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TO RAISE, OR NOT TO RAISE?

A lot has been said about the raising of a dog's food and water bowls. So, how do you know which is right for your dog? From a distance raising the bowls seems like a more comfortable option for larger breed dogs, but recent studies have shown that a raised food bowl may increase the chance of bloat.

Bloat in dogs is much more serious than that feeling you get when leaving a buffet. Bloat in dogs is when there is an excessive amount of air, fluid or food in the stomach. As the stomach swells it may twist, trapping all the contents in the stomach. This is more common in larger, deeper chested breeds and is the second leading cause of death in dogs. So, what’s more important, your dog’s daily comfort or preventing a possible risk of bloat? That decision is in the hands of the owner.

Pros

Courtesy of highdoggiediner.com

Courtesy of highdoggiediner.com

  • Prevents staining on the dog’s neck and back.
  • Improves the dog’s posture.
  • Makes swallowing easier.
  • Prevents vomiting after meals because the gravity pushes the food and water down.
  • Lessens shoulder and joint pain.

Of course, one of the most obvious of all is the comfort. Imagine eating your food ducked over and   looking down at your plate. It couldn’t be the most comfortable of positions and could put a strain on your joints and limbs as well.

Con

  • Bloat.

Bloat is the only con, but the scariest. At one point in time it was thought that the raised food bowl decreased the risk of bloat, but recent findings have shown the exact opposite. Purdue University did a study called Purdue Bloat Notes, finding that raising food bowls could be a major factor in bloat cases. Dr. Glickman (J Am Vet Med Association) is a researcher who conducted a five year bloat study; found that 20 to 50 percent of large and giant breed dogs with bloat could attribute it to the raising of food bowls.

Many dog owners have their own opinions to what they think about raising their dog’s food bowl. Either you can’t stand to see your pooch bent over chomping food or you can’t stand the thought that there could be a correlation between your dogs twisted stomach and a heightened food bowl. So the true question is, to raise, or not to raise?

Feature picture courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com

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