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Hello we have a question that i didn't find on the "search" tab. :)

What are peoples thoughts on elevated food bowls?
I have heard conflicting information on them. :eek:

Some web sites say they can increase the possibility of bloat and some web sites they help to reduce the possibility of bloat. :-\

We have an elevated food bowl but aren't using it because of the bloat issue. I think its easier for them to reach their food because they don't have to bend so far but.......

Thank you in advance :D
 

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"Normal" 4 legged mammals eat off the ground primarily. Of course there are "browsers too, but dogs aren't eating the tops off of trees and bushes..
When they eat off the ground, their throat, esophagaus(sp.), and neck are in the proper alignment.
Unless there is a compelling reason, let them eat normally.
 

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Yes. I was told that elevated food bowls can increase the possibility of bloat... but I have also read just the opposite. Wish I could say for sure about that!

The one thing that makes good sense to me in avoiding bloat is never giving your dog just one large meal, but rather, dividing the same amount of calories into two or three smaller meals. That way, the stomach is never overloaded and is less likely to "flip". ( Also, no vigorous exercise right after eating.)
 

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I also say NO to elevated food & water bowls.
Read some research done on bloat and am quite concerned. Eating from elevated bowls is only one part, genetics, stress, inappropriate dog food, poorly timed feeding schedule and parasites also may contribute to bloat.
For some reason people own quite a lot of dogs in my area to this date I met 3 other Vs and 2 GSP, one GSP survived bloat ($8000 in vet fees).

Off topic: I also net my first Whippet (11 years old). I never saw one before. :)
 

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There is a lot of conflicting advice out there about bloat. What one vet says may not match what the other says. Since there's still so much unknown about what causes bloat, it can get confusing!

A research article about the causes of bloat was put out by a group at Purdue in 2000 (see attached). They had a lot of interesting results, but the main one was, that in both univariate and multivariate analysis, raised food bowls significantly increased the likelihood that a dog would develop gastric dilation-volvulus/bloat. They concluded the biggest concerns as far as bloat go are: raised food bowls, rapid eating, age (more likely as animals get older), as well as having a 1st degree relative who suffered from GDV. They also concluded that many common preventatives, such as moistening dry food, restricting water, and restricting exercise had no impact on development of GDV (once controlled for hereditary factors--if you don't control for that, these measures actually increased the likelihood of GDV/bloat). This particular paper did not address the impact of food ingredients--I haven't tracked that paper down yet.

So...long story short is...I guess I wouldn't use elevated bowls. My dog's nose is on the ground 90% of the time. I don't think it bothers him that his food is down there either. And as far as other preventative measures go--I say what doesn't hurt them is fine, even if it doesn't necessarily "help" them. So, for example, I go ahead and restrict my dog's exercise after eating--no roughing around! Besides, I know I get cramps if I exercise on a full tummy!
 

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I looked into this when I first heard about bloat.
Our girl usually takes a mouth full of kibble and drops it on the floor next to her bowl anyway so the raised bowl wouldn't really do much even if it it was better...
 

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From what I have read as well it is tough to make a decision. What stopped us was the natural eating habits of dogs (which was already mentioned) and most importantly with bloat it can come from eating too fast. We have one V at just hoovered up his food. We slowed him by laying the kennels on a food mat and getting one of those separated food bowls.
 

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I have read research to say both are true as others have. Studies are always difficult to read results or true outcomes from, without knowing what control they had over other factors apart from the bowls.

As for the raised bowls, I have used both raised and floor bowls with my dogs and it doesn't seem to make any difference. If anything, the raised bowls slowed my GSP down when she eats. She came from a shelter and spent considerable time prior to that, living off the land eating whatever she could find. So food became something to cherish and inhale before it was lost to a competitor and because it was unkown when the next meal was. When I first got her home, she would literally inhale it. The raised bowls actually slowed her down, so not so sure they would promote bloat. Both my GSP and my V eat from raised bowls. I have ones which are adjustable and while they are raised, I leave them at a point where it is about a 45 degree head angle while eating, if that makes sense? So Ozkar's (my V) bowl, his is higher than Zsa Zsa's, as he is a couple of inches taller than her.

As for the natural feeding position in the wild, I would think they more time laying down on the ground with the food in between the front paws as they tear apart whatever animal they are eating. Perhaps the first kill and tear may be standing, but for the most part, they will drop to the ground and pull it apart and eat it that way. In a pack, they rip off a chunk and lay down and tear into it usually. The first frenzy is standing, but once settled into the carcass, the majority of eating time is spent on the ground from what I have seen???
 
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