The Correct Height for a Dog Food Bowl

A dog food bowl raised to the proper height allows your pooch to eat without stooping or stretching.
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Eating from a raised dog food bowl can make your canine companion feel like royalty, and who doesn't want to treat her beloved pup like a king or queen? If you want to give your dog extra care at mealtime, consider purchasing a raised dog food bowl.

Benefits of a Raised Dog Food Bowl

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While traditionally placed at ground level, there are several benefits for dogs when their food and water bowls are raised. Placing a dog bowl at the proper height for a dog allows him to maintain proper standing posture. When the head is kept above the stomach, food travels more efficiently down the digestive tract. Additionally, when bowls are at the proper height for dogs, there is less strain on their leg joints and neck.

Determining the Correct Height for a Dog Food Bowl

Determine the correct height for a dog food bowl by measuring your standing dog from the floor beneath the front paws up to the top of the shoulders and then subtract approximately 6 inches. Dogs should be able to eat without lowering their necks or stretching them upwards. The top of a dog food bowl at the correct height should sit level with the dog’s lower chest.

Small Dog Breeds

Some examples of small sized dog breeds are dachshunds, Havanese, pugs, shih tzus, toy poodles and Westies. The correct height for a dog food bowl for a small dog ranges from 2 to 6 inches depending on the specific breed and individual dog.

Medium Dog Breeds

Beagles, border collies, Brittany spaniels and standard schnauzers are examples of medium-sized dog breeds. Medium dogs will be comfortable with a dog food bowl that is at a height between 7 and 14 inches.

Large Dog Breeds

Large sized dog breeds include dalmatians, chow chows, golden retrievers, boxers and collies. A dog food bowl that is somewhere between 15 and 20 inches high generally works for large dogs.

Extra Large Dog Breeds

Bloodhounds, borzois, Great Danes, mastiffs and Saint Bernards are several of the dog breeds that are classified as extra large. An extra large dog will do best with a food bowl at a height ranging from 21 to 27 inches.

Cautionary Notes

Veterinarians believe that deadly bloat may occur in dogs who eat too fast, the website VetInfo notes. Raised dog food bowls may promote faster eating. Bloat is more common in large, barrel-chested dogs. It also occurs more frequently in male dogs and in dogs with relatives who have had bloat. Talk to your veterinarian if you're concerned about your dog's risk and eating habits.

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