Is an Elevated Pet Feeder Good for My Dog or Cat?
A Word From Dr. Joyce Ashamalla
Dr. Joyce Ashamalla is the managing partner at Hinsdale Animal Hospital with Kremer Veterinary Service, as well as a partner at CARE Animal Emergency Hospital. She received her BS in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois- Champaign Urbana, where she also completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2007. She is AO certified, USDA-APHIS accredited, and is a member of the CVMA, ISVMA, AVMA.
When it comes to buying a pet bowl for a dog or cat, it’s easy for pet parents to find themselves inundated with all the different options to choose from. Not only is it important to consider the materials being used in their dog bowls and cat bowls, they must consider the appropriate height in which they feed their beloved pet. One of the most common questions pet parents will ask is whether or not an elevated pet feeder is good for their dog or cat. And since this is a highly debated topic, it’s a fair question! If your pet is healthy, feeding with a standard, low profile dog bowl or cat bowl is completely acceptable. Dogs and cats evolved to eat off the ground, so eating from a floor level pet bowl is natural for them. But if your dog or cat has physical health issues, digestive problems, or behavioral concerns, a raised pet feeder may be appropriate.
Elevated Pet Feeders Alleviate Joint Stress
Dogs and cats afflicted with joint conditions such as osteoarthritis or hip dysplasia may find it uncomfortable to bend over to eat because of stiff muscles and sore joints. Elderly pets are more often afflicted with joint stress, so making mealtime more comfortable to encourage eating may be critical. An elevated pet feeder puts less strain on the animal’s joints, helping to relieve pain and promoting better posture, as they can eat without stooping or stretching.
Elevated Pet Feeders Ease Digestion Issues
When dogs and cats eat and drink from raised pet feeders, their head is kept above the stomach, which eases gastric discomfort and reduces gas and burping. Elevated pet feeders also slow down speedy eaters, allowing pets to chew their food rather than gulping it, again diminishing gastric discomfort.
Elevated Pet Feeders Improve Behavioral Issues
Pet parents know that dogs and cats can exhibit strange eating habits at mealtime. Many canines are sloppy and enjoy splashing their water out of the dog bowl onto the floor. Some dogs protect and guard their food, exhibiting food aggression by growling or snapping at their pet parents. Still, others prefer to bury their food indoors, hiding it under throw rugs or furniture cushions. If your dog exhibits any of these habits, an elevated pet feeder can help eliminate the behavior by removing the temptation to play, protect, or bury.
Just like dogs, cats can also be a bit messy. Many knock over their water bowls or splash the water out onto the floor because they are bored. Others like to play in their water by dropping toys into their cat bowl. A raised pet feeder can assist with these behaviors and has the added benefit of keeping the feeding area clean and dry.
Elevated Pet Feeders Benefit Specific Breeds
Each breed has a different requirement when it comes to eating, usually due to the dog or cat’s size and shape. Medium dog breeds (such as Beagles and Border Collies), large dog breeds (Dalmatians and Golden Retrievers) and giant dog breeds (Great Danes and German Shepherds) can benefit from a raised pet feeder to allow them to eat without lowering their necks. Just the same, flat-faced or brachycephalic cats such as Persians or Himalayans, may prefer an elevated pet feeder because it makes eating and drinking more comfortable.
Is an Elevated Pet Feeder Healthier?
It’s best to consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s mealtime. Your decision should be based on your pet and his or her health. Using an elevated pet feeder at mealtime is a simple change that can greatly improve your dog or cat’s quality of life. It’s also a change that can improve your life as a pet parent because raised pet feeders are easier to clean and keep messes off the floor!