Elevated Feeding Bowls

Discussion in 'Dog Health Care' started by missbeckydee, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Boy there just are so many opposite opinions on this out there that I really don't know what the right thing is to do. I read where elevated bowls can contribute to bloat and that scared me off. I can't remember where I read it but it had a lasting impression. Who the heck knows for sure?
     
  2. missbeckydee

    missbeckydee Yee Wee Beastie

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    lol....I'm afraid that if I put his ball in there (his favorite toy ever) it would distract him more than anything else. He likes to eat rocks, too, so that's a no. I'll try to find something else to put in there, though, cuz he can gulp down food really really quickly.
     
  3. shadowfacedanes

    shadowfacedanes *Biter*

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    Honestly, no one knows what does or doesn't contribute. I've had danes that met all of the "risk factors" and they didn't bloat. I've had well over 30 danes in and out of my home from my own as well as foster dogs and have lost *one* dane to bloat. I've had high stress danes, underweight danes, very deep chested danes, danes that have gorged on trash or other junk, danes with digestive problems, fearful danes, etc.....The one that bloated was a very high strung, easily stressed fear biter. She bloated and died within 3 days of coming into my home.

    I do believe truly that genetics play a large role in bloat, however, my first two danes came from a line that ended up producing several "bloaters" and my two danes never bloated, although siblings and half siblings of theirs did. But from doing my own bit of research, I have found that I was very lucky in that case, as direct siblings of danes who have bloated have a very high chance of bloating themselves.

    I also believe environment plays a huge role in the risk as well. Stressful, noisy homes with a lot of yelling or constant activity can cause anxiety, which I believe to be a major component - many rescue danes / family pets who are boarded at kennels experience bloat episodes while being boarded.
    This also leads into the personality of the individual dog - a fearful, anxious dog is more likely, IME, to be at risk for bloat.

    I believe that dietarily, there is SOMETHING there that can increase the risk, although I'm not positive what, nor is anyone conducting the research on bloat. It is interesting to note that raw-fed dogs rarely bloat from what I have read and raw feeders I have spoken with. My theory is that grains play a role. Years ago, soy and beef pulp were believed to be a large factor, though that has never been proven.

    I believe in the long run, the best way to prevent bloat that is within OUR control is to use common sense. Don't let your dog gulp food or water. Keep them quiet before and after meals for at LEAST 1 hour. Let them eat in peace - a quiet area of the house where they can eat without being disturbed.
    Feed as high a quality of food as you possibly can.
    Have them gastropexied. These suggestions aren't a sure fire guarentee against bloat, but if it can help minimize the risk, then it's worth something, right?
     
  4. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    In the wild, dogs eat from the ground. Elevating a food bowl seems very unnecessary unless mega-esophogus is an issue...
     
  5. shadowfacedanes

    shadowfacedanes *Biter*

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    Respectfully, I disagree. I have tried the unelevated feeding, and it does not look comfortable for Hannah. She belches when she eats from the floor, but does not when she eats from her stand. That to me is enough to convince me that she takes in more air while eating from the floor.
     
  6. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    Wild dogs aren't the height or structure of Danes either...

    At work, without knowing for sure what causes bloat, we err on the side of current caution and provide elevated food/water dishes for all our giant "kids". We've yet *knock on wood* had anyone bloat on us.
     
  7. showpug

    showpug New Member

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    I have to say that I agree. Danes aren't really a natural size, so that makes more sense.

    When I worked at the vet clinic and after loosing a dog to bloat I did a lot of research on the subject. After all the reading, I decided against elevating food bowls.
     
  8. Saintgirl

    Saintgirl New Member

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    I do not feed from an elevated dish, nor will I untill the correlation between bloat and raised feeders is not so high. I agree that the Purdue study has been picked apart by many reputable sources, however there is an undeniable correlation between bloat and raised feeders. A strong correlation does not mean that raised feeders cause bloat, but only that the two occur together. My Saint is 33 inches at the shoulder, a real big boy, and even though it's a long way down from his mouth to the floor he gets along just fine. His body is proportionate and it is no more awkward for his head to eat from the ground than it is a pug. The only thing that I am sure of is that there is no known absolute preventative for it, and this scares all of us bloat-prone breed owners to death. I know many giant breed owners swear by raised feeders and I know just as many who swear against them, it is a personal decision and education is the best way to make your own decision.
     

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