Pros and Cons Of Elevated Dog Feeders
Feeding time often stirs up heated discussions among dDOG owners. The choice of food, feeding schedule, and the use of elevated dog bowls are all contentious topics. Although the scientific consensus on the effectiveness of elevated dog feeders is yet to be established, there are several advantages to using them that could be beneficial for your canine companion.
About Elevated Dog Bowls
If your dog encounters difficulties or exhibits undesirable behavior during mealtime, an elevated dog bowl might be a suitable choice. There are various types of feeders available, designed to accommodate your dog’s specific requirements. These feeders come in different sizes, materials, and designs.
What are Elevated Dog Bowls?
Elevated dog bowls, also referred to as elevated dog feeders, are essentially dog bowls that are raised from the floor using a stand. They are available in various sizes, making them suitable for both small and large dogs. The elevated design brings the food closer to your dog, making it more accessible and easier to eat. As a result, many dogs tend to favor elevated dog feeders. Additionally, these bowl stands are convenient for keeping water and food bowls together on a single feeder, eliminating the issue of separate bowls sliding around on the floor.
What Were Elevated Dog Bowls Originally Invented For?
Elevated dog bowls were initially developed as a method to help prevent a life-threatening condition known as bloat, which encompasses two serious medical conditions: Gastric Dilatation (GD) and Gastric Dilatation & Volvulus (GDV).
GD occurs when the dog’s stomach becomes painfully distended with gas, presenting a severe medical emergency. GDV, on the other hand, happens when the gas-filled stomach twists upon itself, leading to compromised blood flow and circulation.
Both of these conditions are highly perilous and require immediate attention. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian without delay:
- Swollen or distended stomach and abdomen
- Restlessness and anxious pacing
- Repeated, unsuccessful attempts to vomit
- Rapid breathing, yawning, or whining
Do Elevated Dog Feeders Actually Help with Bloat?
Although elevated dog feeders were initially promoted as a highly effective means of preventing bloat, the reality is less clear-cut than what companies initially claimed. These assertions went unverified initially, but now there is more available data shedding light on the truth about elevated dog feeders.
While elevated dog bowls can provide some assistance in mitigating the risk of bloat, it is not as minimized as companies have asserted. The occurrence of bloat is more common in dogs that eat quickly and ingest excessive amounts of air while eating. Therefore, the effectiveness of an elevated bowl in preventing bloat depends on your individual dog. If your dog is prone to bloat, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian to explore preventative options.
Pros of Elevated Dog Bowls
Overall Better Posture While Eating
Elevated dog bowls, being raised from the ground, provide a natural advantage in improving your dog’s posture during mealtime. The elevated dishes are positioned at a more comfortable height, alleviating strain on the neck and joints that may occur when using ground-level bowls. It is essential to find the appropriate height for your dog to fully reap the benefits of the elevated feeder.
Easier for Dogs to Eat
Elevated dog feeders provide a raised height that facilitates easier access to food and water, particularly for senior dogs facing difficulties with traditional bowls. They also enhance the overall eating experience for all dogs by altering the angle of their necks, resulting in increased comfort. If your dog encounters challenges while eating, an elevated dog bowl could alleviate some of their discomfort.
Sturdier & more stable than Normal Bowls
Elevated dog feeders offer notable advantages, particularly if your dog tends to engage in play with its food bowls. These feeders are often sturdier and more stable compared to regular bowls, designed to withstand pushing and sliding. Certain elevated dog bowls are even specifically crafted to prevent tipping, scratching, and biting, varying based on the specific model and brand.
Cons of Elevated Dog Bowls
Like any other product, elevated dog bowls also have their disadvantages that may influence your decision. Here are a few drawbacks to consider:
- Increased cost: Elevated dog bowls are often more expensive than traditional bowls, which may affect your budget.
- Storage and portability: Due to their elevated design, these bowls can take up more space and may be less convenient to store or transport.
- Size limitations: Some elevated dog bowls may not be suitable for very small or toy-sized dogs, as the height may be too challenging for them to reach comfortably.
- Cleaning challenges: Depending on the design and material, elevated dog bowls can be more difficult to clean, requiring extra attention to ensure proper hygiene.
It’s important to weigh these disadvantages against the potential benefits before making a decision about using an elevated dog bowl for your furry friend.
Expensive Compared to Traditional Bowls
Owning a dog comes with various expenses, and an elevated dog bowl is an additional cost to consider. Although they may not be excessively expensive, premium-grade models can still be quite pricey. Before purchasing an elevated dog bowl, it is important to carefully consider its benefits and whether it would truly be beneficial for your dog. Assessing its potential impact on your dog’s feeding experience is crucial before making the investment.
Harder to Clean and Maintain
Cleaning and maintaining elevated dog bowl stands can be quite challenging due to their intricate design. The presence of multiple nooks and crannies can make it difficult to thoroughly clean, and certain models may have multiple separate pieces that can trap bacteria. Additionally, it’s important to note that many elevated dog bowl stands are not dishwasher safe, requiring you to handwash them instead.
Doesn’t Prevent Messy Eating
If your dog tends to be a messy eater, it’s important to have realistic expectations when using an elevated dog bowl. While certain elevated dog bowls are specifically designed to minimize mess, it’s crucial to understand that water may still be dripped and splashed, albeit at a higher height. For extra-large breeds like the English Mastiff with larger muzzles, they are notorious for their messy drinking and eating habits, so using an elevated water bowl may not necessarily address that issue.
When deciding whether or not to purchase an elevated dog bowl, prioritizing your dog’s health and well-being is paramount. If your dog could potentially benefit from an elevated dog bowl, it might save you money in the long term. These bowls are suitable for most dogs, including small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers.
Although owning a dog can be expensive, considering an elevated dog bowl stand as a one-time purchase may be worthwhile. If you’re hesitant about the added expense, contemplate the long-term benefits for both you and your dog. Additionally, it’s worth noting that you may end up buying an elevated dog bowl years later when your dog reaches their senior years, so investing in a stand beforehand might be a prudent choice.
If your dog struggles with eating while standing or tends to move the bowl around, an elevated dog bowl could be a suitable solution. Look for reputable brands offering features that cater to your dog’s specific eating habits. Aside from a few minor disadvantages, an elevated dog bowl can be an excellent investment in providing a more comfortable mealtime experience for your canine companion.
The choice of food, feeding schedule, and the use of elevated dog bowls are all contentious topics.