Elevated feeding bowls are a must for older and taller dogs. Well, this statement needs explanation because there are opinions out there that recommend highly to not use elevated feeding bowls for dogs.
Before I get into the details of this discussion I like to mention that there are several reasons for dog owners to buy elevated feeding bowls. One point is to get an elevated bowl for the taller dog in order to keep the smaller dog away from stealing food out of the other dog’s bowl.
You might find recommendations saying that you shouldn’t use elevated feeding bowls. Well, I will tell you why there is nothing wrong with any of the available elevated feeding bowls.
Where are those recommendations coming from? According to them elevated feeding bowls are one of the reasons why dogs have an increased risk of getting GDV. What is GDV? GDV stands for “Gastric Dilatation Volvulus”, also known as bloat. GDV is a rapidly progressive life-threatening condition of dogs. The condition causes the stomach to dilate. As the stomach begins to dilate and expand, the pressure in the stomach begins to increase. Additionally, the stomach can become dilated enough to rotate in the abdomen, a condition called volvulus.
I remember one specific day in my past when Switzerland celebrated its National Holiday, August 1. I was celebrating with my family and friends when I got an emergency call. GDV in acute stage. The whole staff rushed into the vet’s office. We met a kind but gigantic Great Dane named Cleo. She was known for getting excited when friends are around. At that National Holiday she jumped even more around, unfortunately also after her usual speed eating. Just minutes after eating she developed a serious GDV that only a surgery could help. And it did. She spent the night of the Swiss National Day in our animal hospital which was a happy accident for her, she didn’t like the nightly fireworks anyways. At our place she could rest comfortably away from all that disturbing outside noise.
Well, why did she and other dogs develop GDV? Let’s take a look at the factors that are associated with an increased risk of GDV. One known article describes it like this: “Cumulative incidence of GDV during the study was 6% for large breed and giant breed dogs. Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were increasing age, having a first-degree relative with a history of GDV, having a faster speed of eating, and having a raised feeding bowl. Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl.” (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1492–1499)
As with all studies you need to be careful about the details. On first view it seems that elevated feeding bowls are one of the reasons for an increased risk. But let’s put together the singular points and their interdependencies. Large dogs and old dogs eat most often from elevated feeding bowls because it is for their size and age more comfortable. Adding the elevated feeding bowl to the risk factors is a bit misleading, because it is a secondary, not a primary factor.
One of the primary factors is the size of the dogs. Large and giant dogs tend to have very elastic connective tissues. Their stomach is kind of more lose, in simple words put. If this fact falls together with a very active dog that jumps around immediately after eating, even worse after speed eating, like Cleo did, the risk of developing a GDV is very high. Cleo wasn’t feeding from an elevated bowl but she had unfortunately all the primary factors that can increase the risk of a GDV.
My point is: there is nothing wrong with elevated feeding bowls. Watch how your dog is feeding though. If your dog feels more comfortable feeding from an elevated feeding bowl, do not hesitate to get one. If you have a large to giant dog watch your dog anyway around feeding time. Create a calm and relaxing environment before and after feeding. No walks, no plays, no romping around. You’ll render your dog a great favor by doing this.
It is in any case important with every new item you purchase for your dog to give your dog time to get accustomed with it. Watch your dog’s behavior and be prepared to go back to low feeding bowls if your dog doesn’t like the elevated feeding bowl.
Elevated Feeding Tray
- Two 8″ stainless steel bowls
- Plastic feeding tray
- Legs store securely under the tray
- 22″ high, about 3 cups of volume
If your dog’s height is 17 inches, you’d need a feeder that’s 11 inches tall — like this one! The bowls are stainless steel, around 8 inches in diameter, and quite deep.
This feeding bowl is amazing. It comes right up to my 60 lb huskys chest which makes it easier for her to eat, and helps prevent bloat.
It collapses some for travel, and our older Golden Retriever was delighted.
Double Diner Stand
- Includes two stainless steel wide rimmed bowls
- Durable hand-forged wrought iron with rubber bases
- Finished with a FDA compliant matte black powder coat
- Lifetime guarantee against rust
- FDA compliant and EU certified finish
I liked this set – now my new Pitbull eats more comfortably and without the pig sounds. It really helps to have elevated bowls for taller animals.
My dogs love it. One is 65 pounds and the other is 40 pounds and it works for both.
- High quality thick stoneware bowls
- Elevated wrought iron stand
- Water absorption resistant and easy to clean
- Stoneware bowls are microwave and dishwasher safe
These ceramic bowls are heavy and very sturdy. The stand they sit in is also very sturdy and the weight of the bowls keeps the stand from moving around while the dogs are eating.
I’m pleased with the quality of the bowls and the wire frame stand. It is nice and sturdy.
I am so impressed with these bowls! They are very durable and easy to clean. I love that they pop right out of the metal frame for easy cleaning and filling. They also hold a good amount of food and water.
* Prices are good at the time the article was written, but subject to change without notice.