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

Answer

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

To read most recent questions Click here!

Click here to see the full list of Ask Dr. Debra Questions and Answers!