to feed multiple pets at once
- Optional battery backup
- Cannot dispense wet food
- May have to refill hopper frequently (every 3 days) for large dogs
- Smart pets may figure out that they can dispense food by pressing the button on top themselves. Cover it to prevent them from doing this
Related post: How to prepare your dog for a new baby!
Keeping your toddler out of the water: The best baby proof dog water bowls
Keeping a toddler out of a dog water bowl is a difficult task. Fortunately, a spill-proof dog bowl will do the trick!
The Ray Allen Buddy Bowl (
available on Amazon) is hands-down amazing. Your toddler can turn this bowl upside down, throw it, stand on it, or carry it around, and it won’t spill! Dogs with or without snouts (like pugs) can drink from this bowl. (The Ray Allen Buddy Bowl is no longer available on Amazon, but you can buy it at the manufacturer’s website here.)
Since the bowl is plastic, it may slide around a bit. I recommend putting it on a mat or against a wall.
As an added benefit, it helps prevent messes with dogs who are sloppy drinkers or get their ears in the water.
- Dogs find it easy to drink from
- No water present for children to play in
- Very difficult for kids to get water out of
- Available in several sizes
- Can be difficult to open for cleaning. Run it under hot water to loosen the lid.
Related post: Looking for a babyproof water cooler? Read my reviews and tips here!
Related post: The Best Baby and Dog Strollers
How to baby proof dog bowls if you have small dogs
Option 1: RFID dog bowl
The best way to child proof dog food containers for small or medium dogs is an RFID dog bowl. The SureFeed Microchip Pet Feeder (available on Amazon) is the best way to keep babies out of the dog food!
The food bowl responds to your dog’s microchip or the microchip that comes with the kit, and only opens when they are nearby.
If you have multiple dogs, you can use the same feeding dish by programming in their microchip, or purchasing extra tags for their collars.
Related post: Learn about babyproof dog doors!
- No need to set timers or train your dog to eat on a schedule
- May be difficult with several small dogs sharing the same bowl
- A determined toddler may be able to find a way to get into the food
Option 2: Baby gate with a small opening
If you have small dogs, I recommend a baby gate with a cat-sized opening that your dog can fit through but your baby cannot!
Put the food bowls in the bathroom, laundry room, or other area you can block off. Then place the gate across the doorway. You won’t need to climb over the gate, just push the button and swing it open. In addition to having a baby proof dog bowl, your pets may also appreciate having somewhere to go where the baby can’t get to them!
- You can use it for any number of small dogs
- Works for crawlers and toddlers
- Gate may be in your way
- Only pretty small dogs will fit through the opening
Related Post: Baby-proof your house with cat-friendly baby gates (they also work for small dogs!)
How to baby proof dog bowls if you have large dogs
Option 1: Elevated dog bowls
An elevated dog bowl may work, but it depends on how tall your baby is and how tall your dogs are. Once your child starts standing or walking, they will probably be able to get into the food and water.
This elevated dog feeding system is 12 inches tall and weighs seven pounds, preventing kids (or the dogs) from knocking it over. The bamboo feeder looks nice in any home, and the large bowls can hold 32 or 48 oz of food or water
- Simple to set up, no programming or ongoing maintenance required
- Also reduces bloating and neck strain, which are both common in big dogs
- Only an option while your baby is crawling
Related post: Find 8 simple tips on how to help your sensitive dog when he reacts to a crying baby here
Option 2: Barrier
With large dogs, consider a high barrier that the dogs can climb over, but the baby cannot. Put up a box or other barrier and see how it works!
This may be a very simple path to a baby proof dog bowl if it will work with your home’s layout, and your child’s determination to get at the dog food.
- Simple and cheap to set up
- Only works until your baby is big enough to crawl or climb over
- May be annoying for adults to climb over the barrier
Related post: Full review of the Avalon A4 baby-proof water dispenser here!
Child Proof Dog Food Containers
The best child proof dog food containers have lids that are difficult for children to open, and easy for parents to open.
Keeping your child out of the dog bowl doesn’t do you any good if they play in the dog food storage container!
I recommend the Vittles Vault (available on Amazon). The lid is difficult for a child to turn, and it holds up to 40 or 60 pounds of dog food!
- Holds 40-60 pounds of food
- Prevents any dog food smell
- Fits into most kitchen cabinets
- Insect proof
- The manufacturer claims they are stackable, but they don’t stack well
- The top container may fall off the lower one
- If you fill up the top container, it distorts the opening on the bottom container making it difficult to close
- If you fill up the top container, food may spill out of the bottom container when you open it
Related post: Can having a dog prepare you for having a baby?
Other tips to baby-proof your dog bowls
- Put your dog’s food behind a door or gate or outside. For example, feed them in the laundry room or a bathroom with the door closed. Open the door to let them out after they are finished eating, pick up the food bowl, and put it away where your baby can’t reach it.
- You can also keep a very small amount of water in the bowl and refill frequently
- Vigilant parents can pick the dog bowls up when the baby is in the room, and put them back when the baby leaves.
- If you live somewhere warm, consider feeding your dog outside. Beware that pet food may attract pests, like insects, possums, raccoons, or stray cats.
Related post: Keep your baby busy and out of the dog food with 22 things to do with a newborn in the winter.
In conclusion, we’ve explored child proof dog bowls, like the PetSafe Smart Feed Automatic Dog and Cat Feeder from Amazon that automatically feeds your dog at scheduled times and can be controlled from your smartphone.
And the best way for keeping a baby or toddler out of the dog’s water is a spill proof bowl. I recommend The Ray Allen Buddy Bowl from Amazon.
Finally, to keep your child out of the dog food container, use the Vittles Vault child-proof kibble storage container from Amazon.
However, there are also options you can easily do yourself without spending a dime, like feeding your dogs behind closed doors in a bathroom or laundry room at scheduled times. Or being very watchful and picking up the dog bowls whenever your baby goes into the room.
I’d love to hear any solutions you have for baby-proof dog bowls or other pet-related items in the comments!
Related post: Read about the best baby gates for stairs with banisters here!