Are elevated feeders good or bad for dogs?

Our question this week was:

Hi Dr. Debra,

I have a question for you, which came to mind when reading your article on how to prevent bloat. I have heard that elevated feeders are very good for dogs – they help with digestion, among other things. You noted in #2 of your article on Gastric Torsion (Bloat) that in order to avoid the bloat, avoid elevated feeders. I have a golden retriever. I just bought a slightly elevated feeder (she still has to bend down, just not as much). I am wondering if this is good for her or not. Will you please let me know?Thank you very much!

Lisa Thaden – Wilmington, NC


Hi – thanks for your email. Elevated feeders can be beneficial for dogs with back or neck problems, however they have been associated with an increased risk of bloat. I have never found that they aid digestion.

If you use the feeder, I'd recommend that you do everything else you can to minimize the risk of bloat by re-reading the article you mentioned – Risk Factors and Prevention of Bloat in Dogs.

Personally, unless there was a medical reason such as megaesophagus, risk of aspiration pneumonia or severe neck issues, I would not use and elevated feeder.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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