How it works


Say goodbye to that slimy layer in your pet bowls!

Most pet owners are familiar with the slime that forms on pet bowls. It's a glue like bio-film produced by bacteria that is gross and can harbour potentially disease causing viruses, fungi, and bacteria. A slime that has evolved to be as hard to wash away as possible.

It was observed centuries ago that water contained in copper vessels or transported in copper conveyance systems was of a higher quality. These systems didn’t develop a slime layer. In Roman times plumbing spigots were made of copper or brass. Copper water pots are prized in India and studies have shown that their use can help prevent water born diseases. In many hospitals copper and silver doorknobs and HVAC systems are being installed to prevent the spread of disease. This is due to the oligodynamic effect. The oligodynamic effect is an inherent property of copper and silver but not stainless steel or ceramic.

Simply put, copper and silver are antimicrobial.

Product details

Stainless steel above, copper plated stainless steel CuBowl below
Stainless steel above, copper plated stainless steel CuBowl below

 We offer bowls in two styles and in either copper, which is only suitable for water, and in food safe silver plate.  Our bowls are copper or silver electroplated on top of a stainless steel core. The electroplated layer is the thickest that is possible to manufacture, about double what is typical to ensure durability. One of the reasons we choose electroplating is that a recent scientific paper concluded that “electroplated copper surfaces killed bacteria more rapidly than either polished copper or native rolled copper”.

Large CuBowl
Large CuBowl

Safety and Care Instructions

  • Copper CuBowls are for water only. Copper is optimum for water but Copper Cubowls are not meant or safe for food use. The bowls are not lacquered and acidic substances, (such as most dog and cat foods) could leach copper. Silver is food and water safe.
  • Copper is an essential part of all cats' and dogs' diet. Copper is needed for the development of red blood cells and the formation of collagen, bone and connective tissue among other important functions. In the US, dog food must contain a minimum of 7.3mg of copper per kg of food to be marketed as “complete and balanced”. Many pet food manufacturers fortify their products with supplemental copper. For comparison, the average leach rate for 1 kg of copper in a water rinse is 0.387mg per week. The amount of copper that leaches into water is far less than the legally required minimum amount of copper in "complete and balanced" dog and cat food. Our main competitor, stainless steel, leaches a tiny amount of chromium and nickel into water. Silver is thought to be biologically inert.
  • Bowls that are significantly scratched, tarnished, or otherwise deformed or damaged should be repaired or replaced.
  • Copper and Silver are known for their high thermodynamic stability and resistance to reacting with the environment but, very slowly, copper and silver items tarnish. To remove tarnishing we recommend polishing your CuBowl as needed. This can be simply done by combining a mixture of 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and rubbing down your Cubowl, before polishing off with a clean cloth.
  • Veritgras is toxic! Do not use a copper bowl that has tarnished so severely it has green spots. CuBowls are for indoor use only.
  •  Luckily cold water considerably slows down copper tarnishing. The corrosion rate of copper in most potable waters is less than 2.5 µm/year, which is why copper pipes are used in water piping
  • Dogs that have been diagnosed with Copper Storage Disease, or a breed that is succeptible to copper storage disease, should not use copper Cubowls as their primary water bowl. 
  • CuBowls are hand wash only. You will find it very easy to clean and rinse out your pet bowl when it doesn't have bacteria glued to all over the inside!
  • Source water can negatively affect the copper finish, especially ground water with high iron content. City water is treated for copper pipes and should not negatively affect the bowls.
  • Did you know that copper has long been the standard and premium material for water piping into our homes? The earliest known copper water piping was found in the Indus River Valley and is approximately 6000-7000 years old. The ancient Egyptians built copper pipes in pyramids. The Romans used copper for stopcocks, valves, pumps, and other fittings. Copper piping is still used extensively in new construction today. Unlined copper vessels are commonly used in jam, candy, and beer making among other food and beverage uses. 

Additional information

Medium Regular CuBowl
Medium Regular CuBowl

Many pet owners believe that stainless steel or ceramic bowls are a healthier choice for their pets as compared to plastic, because they harbor less bacteria. It is commonly known that bacteria on the lip of a bowl can cause pet acne. Many pet health specialists agree that shared bowls are possible transmission vectors for diseases such as kennel cough, canine Papilloma Virus, Feline Calicivirus, and others. A recent scientific paper has recommended copper be used to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases.

Scientific consensus has been reached on copper, silver, and golds inherent antimicrobial property and this is easily demonstrated. On stainless steel, microbes such as e.coli can survive for weeks. Studies have shown that solid copper destroys over 99.9% of certain bacteria within 2 hours of surface contact. Within six hours of inoculation, 50% of infectious adenovirus particles survived on stainless steel. In the same time frame, a solid copper surface inactivated 99.999% of adenovirus particles.

Bacteria Plating Test

We performed an experiment plating out the bacteria in a CuBowl after a week of use and a stainless steel bowl after four days of use. We sampled both after filling them with an equal volume of water and then scraping the sides with a collection flask.  

Left: A bacterial lawn formed from both standard bowl samples. Too many bacteria to count                          Right: One CuBowl sample had zero viable bacteria. The other had a small amount of viable bacteria, approximately 1500 CFU per ml
Left: A bacterial lawn formed from both standard bowl samples. Too many bacteria to count Right: One CuBowl sample had zero viable bacteria. The other had a small amount of viable bacteria, approximately 1500 CFU per ml

 Anecdotal observations

Cubowls have receive lots of positive feedback. Many people have told us the same thing; that their dogs normally will not drink out of communal water bowls and that they are shocked they went right for the CuBowl! We have found that dogs truly do tend to prefer the CuBowl

Not just for cats and dogs! Our friend's rabbit was given a CuBowl as an experiment, she was used to drinking her water from a bottle on the side of her pen; but since we placed a small non-tip CuBowl in her pen, it is evident she much prefers it as it is the only thing she uses now! 

These bowls are great. You expect your pet bowl to be slimy because that's what your used to dealing with; rinsing out and filling up your pet bowls will never frustrate or make you feel guilty again! 

Alternatively, many people have fallen in love with the CuBowl solely for it's elegant and classy design; if you decide to support this project, be prepared to receive many compliments on your latest home decor accessory! 

About Us

CuBowl is a Canadian company based out of the beautiful Niagara region of Ontario, Canada. We came up with the idea after a conversation about the annoyance of having to constantly be scrubbing away the slimy layer in our dogs' water bowl. We couldn't find an unlacquered bowl made out of an oligodynamic material so we decided to make our own.

The company was founded by a former microbiology grad student and our team includes two University of British Columbia microbiology Ph.D candidates.

On February 1, 2019, CuBowl was acquired by BoxerTUFF Pet Products, a privately held Canadian pet products manufacturer. BoxerTUFF Pet Products was founded with a vision to manufacture healthy, natural pet products that adhere to our strict safety policies. We also believe in donating back to organized, registered pet rescue groups. For more information, please visit us at

Thank you,

Brian Richardson