Are Raised Dog Bowls Good or Bad for a Dog?

by Naomi Millburn
Some breeds, like Great Danes, are especially vulnerable to bloat.

Some breeds, like Great Danes, are especially vulnerable to bloat.

Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images

Concerned dog owners want to make sure that everything is just right for their pets, whether it relates to what they eat or how they eat it. If you're wondering whether raised dog food bowls are good for your pooch, the answer is that it depends on his specific health needs. They're rarely needed.

Not Needed in General

Raised dog food bowls, which are also commonly known as elevated feeders, are typically not needed for pets, according to veterinarian Jon Gellar. Not only do dogs generally not need to eat from bowls that are raised high off the floor, these feeders are in some cases thought to be detrimental to them. Despite that, dogs with certain medical ailments do benefit from eating out of raised food bowls.

Bloat and Raised Food Bowls

In the past, raised food bowls were believed to minimize dogs' chances of developing bloat, which is a sometimes fatal gastrointestinal condition. Studies have shown, however, that raised food bowls do just the opposite. These feeders can make your pet more vulnerable to bloat, says veterinarian Jon Rappaport and other experts. Because of the potential dangers associated with raised food bowls and issues such as bloat, it's important to never use them for your pet unless your veterinarian specifically instructs you to do so. If a pet has any type of health issue that calls for the use of elevated feeders, the vet might indeed suggest them.

Various Medical Conditions

Raised dog food bowls can be helpful for pooches with a couple of different medical problems. If a dog suffers from neck aches, it might be hard for her to eat from the ground. If so, a raised food bowl might be useful for her. Dogs with arthritis and tenseness in their necks sometimes benefit from elevated feeders. If a dog has megaesophagus, a raised food bowl may be prescribed by a vet. Megaesophagus is a neurological ailment that involves the esophageal muscles. When a dog has megaesophagus, these muscles no longer can push his meals into his belly for digestion. This condition is a result of the esophagus' widening. Dogs with megaesophagus often experience problems swallowing food.

Veterinary Permission

Elevated feeders are generally easy for shoppers to find at pet supplies stores, but it's crucial to use them only with a vet's approval. They're often linked to everything from decreasing gas in dogs after meals to maintaining cleanliness and order in their eating areas, but the risks can be greater than the benefits. When it comes to your sweet pet's health and happiness, there is no such thing as "too cautious," after all. In general, dogs with deep chests should not use elevated feeders.

Photo Credits

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