You don’t put your plates on the floor at dinner time, so why do you make your dog eat off the floor?
Elevated feeding platforms provide you with the chance to offer your dog a more dignified and comfortable eating experience.
Treat your pooch like the family royalty he is!
While elevated food dishes aren’t recommended for all dogs, many will enjoy and benefit from a raised dog bowl at supper time.
Read the full article for the whole low down on high dog bowls!
Why Opt for an Elevated Dog Bowl?
Elevated dog bowls can provide a number of benefits for you and your pup. Some of these advantages are thought to offer health benefits, while others simply make your life easier.
A few of the most obvious advantages of elevated feeding bowls include:
- Less Painful for Arthritic Dogs. Some dogs, particularly older ones, have medical conditions that make feeding time painful or difficult; elevated food dishes often make eating easier. For example, dogs suffering from arthritis, spinal problems or a condition called megaesophagus may be able to eat more easily from an elevated food dish.
- Keep Your Dog’s Eating Area Cleaner. Elevated feeding dishes help keep your dog’s eating area clean. Food crumbs will spill out of any food bowl, but floor-level dishes often trap these food bits underneath the bowl. By using an elevated feeding platform, you can see food debris and clean up messes more easily.
- Easier to Fill and Maintain. It is easier for you to fill, empty and clean elevated food dishes, as you don’t have to reach all the way down to the ground to access them. Your dog doesn’t care too much about this problem, but there’s no reason to make things harder on yourself than need be. This is an especially valuable benefit for older or disabled owners.
- Keeps Bowls Cleaner. Elevated dog bowls allow less hair, dust and debris to coat your dog’s food and dish. You wouldn’t let your child eat food off the floor – even floors in clean homes are filthy with bacteria. Raising your dog’s food bowl off the ground will help keep your dog’s bowl and food cleaner.
- Built-In Food Storage. Some elevated feeders feature storage compartments for holding dog food or the bowls when not in use. This is another feature your dog won’t care about, but it will make your life a little easier.
- Stylish Design. Because many elevated dog bowls feature stylized designs, they can look quite nice in your kitchen and can compliment your home decor!
Bloat and The Role of Elevated Dog Bowls
Known by a variety of names, including gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV) and gastric torsion, bloat is an emergency medical condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach rotates along its axis, literally twisting itself so that gases and fluids become trapped in the stomach.
Bloat typically requires immediate surgery, as well as supportive measures to treat the animal’s shock. Complications are common, and even dogs that receive prompt treatment may ultimately pass away, making bloat a very scary situation.
Despite the gravity of the issue, the cause of bloat remains elusive. However, a few associations have been documented. These include:
- Giant breeds appear more likely to suffer from bloat than small and medium-sized dogs are. In fact, research shows that 1 in 5 dogs weighing over 99 pounds will suffer from bloat at some point in their lives.
- Deep-chested breeds, such as German shepherds, Dobermans and Great Danes, are some of the most common victims of bloat.
- Dogs who gobble down their food – and therefore swallow a lot of air while eating or gulping down water drinking – may be more likely to suffer bloat than slow eaters.
- Dogs that eat extremely large meals are more likely to suffer from bloat than those who eat smaller meals.
- Dogs with a close relative that has suffered from bloat are more likely to suffer from the problem themselves. It’s an issue that tends to run in the family.
While veterinarians do not yet understand how to completely eliminate the possibility of bloat, a handful of strategies are frequently recommended to help reduce the chances of stomach-twisting problems.
These include feeding smaller meals spread through the day and preventing exercise or vigorous activity for a length of time after meals.
Do Raised Bowls Help Bloat Or Make it Worse? The Jury Is Still Out
In addition to smaller meals and taking it easy after dinner, breeders and vets used to recommend that owners of dogs susceptible to bloat (primarily big, deep-chested breeds) feed their pooch from an elevated feeding dish.
However, an analysis published in a 2000 issue of Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association provided a shocking conclusion. According to the authors: “Approximately 20% – 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl.”
Accordingly, some veterinarians now advise against feeding bloat-susceptible breeds and individuals from elevated food bowls.
In light of conflicting evidence and varied opinions, the best approach is to discuss the issue with your veterinarian and follow his or her recommendations regarding the height of your dog’s food bowl. Your vet will most certainly know best!
What to Look for in an Elevated Dog Bowl
In its most simple design, an elevated feeding station consists of nothing more than a small box with a food bowl resting on top.
But many elevated feeding stations include other features that can improve the functionality and aesthetics of your dog’s supper station!
- Food Storage. Some units are built around a storage-box concept, which allows you to store your dog’s food inside for easy access. But the flip side of this convenience is that many such units feature a flat bottom, which can trap moisture, mold and bacteria on the floor, just like a food bowl sitting on the floor can.
- A Design That Matches Your Style. Other units pair form with function and are designed to be an attractive addition to your home. Some such models are made with wrought iron, while others are made with exotic hardwoods or aged copper. Some even feature hanging shapes and dog-inspired artwork! Just remember that these considerations are for your benefit, not your dog’s. Still, impressing visitors with a stylish dog bowl is always fun!
- Adjustable Height. Some models allow you to adjust the height of the platform, which can be a benefit for those with a growing dog. They can also be useful for breeders, veterinary offices, groomers, and anyone else that cares for a large number of dogs.
Personally, I think that the most attractive elevated dog bowl platforms feature a clean, modern design and are made from real wood. Then again, I can also appreciate the convenience offered by products that include storage space – especially for owners of large dogs who eat lots of food.
Consider what features matter most to you and select a bowl based on your preferences.
If you prefer the DIY route, you can even attempt at crafting a raise dog bowl by hand, as demonstrated in this video!
5 Best Raised Dog Bowls: Reviews & Recommendations
We’re reviewing the 5 best elevated dog bowls for high-rise eating. All these dog bowls come well recommended by owners. Just be sure to pick one that is the right size for your pup (the rule of thumb is that you want a feeder that stands about 4 to 6 inches below your dog’s shoulder).
The Loving Pets Rustic Bone Diner for Dogs is an artistic-looking elevated feeding dish system, made from aged copper.
- Comes with two, 2-quart, stainless steel feeding bowls
- Unique product design
- Copper construction is durable and easy to clean
This is an attractive, yet economical elevated feeder that will look great in your kitchen. The simple design, removable bowls and copper construction also ensure that cleaning the Loving Pets Rustic Bone Diner is a breeze.
This unit is not adjustable, and it does not feature a storage compartment, so it will appeal more to aesthetically minded puppy parents than those who place a premium on function.
The IRIS Airtight Elevated Storage Feeder serves as both an elevated feeding platform and a place you can store your dog’s food.
- Storage compartment features an air-tight seal, so food stays fresh and dry inside.
- Comes with two stainless-steel feeding bowls
- Feeding bowls have a 2-quart capacity
- Storage space can hold up to 64 cups of kibble
Thanks to the space-saving storage compartment, the IRIS Airtight Elevated Storage Feeder is the perfect option for pet parents who live in small homes or apartments. Additionally, because the storage compartment is translucent, you can see how much food is left at a glance.
Especially mischievous dogs may be tempted to chew through the storage box in an effort to get to the highly visible food.
The YML Wrought Iron and Stainless Steel Feeder Bowl is a handsome elevated dog bowl, made with artistically twisted wrought iron to let your dog eat in style.
- Comes with a 2 ½-quart, stainless steel bowl
- Features a fun, bone-shaped decoration on the front of the unit
- Wrought-iron construction is both attractive and durable
The wrought-iron styling is very attractive, making the YML Wrought Iron Stand an excellent addition to any good-looking kitchen.
The YML Wrought Iron Stand only supports one dish, so you’ll need to purchase two units to give your pet access to both food and water.
The Bergan Elevated Double Bowl Feeder is a sleek, modern and no-frills elevated feeding platform that will look great in your kitchen and make feeding time easier for your pup.
- Removable legs allow you to use the platform at either of two distinct heights
- BPA-free plastic construction is safe, attractive and durable
- Made in the USA
- Comes with two large, 11-cup, stainless steel food bowls
- The platform features two cutouts that make it very easy to remove the bowls
Most users are highly satisfied with the quality of the product, particularly as it relates to the seal around the rim of the bowls.
The Bergen Elevated Double Feeder is both attractive and functional, but this quality comes at a price, and this platform is one of the pricier options on the market.
The Pawfect Pets Premium Elevated Pet Feeder is an attractive and functional dog feeding bowl platform that features a compartment for storage beneath the bowls.
- Comes with two complete sets of food bowls (four bowls in total)
- Features no moveable or removable parts
- Hassle-free return policy
The bamboo construction ensures that the product is attractive and water-proof, which ensures that it will last for years. Additionally, the second set of bowls allow you to rotate between the sets; you can wash one set of bowls while the other is in use.
The storage compartment does not have a door, so you shouldn’t use it to store food or other tempting treats, unless your dog is unusually disciplined and well behaved. Additionally, the Pawfect Pets Premium Feeder is only available in a size befitting smaller dogs.
Do you use an elevated feeding dish for your pup? We’d love to know which one you selected. Tell us all about it in the comments below.