Do you own a massive dog breed or a pup struggling with medical issues? If so, it's about time you thought about switching to a raised feeding station.
Different dogs have different needs when it comes to how they eat. Big dog breeds often find it difficult to eat from a bowl on the floor. Their large stature forces them to crane their necks when eating or drinking, which strains their muscles and joints, making feeding time uncomfortable.
The top five best elevated dog bowls include the Pet Zone Designer Diner set, OurPets Comfort Elevated Dog Bowl, Pawfect Pets Elevated Dog Bowl, Neater Feeder Raised Pet Dishes, and the IRIS USA Elevated Feeder. They are ergonomically designed to provide a healthy feeding environment.
Elevated dog feeders typically have a stand to raise your dog's food and water bowls to several inches above floor level. But does your dog really need one? Are there any benefits, or is it just another market fad?
Well, many veterinarians and numerous dog experts have acknowledged the health benefits of raised dog feeders. We have searched far and wide to bring you the highest-rated raised feeders for your dog. Stick around as we look at the top five elevated dog bowls in the market and why you might need to invest in a set for your furry companion.
Top Elevated Dog Bowls
The market is awash with numerous types of elevated dog bowls. But how do you pick the best elevated dog bowls for large dogs?
This guide will help you find exactly what you're looking for in terms of size, material, and any extra features that help promote healthier, happier well-fed pups!
1. Pet Zone Designer Diner Dog Bowl
The Pet Zone Designer Diner set holds two stainless steel dog bowls inside a chic, black, elevated stand. The adjustable feeder adjusts to three different heights of 2.75 inches for small pups, 8 inches for medium mutts, and 12 inches for large dogs.
The legs of the stylish plastic frame are fitted with non-slip pads to prevent skidding and tipping. They can also be detached to lower the gadget's height and easier storage.
The stainless steel food and water bowls are easy to clean and can be washed in the dishwasher. They are also rust-resistant, durable, and won't harbor any bacteria. The stand is made of plastic. Use a wet cloth to wipe away any stains on the frame effortlessly.
The Pet Zone Designer Diner helps reduce your dog's neck strain and minimizes joint pain. But probably the biggest reason behind its popularity is its versatility. The three adjustable levels make it the ideal feeder for all life stages of your furry friend. It grows with your pet from puppyhood to their adult years!
2. OurPets Comfort Elevated Dog Bowl
The ergonomic design of this raised feeding station aims to provide comfort during feeding. OurPets Comfort Elevated Dog Bowl accommodates two stainless steel containers mounted on a plastic stand.
The water dish is outfitted with a notch on the side. Invert a bottle full of water and fix it through the slot. This mechanism ensures that Rover is always hydrated as the water bowl refills automatically.
Depending on your dog's size, breed, and age, you can pick the 4, 8, or 12-inch model. The 12" food bowl holds a bit over 5 cups of food. You don't have to refill after every half hour, making it suitable to feed large dogs. The 8-inch height model has a capacity of about 4 cups, ideal for medium-sized and small pups.
3. Pawfect Pets Elevated Dog Bowl
You will love this raised dog feeder if you're all about aesthetics. The Pawfect Pets Elevated Dog Bowl is made from eco-friendly bamboo coated with polyurethane to enhance durability. The build is sturdy enough to keep strong dogs from nudging bowls, causing them to spill contents out or tip over.
It comes with four stainless steel bowls. So there's always a clean pair to switch. Two of the dishes have a 2.5 cup capacity, and the other two hold 1.5 cups of food. The bowls are secured onto the frame using silicone pads to restrict unnecessary movements.
Unfortunately, this attractive non-skid elevated dog bowl comes in only one size: 4 inches. This makes it ideal for small breeds or growing puppies but unsuitable for larger dogs.
4. Neater Feeder Dog Bowls
The Neater Feeder series is one of the best-selling dog merchandise. You get two color options with the Neater Feeder Deluxe Dog Bowl, which stands just over 14 inches tall. The water dish is slightly larger than the food bowl by two cups, making it ideal for medium to XXL breeds.
If you wish to increase the height of your Neater Feeder, you can attach leg extensions specifically made for these models. The height-raisers are sold separately.
On the other hand, the Neater Feeder Express Raised Pet Dish is smaller. They have a height ranging from 4.75 to 10 inches, the best for small to medium-sized breeds. It comes with two equally-sized stainless steel containers with 7 cups each. However, you cannot attach leg extensions to the Express model.
Both the Deluxe and the Express are ergonomically-designed to encourage strain-free feeding. And the contoured edge makes it easier to access the bowls. The reservoir at the bottom of the setup collects run-off or spilled water and keeps food particles on the ridged platform, effectively maintaining the feeding area, your floors and walls. They are also slow-feed bowl compatible.
5. IRIS Elevated Feeder with Food Storage
If you think, ‘What a waste of space!’ every time you look at the emptiness beneath the bowls on an elevated feeder, the IRIS Elevated Feeder might be the best choice for you.
It's available in three heights: 5.9 inches, 9 inches, and 15 inches tall. The IRIS comfortably accommodates all dog sizes.
The all-in-one feeder combines functionality and practicability. There's a compartment underneath the two stainless steel bowls to store up to 64 cups of dry pet food in air-tight conditions. The IRIS is perfect if you travel or camp a lot.
Are Elevated Dog Bowls Good For My Dog?
Yes, they are. But it largely depends on the pup’s breed, size, and age. Elevated dog bowls are more than just aesthetics. They are beneficial to both your fluffy friend and you.
It's more sanitary
Raising your puppy's food and water off the floor will keep it clean. Dust, hairs, and pathogens from the floor cannot get into the dishes. Most elevated dog feeders are also outfitted with anti-slip features, so they don't fall over, effectively minimizing spillages.
Your dog won't be tempted to lap up food that drops to the floor. Thus, it helps to prevent medical conditions like food poisoning and worm infestation.
An excellent choice for ailing dogs
Some situations affect the maneuverability of your canine buddy. Illness, injury, and degeneration are the top causes of loss of mobility. Dogs ailing from age-related diseases or those infected by bacteria, viruses, or parasites require special intervention to enhance the dog's quality of life.
If your large pup suffers from neck and backaches, joint pain, or stiffness, elevated bowls are a great way to make them comfortable during mealtime.
It's a healthier feeding position
Dogs, especially the larger breeds, must crane their necks uncomfortably to eat or drink from a container on the floor. The strain on the shoulder region makes feeding uncomfortable. Surely, an English Mastiff and a Maltese won't have the same elevation requirements as a Maltese or Chinchilla.
Board-certified veterinary surgeon Courtney Campbell asserts that elevated dog bowls for large dogs promote ergonomic positions. They discourage pups from lying down while eating, which helps build your mutt's posture. Large dogs do not have to bend now and then when drinking water or taking food.
Digestive health is dramatically improved when dogs no longer have to strain unnaturally to eat from ground level.
It helps train your dog to eat slower
If your dog has a habit of scarfing meals down, raising the feeding and drinking bowls may slow him down. Moreover, if your mutt is very fussy about what he eats, switching to an elevated bowl might be a viable solution.
I've seen picky eaters fall in love with their food just because the feeding environment is tweaked. It also works if your dog misbehaves when eating.
When dogs eat frantically, they bite off large chunks and devour them in one swoop. They may swallow air with food, increasing the risk of a severe medical condition called bloat.
Eating and drinking from a dish raised a couple of inches off the floor makes your pup eat slower. It effectively minimizes bloating and the risk of choking or vomiting.
Keeps the feeding area clean
Using a raised dog feeder makes your dog less likely to mess up than dishes on the floor. Spillages are reduced because the food is closer to the canine's mouth. Most elevated stands are non-skid. Aggressive and playful feeders cannot push it over.
And even when there are accidental spills, the ridge on the top surface or reservoir on the bottom catches food particles and water droplets so they don't drop to the floor.
How Tall Should My Dog's Bowl Be?
Again, the height of the raised feeder depends on the breed, size, and age of your dog. Taller pups have different needs compared to shorter ones. Some species also begin as small puppies but grow to massive sizes.
The best way to determine the optimal height of your dog's elevated feeding station is to measure the dog. Here are two proven methods to guide you through the process.
Method 1: Height from the Floor
The easiest approach to deciding the appropriate height for an elevated dog feeder is to measure your dog from the ground to its lower chest level. Do this with them standing beginning beneath their front paws. That is the height at which your dog feeder should be.
The top of the dog feeder should be at a comfortable height so that your dog does not have to stoop too low or reach up. If you're uncertain during the point of purchase, you'd rather go shorter than higher.
Method 2: Wither Height
The wither height of your mutt is the distance from where the neck and shoulders meet to the edge of the breastbone. The elevated bowl stand should typically be positioned about 4 to 6 inches below the pet's wither height.
If you're purchasing the accessory for someone else as a gift, you might be unable to take these measurements (well, unless you volunteer to dog sit). If this is the case, you can inquire from the pet store. They will ask a few questions to establish the breed and size before offering standard height recommendations for the elevated bowl.
- Large breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs - 15" to 20" off the floor.
- Medium-sized species like Beagles, huskies, and Australian Shepherds - 7" to 14"
- Small breeds like the Maltese, Shih Tzu, and Chihuahua - 2" to 6".
How to Choose an Elevated Dog Bowl
Elevated dog bowls come in different designs, shapes, sizes, and styles. They are also made from different materials. To pick the right one, you must consider certain factors.
There are large dogs, small ones, and even mid-sized varieties—-each with different physical features. While puppies and small dogs comfortably reach lowly-placed bowls, huge breeds must crane their necks uncomfortably to eat or drink if the bowl is on the floor.
As most canines age, they display physical and mental deterioration symptoms. But some breeds like Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers are more susceptible to aging-associated diseases. The vet can provide insight to help you assess the need for an elevated feeding bowl.
A huge selling point of elevated dog bowls is that they can be adjusted to different heights. They are the best choice for anyone who owns a dog that's still growing or a dog breed that develops age-related joint stress.
You might have to splurge during the initial purchase, but you'll save cash in the long term. Invest in one with multiple height options to accommodate any changes over time.
Go for more than just aesthetics when choosing a raised feeding station. The material used to manufacture the feeder matters to your pet's health. For instance, plastic containers have harmful toxins such as flame retardants and PFAs (forever chemicals).
Exposure to these chemicals may induce developmental problems and medical conditions, including thyroid disorders, liver disease, and reproductive issues.
A research team at Hartpury University investigated the impact of different construction materials on canine water bowls. Findings indicate that plastic containers are havens for microbes. Stainless steel had the lowest bacterial count, thus the safest choice.
Ceramic and glass are very durable and provide a much wider range of colors and styles. But are brittle and prone to chipping away. These tiny bits may end up in the food or water, posing a potential hazard to your pup's digestive tract.
Melamine is another option. However, it may leach harmful BPA chemicals into your pet's food or water, especially if you clean the bowl in the dishwasher.
Does the elevated feeder have one or two slots? Do you have the time to switch between the food and water bowls? What about Fido? Does his ear dip into the water beside the food bowl every time he eats?
Decorative elevated dog bowls are a great addition to pet-themed home decor. But a pretty high bowl is just that if it doesn't serve its purpose. A design might look awesome and match the aesthetic perfectly. But if it doesn't work for your dog, it might be wise to shift to a basic feeder.
Some raised feeders have additional features, such as a storage drawer. The compartment is great for holding your pet's dry food.
However, before using this type of elevated dog bowl, ensure your dog will not munch their way through, destroying the feeder.
Your Pup's Preference
At the end of the day, your dog is the boss. Keep an eye on your pup as they adapt to the elevated bowl.
If you detect any discomfort or feeding difficulty, it might be wise to revert to ground-level feeding.
Can I Make a Raised Dog Feeder?
Yes, you can make your own elevated dog bowl. Perhaps your current budget doesn't allow you to go shopping for new feeders, or you encountered a situation that needs one ASAP (such as an accidental injury).
Whatever the case, it is possible to raise the usual feeding and drinking bowl level.
If you don't want (or can't) buy a readymade one, you can easily make a DIY elevated dog bowl using a quick fix solution. Here's how:
- Find a stand that can accommodate the shape and size of the current dishes. You can improvise your bed tray table to act in this capacity.
- Use a considerably-sized crate, and place the food and water bowls on top.
- Take a cardboard box and a pair of scissors. Use a pen to trace around the size and shape of the bowl on one side. Cut along this line to leave a perfectly-sized hole to hold the container. You can also use a bucket, so long as it has a lid.
- Upscale items you no longer use to serve as an elevated feeding station. For instance, instead of throwing away an old woofer cabinet, take out the speaker and fix the bowl through the hole.
- Better yet, make one from scratch. You can easily create a one-of-a-kind elevated dog bowl if you have some old barn wood and galvanized pipe. If you have little or no carpentry skills, you can download plans online and follow tutorials to guide you through.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright