Using Raised Dog Food Bowls

Several medical conditions warrant feeding a dog from a raised dish, and other conditions could be complicated by it.

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Q. Is raising the dog's food dish good for dogs? Is there any research on this topic?

A. The current thinking regarding elevating food bowls for dogs is that it is not necessary, and may be harmful. There are several medical conditions, however, that do warrant feeding from a raised food bowl.

The first is megaesophagus, a neurologic disorder where the muscles of the esophagus do not correctly squeeze food down into the stomach, so the esophagus remains full of food. In dogs with this condition, there is a risk of aspiration pneumonia, where food inadvertently goes down the trachea into the lungs. Feeding a gruel-like diet at a raised height may help the food use gravity to slide into the stomach.

Dogs who have neck pain or disc problems in their cervical (neck portion) of their spinal column also may be uncomfortable eating off of the floor level, and may be more comfortable eating from a height.

There is no other research that shows any benefit to feeding dogs with a raised bowl. In a study of risk factors for gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV), a twisting of the stomach that requires emergency surgery, elevated feedings were shown to slightly increase the risk of GDV.
 
You may read a lot of information on the Internet regarding elevating feeding bowls, but much of it may be based on speculation and misinformation, so be cautious when considering electronic information.


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lynn   sandy, Oregon

12/7/2014 6:28:53 AM

From everything that is on the internet, it isn't the raised bowl, but a lot of different factors. From what I read, the break down comes down to the following factors. 1. Dog Breed 2.Speed at which the dog eats 3. The type of Dog Food being used 4. The amount of water the Dog drinks after eating

5. How much and how hard is the exercise the Dog does right after eating 6. Then the Elevated Dish or not? As far as I can find, there was only 1 study done. How good was the study depends on the $ and who was backing the study. We have feed our Goldens from a raised platform without any series problems. We will keep on doing it. It also helps in keeping the mess down.

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Kathy   New Brighton, Pennsylvania

10/20/2014 9:55:46 AM

What research I've read is that it's not the raised bowl that causes bloat but the dogs ability to eat faster than before. I believe the raised bowl is better on large dogs' necks and if they're inhaling their food, get a sectioned bowl which will make it harder to eat fast.

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Leslie - 233329   Lakeside, AZ

4/12/2013 9:48:32 AM

Good information on a controversial topic. thanks

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

3/24/2013 4:08:54 AM

My daughter uses a raise bowl. She just introduced this bowl about 6 months ago for her 16 year old Lab. He has some physical issues and this made it easier for him to get his food.

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