How to Pick the Height for an Elevated Dog Feeder

Dogs with neck or spine problems may find it unpleasant to bend down to the floor.
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Lots of elevated dog feeders are available, sometimes accompanied by promotional information touting their numerous benefits. However, in most cases, such items are unnecessary and possibly dangerous. Very tall dogs and those with certain health conditions can benefit from these products, though. In particular, canines with megaesophagus eat more easily and safely from elevated dog feeders. Also, elderly and arthritic dogs and those with neck or back problems may not find eating as painful when they don't have to bend down to floor level. Use an elevated dog feeder only if your veterinarian recommends it.

Step 1

Lead your dog to a room with a hard, level floor.

Step 2

Approach your dog from the side with a tape measure in hand and squat down next to her. Have her face forward and stand still with her feet directly beneath her.

Step 3

Measure the distance from the floor to the top of her front shoulders, or her withers.

Step 4

Subtract 7 inches from this height measurement. This is approximately how high the top of the elevated dog feeder should be, reaching to your dog's low chest area.


  • Using an elevated dog feeder without a good reason unnecessarily jeopardizes your dog's health. It slightly raises your pet's risk of gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome, or GDV, a potentially fatal twisting of the stomach.

  • Plastic food bowls and stands are easy to clean, but some dogs have skin sensitivities to them. If you feed your dog out of plastic and her nose or mouth become red, crusty, or otherwise irritated, switch to ceramic or stainless steel.


  • Bring your dog with you when purchasing an elevated dog feeder if at all possible. This way you can see where it comes to on her. If you can't test it out first, buy an adjustable product.

  • It's far better to err on the side of a little too low than a little too high when sizing an elevated dog feeder.

  • If your dog is a voracious eater who really goes at her food bowl, make sure you pick out a sturdy and secure elevated feeder to avoid spills.

An Item You Will Need

  • Tape measure