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elevated bowls ???

November 15th, 2006, 11:20 AM
A few years back they were saying elevated bowls were good for big dogs. But then I heard otherwise, it could cause bloating. So what's the verdict? Like for a golden ? (not mine)

November 15th, 2006, 11:47 AM
I was always told elevated is better for large breeds. but like you, have read otherwise recently. I think it comes down to personal choice at this point.

November 15th, 2006, 12:44 PM
I considered elevated bowls for Puppy when i first got him but my vet also said it could lead to bloat.
I didnt get them. He lays down to eat anyway!
Im sure it could be beneficial to an older dog in some way, but perhaps just a tad elevated wouldnt be so bad???? ( 2 inches or so)

November 15th, 2006, 03:18 PM
:dog: I was considering elevated bowls for Bella, but maybe I won't after all. I can ask Lewis' sister, her Golden (Ginger) has elevated bowls. To be honest, she does look a bit bloated ...:o

I have raised larger breed puppies from 2 months to adulthood with the bowls on the floor and their front paws never seemed to grow crooked from the eating position (maybe because they don't spend their entire time eating, lol).

November 15th, 2006, 03:28 PM
Found a bit on bloat.

Its information gathered by the Purdue study conducted a few years ago.

It confirms hereditary factors, raised feeders, wetting of foods preserved with citric acid, and too-fast eating as increasing the risk of bloat. Interestingly, it also confirms animal fat in the top 4 ingredients of a food as increasing the risk of bloat by 170%.

A rendered meat with bone in the first four ingredients decreases the risk of bloat by 53%.

Factors That DO Make A Difference

These four (4) factors ARE associated with an increased risk of bloat in
large breed dogs:

a.. Raising the food dish more than doubled the risk for bloat.
b.. Speed of eating: Dogs rated by their owners as very fast eaters had
a 38% increased risk of bloat.
c.. Age: The study found that risk increased by 20% with each year of
Owners should be more alert to early signs of bloat as their dogs grow
d.. Family History: Having a first-degree relative (parent, sibling or
offspring) that had bloated increased a dog's risk by 63%.

The Purdue research team concluded these are the things you can do to
prevent bloat:

a.. The strongest recommendation to prevent GVD (bloat) should be to not
breed a dog that has a first degree relative that has had bloat. This
places a special responsibility on an owner to inform the breeder should
their dog bloat.
b.. Do not raise the feeding dish.
c.. SLOW the dog's speed of eating.
A future report from the research team will provide data on dietary
factors and how they may or may not be associated with bloat risk.

Over the years, breeders, owners and veterinarians have developed a
body of lore about what causes bloat and how it can be prevented. Here
are some of those things which we now know are NOT correct, i.e. bloat
is caused by -

a.. Too much exercise on a full stomach.
b.. Overloading the stomach.
c.. Swallowing air when eating.

We USED to think that bloat could be prevented or reduced by -

a.. Wetting dry kibble so that it won't swell in the stomach.
b.. Raising the food dish above floor level.
Weight, breed size, the ratio of the depth of the thorax to its width
and stress were not significantly associated with the risk of bloat in
large breed dogs. In addition, several measures that have long been
recommended to reduce the risk of bloat were found to have no effect.

Not sure if this is really going to answer your question to raise or not to raise but it is some good reading if you have a concern about bloat.

doggy lover
November 15th, 2006, 03:57 PM
My last dog Travis (BMD X GSD)bloated at 5 years of age. He had not eaten from a raised bowl for a few days when it happened, but he did normally eat from one. He had not eaten a meal in a few hours before it happened, he was not or never was a fast eater he prefered to pick. I don't know if any of his siblings or parents got bloat as we were never in contact with them other than we seen them when we got him. He was always a nervous dog and easily excited, so this could have had something to do with it. We were on our way home from the cottage when we noticed it and took him straight to an emerg. vet. I'm glad that I had read about bloat and had seen a friends cattle bloat and knew it was life threatening. We had Travis another 4 and a half years after that until bone cancer forced us to have him pts.

November 15th, 2006, 04:03 PM
Welcome to this forum Bella's keeper ! ;)

November 15th, 2006, 04:05 PM
I'm really on the fence about this one. My guys eat from elevated bowls for a couple of reasons, one being that they both tend to choke on their food if the bowl is on the floor, and the other being that Benny has an old racetrack injury in his shoulder and it hurts him to bend down for his food. That being said, Benny bloated this summer. However I am pretty sure it had way more to do with the speed at which he eats than with the bowl being elevated. He also had pancreatitis at the same time which may have had something to do with the development of his bloat. I kinda figure that if a dog is prone to bloating it doesn't really matter what the position of the food bowl is. I know of a few dogs who have developed bloat, and none of them (except mine, of course) had elevated food bowls.

November 15th, 2006, 04:38 PM
I'd lean towards no, but at the same time, it's whatever the dog is comfortable with. Like if we eat with our neck extended, like while facing upward, most likely we'd swallow more air than if we ate in a way we were most comfortable.:shrug:

Boo eats lying down, but he eats very slowly and is much gassier then Jemma, who hoovers with her head down (bowl not elevated). :shrug:

Who knows.;) Dog studies are so incomplete usually because either they don't have enough diversity in the dog breeds, or the sample size is tiny, or the conditions are less than ideal (from the ones I've seen anyway). The problem is, large dogs aren't easy to keep in a lab.:shrug:

November 15th, 2006, 05:55 PM
Who knows.;) Dog studies are so incomplete

That's what I tell myself for dog food.....:shrug:

November 15th, 2006, 07:20 PM
Red wine wine good. Caffeine good...caffeine bad. Give it another couple of years and there will likely be another, more definitive study about raised bowls with a different answer. Ceili eats lying down most of the time. Somedays it seems like one piece of kibble a minute, 40 chews per kibble bit. Bridie inhales her food faster and more efficiently than a hoover. Depending on who is being fed where her bowl is either on the floor or in kitchen on my wagon. She's the one I worry about with her big chest and suction power. Declan, eats normally ~ thank dawg one of the three does !

November 16th, 2006, 06:53 PM
The bowls are elevated at my house but it's mainly due to the fact that if I were to put them on the floor, both my Berners tend to gulp the food more and then (excuse the expression) hoark bits of food all over the place. So it works for my dogs. I have had other Berners in that eat from the floor but they are the ones who tend to like to lie down with the bowl between their front paws to eat. Does it stop bloat... or help to reduce the risk of bloat... I can't say.