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Health Benefits of Elevated Dog Feeders

Updated on August 2, 2013
Alison Graham profile image

Alison is a freelance writer on health, nutrition, skincare and pets, especially cats and dogs.

The best elevated dog feeder?
The best elevated dog feeder? | Source

Before we take a look at the benefits of providing your dog with an elevated dog feeder, have you ever suffered indigestion from eating a meal when you weren't sitting upright at the dining table? If so, you will understand that not being in the correct position for eating can produce all sorts of digestive problems and it is the same for your dog - especially if he is a large dog who has to bend down a long way to reach a bowl placed on the floor.

For older dogs, eating in a more natural position can help them to enjoy their meal in comfort - imagine if you had to bend down and eat your meal from a plate placed on the floor, it would certainly be pretty painful for your back and hips over time!

Dogs prefer to lie down to eat, avoiding bending down for their food when given the choice.
Dogs prefer to lie down to eat, avoiding bending down for their food when given the choice. | Source

Still Not Convinced?

If you still aren't convinced enough to want to read on, think about what your dog does if you give him a bone or a large chew that he can settle down with and enjoy.

Does he eat it standing up? NO! He goes off to somewhere where he will not be disturbed and lies down in the most comfortable postion he can get.

By lying down, his mouth and neck are more in a line with his stomach. He is not bending down to eat. You can replicate this relative positioning if you provide a raised dog bowl that allows the same alignment he would get if he was laying down.

A simple raised dog feeder station on sale at our local pet shop
A simple raised dog feeder station on sale at our local pet shop | Source

What Are Raised Dog Feeders?

According to dog product manufacturers, vets and dog experts, a raised dog bowl offers a better way to feed your dog. These bowls offer simple dog feeding dishes in a slightly elevated position, allowing your 'best friend' to access his food more comfortably. Likewise, elevated dog feeders offer easier access to the feed bowl for you, and help you keep the dog feeding area cleaner

These raised dog bowls are especially important when dogs have health issues or for those that are slowing down a bit because of age. For instance, an older dog with arthritis issues in the back and neck can easily access his food through one of these feeding bowls without having to bend down to eat. This prevents him from stressing his body or joints.

Types of Raised Dog Bowls

Elevated bowls come in many different types. You can buy one specifically tailored to the size of your dog, or you can buy an adjustable one that will enable you to readjust for the optimum height as your puppy grows. There are other refinements too, like built-in food storage containers, or trays to catch spilt water or food if your dog is a messy eater!

Dog Health Benefits of Raised Dog Feeders

There are several health benefits to elevated dog bowls for large dogs and older dogs with arthritis or other joint conditions:

Fewer Digestive Problems

Dogs that experience digestive issues benefit from this type of feeding bowl, because the closer the bowl is to their natural stance, the slower they will eat. An elevated dog feeder requires the dog to chew food more carefully. Hence, his digestive system will absorb the nutrients in his food better.

This allows for better digestion and reduces the amount of air your pet swallows when eating. Swallowing a lot of air can cause a serious condition called 'bloat' where the abdomen becomes distended with trapped air. Dogs with esophageal problems find eating from a raised dish easier because they are not trying to swallow 'uphill' against gravity.

More Comfortable Eating Position

Older dogs or those that have medical problems such as neck, back, hip, or other joint pain will find the position they stand in to eat from a raised dish much more comfortable and less of a strain on these joints.

More Hygienic

From the hygiene point of view, food is not wasted as it doesn't land on the floor or surrounding areas. This reduces the amount of bacteria around the feeding area and reduces the amount of cleaning you have to do. In addition, many owners also find that not having to put the bowl on the floor, or pick it up again after feeding is helpful, especially for the elderly or those who have medical conditions themselves.

Choosing The Right Height Feeder For Your Dog

What Types of Elevated Dog Feeders are Available?

There are many different raised dog feeder bowl styles to choose from.

Below, I have listed my favorite three options from the vast number of raised dog bowl products available on Amazon.

I have made my selection from the models most consistently highly rated by customers wiith lots of great feedback and which are most popular in terms of the number of products purchased on Amazon.

OurPets Signature Series Elevated Dog Feeder 4"
OurPets Signature Series Elevated Dog Feeder 4"

This modern style offers an attractive smooth lined two feed bowl platform. It comes in black but has reversible panels where you can change the look to a stainless steel like panel. It comes in three different sizes, 4", *" and 14". The elevated feed bowl has adjustable feet so you can readjust it to your dog's size. It comes with two stainless steel bowls for food, or food and water options. Both bowls easily pull out of the feeder for easy food refill and cleaning.

PetFusion Elevated Dog Bowls in Grade A New Zealand Pine (Tall 10"). Water Resistant & 2 US FOOD GRADE Stainless Steel 56oz bowls
PetFusion Elevated Dog Bowls in Grade A New Zealand Pine (Tall 10"). Water Resistant & 2 US FOOD GRADE Stainless Steel 56oz bowls

If you're looking for a more traditional and elegant look, consider the warmth of wood with this classy pine elevated bowl feeder. The natural wood has a water-resistant seal, and it comes with detailed care tips to keep the elevated dog bowl looking as new as when you first got it. The warm, modern design fits with most décor styles, so it doesn't look out of place. Additionally, the feeder comes with anti-slip feet and bowls to keep food from being splashed around as easily. This may be the ideal solution for medium to large dogs as each stainless steel dog bowl can hold about 7 cups of food.

Neater Feeder Deluxe Large Dog (Bronze) - The Mess Proof Elevated Bowls No Slip Non Tip Double Diner Stainless Steel Food Dish with Stand
Neater Feeder Deluxe Large Dog (Bronze) - The Mess Proof Elevated Bowls No Slip Non Tip Double Diner Stainless Steel Food Dish with Stand

Check out the video below for the full demonstration and images of this product. The Neater Feeder dog bowl can offer you a little extra help when your dog isn't the neatest of beings! It is kick proof, spill proof, and fool proof. This feeder prevents the food from spilling out all over the floor in your dog's haste to get to it. Additionally, its contoured design is excellent for both cats and dogs of all sizes. Three different sizes (small, med, lg) are available in colorways bronze and cranberry.


The Neater Feeder Demonstration

Our Top Recommendation?

5 stars for The Neater Feeder for all-round ease of use

The Last Word On Elevated Dog Feeders

It certainly seems that larger dogs and dogs whose advancing years or other medical problems make bending down to eat or drink uncomfortable for them, can gain several benefits from using a raised dog bowl.

For owners, the convenience, hygiene and ease of use make elevated dog feeders useful and an easy way of ensuring their dog's comfort at mealtimes.


Submit a Comment

  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 4 years ago from UK

    Thanks so much for your comment @pstraubie48 - 15 is a really good age for a Shepherd to live to, you must have missed her very much. I dread the day - our Jack Russell boys are almost 15 and 14 respectively. Thank you for the Angels too, I feel truly blessed today.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

    So glad you wrote this. Somewhere years ago I read about how it was a good idea to elevate the dish for our pup. We had a Shepherd (she had passed away after 15 years.) I had a small stool that was just the right height and just the write size for her dish. From that point on we kept it there.

    This is good information for others to know.

    Sending you Angels today :) ps

  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 4 years ago from UK

    Thanks very much Bob, I appreciate your input. When I did my research, I found there were some conflicting reports about large dogs and bloat - so it is good to hear from you. However, the Veterinarian community is by no means agreed on this issue. Some Vets are advising that susceptible dogs should not be fed a single large meal of kibble or dry food daily with the resultant tendency to drink large volumes of water afterwards - irrespective of the type of feeding station chosen. I also found the same information you quote about not exercising dogs for at least an hour after feeding.

    I am glad that your customers bear out the analysis of Amazon customer feedback and volume of purchases with regard to the Neater Feeder product I recommended.

    Thanks again Bob, Alison

  • Bob Bamberg profile image

    Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

    Interesting article, Alison. You raise a lot of good points, but I would disagree on a couple of them. Dogs eating from elevated feeders are actually able to eat faster, and that's why vets advise against elevated feeders for large, deep-chested dogs. They're more susceptible to bloat, although the condition can occur in any size dog.

    It used to be that elevated feeders were recommended as a tool in preventing bloat, but contemporary wisdom has changed and new protocols call for feeding from traditional bowls and not allowing the dog to gulp large volumes of water and engage in exercise for at least an hour after eating.

    When I had my store I sold the Neater Feeders and customer feedback was glowing. Voted Up and useful.