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Pets become a part of the family from day one and we always want to give them the absolute best life. But in doing so, we sometimes end up harming them mistakenly. One such method of feeding is gaining popularity for its potential benefits; elevated feeding using raised dog bowls. However, there are some detrimental cons of using them for your pooch. In this article, we will see why elevated dog bowls are bad for some dogs, and also when you can consider using it for the benefits.
What Are Raised Dog Bowls or Elevated Dog Bowls?
In simple terms, dog food bowls and water bowls that do not sit directly on the floor are considered as raised feeders. Many feeders come with adjustable heights for the sake of comfort and appropriateness. If you want a raised feeder with a fixed height, you need to determine the height of the bowl first.
There are various kinds of raised dog bowls available on the market based on the material used, type of frames, adjustability, colors, and shapes. Before you proceed to determine the height of an elevated feeder, you may want to read on and know the risks of using it.
Elevated Dog Bowls Can Solve Bloat Problem in Large Dogs, Does it Really?
People have been advising to use raised feeders in order to reduce the risk of bloat. Bloat in dogs is also known as gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). The condition causes the obstruction in the stomach and also cause it to twist. Along with other symptoms, the dog can go in a shock and may die if veterinarian help is not available.
Elevated dog bowls were first marketed for its ability to significantly reduce the risk of bloat in large dog breeds. There was a statistical study done on several dogs that suggested the outcome. However, this study is not reliable and cannot be considered as scientific evidence of the ability to reduce bloat.
In fact, the largest study done to check the correlation between the bloat in large breed dogs and elevated feeding suggested the exact opposite result. This study also isn’t reliable for coming to a concrete conclusion. That being said, it is better to wait for clear scientific research to come before you decide to choose elevated bowls for your dogs suffering from the deadly condition.
If you look up for GDV online, you will find that raised feeding is listed as one of the causes of the medical condition. That’s totally contradictory to how it was being marketed.
Conclusively, if your large dog is suffering from bloat, you should take your veterinarian’s help in deciding whether you should go for a raised feeder or not. Or if you’re just worried that conventional stainless steel bowls for dogs might cause bloating and you may want to switch to raised bowls, you don’t have to.
Do Elevated Bowls Ensure Clean Eating?
Well, no, not really. Some dogs are messy eaters and drinkers and this cannot be solved by raising the height of bowls. All you can do is to watch how your dogs splash some kibbles around while eating.
However, some raised feeders have the frame that can collect spilled water and food particles in itself which can be cleaned later. This way, elevated bowls can ensure cleanliness while eating and drinking but it doesn’t help to correct the behavior.
Also, if you’re looking for getting an elevated feeder only to promote clean eating, you may actually unknowingly invite bloat.
So When Can You Consider Getting Elevated Dog Bowls?
Using elevated bowls for dogs can cause the mother of all emergencies, GDV shock. It’s the biggest downside of using them. However, the benefits of elevated feeding in some cases outweigh its cons too.
Let’s understand it by an example. If you have a 14-year old Beagle with mobility issues and joint pains, using elevated bowls can be beneficial. This breed of dogs is less susceptible to GDV and hence elevated feeding is safe.
At the same time, elevated feeding will relieve strain and pain on the shoulders, neck, joints, and spine because it modifies the posture of the dog while eating or drinking.
But on the other hand, if you have a senior Great Dane and want to get an elevated feeder to reduce strain on his neck, shoulders, and spine, you need to rethink your decision. Great Danes are prone to bloat. While it might ease the pain when eating or drinking but the risk of getting bloat definitely outweighs the benefit here.
Moreover, these dog bowls also are beneficial for dogs who believe in dragging their dishes to other rooms and eat. Raised bowls are fixed and can’t be pushed or dragged, and help you keep your home from becoming messy. Also, this fixes dogs’ behavior of swimming in the bowl of water placed on the floor. Raised bowls eliminate that.
Conclusively, it is crucial to seek your veterinarian’s help to make your decision if you’re not sure about using it. If your dog is happy and does very well with eating from his normal bowl, you shouldn’t replace them with raised bowls. Your dog will be out of the risk of bloat and you will be able to save some money as they are a bit costlier than normal bowls.