Are raised feeding bowls good for dogs?

Enriching Paws - Raised Feeders

Beth Walker, Registered Veterinary Nurse, and founder of Enriching Paws, joins us to discuss the topic of ‘are raised raised feeding bowls good for dogs? Find out more from Beth below: 

Raised feeding bowls are a style of feeding station. They involve a dog bowl with a form of stand to elevate its position and raise the feed to a more suitable height for the dog to eat comfortably. The Pet Carpenter has put their own spin on it creating their own range of ‘Raised Feeding Bowls’ to suit any home.

So with these wonderful products available, we thought we’d take you through a list of reasons why a raised feeding bowl may, or may not be the right option for you!

When might you use a raised feeder for your dog?

Raised feeding bowls can aid a dogs digestion. They help food enter the stomach with less resistance which can be beneficial for conditions such as megaesophagus, where food can easily be regurgitated.

When a dog’s food bowl is flat on the floor, the dog has to bend down to eat or drink, which means food and water are fighting against gravity to enter their stomach. When the dog is eating in a more upright position, aided by a raised feeding bowl, gravity can work in the dog’s favour and ease the transition of food from the mouth to the stomach. This can therefore reduce the risk of regurgitation.

For older dogs, joint aches and pains are unfortunately extremely common and it’s important we make little adjustments in their daily life. This will help them maintain their mobility and keep them comfortable throughout their senior years.

In larger breed dogs, where joint complaints are even more prevalent simple activities such as eating can worsen and aggravate painful conditions such as arthritis. The use of a raised feeding bowl can help to reduce strain on the joints in their forelimbs and overall improve their body posture while eating. This can also prove beneficial for the spine, hips and hind limbs.

If we look at a picture of a dog eating from a raised bowl compared to a bowl at floor height it’s easy to see how their overall posture changes between the two with just a slight adjustment to bowl position.

Raised Feeding Bowl Posture

Other reasons owners use a raised feeding bowl

Using a raised feeding bowl also helps to prevent the bowl from moving around while eating. Whether it’s an enthusiastic younger pup or just a greedy lab that’s determined to lick every last inch of their bowl. Some standard bowls make extensive trips around the kitchen floor at mealtimes causing chaos and leaving all sorts of mess in their wake which isn’t ideal in a busy household.

For some pets it’s not always travelling bowls that cause a mess. Some pups like to create their own fun and see water bowls as the perfect place to have a splash and ‘clean up’ those paws. Digging, splashing and just creating indoor water features. Great fun for pups, and a heap of cleaning for their owners. Using a raised feeder prevents bowls from being tipped, trampled or terrorised by giving a sturdy and secure frame that anchors them exactly where they should be which may help reduce how frequently you need to mop up!

Seeking advice on raised feeders

There have been several studies conducted investigating the use of raised feeding bowls and the benefits or risks in doing so. It’s important to be aware that with the limited evidence currently available there is no definite answer. Some studies have suggested that raised feeders may increase the chance of bloat/GDV (gastric dilation volvulus) in breeds that are already at a higher risk for the condition, which are generally large to giant breed dogs that are deep-chested such as Setters, Saint Bernards and Great Danes. However, it is suggested that this increased risk from raised feeders is more likely due to the food being eaten faster, due to ease of access, than due to the actual positioning of the bowl itself.

If you’re concerned about the risks for your pet it’s a good idea to speak to your local vet or vet nurse for further advice as to the best feeding plan for your pet.

The Pet Carpenter creates raised feeding bowls that offer a stylish, and tidy solution to feeding time. Available in a range of colours to match your home and furnishings feeders can be custom made to your specifications. Built using the same sustainably sourced, quality materials and timber as all of The Pet Carpenter furniture, the feeders will work well in any home environment.

Written by Beth Walker RVN – Enriching Paws

 

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