Chock full of pooch-pampering accessories, doggy catalogs display regal dinnerware that seems custom made for your Great Dane. You can just picture him partaking of food and drink from designer dishes in an elevated stand. Be cautious, though. Raised dishes are attractive but could be problematic.
There are legitimate reasons to consider food and water bowls that come with their own elevated stand for Zeus. These elegant accessories are more than just a trendy way to spoil your big baby. Raising Zeus's food and water to a level that keeps him from having to stoop to eat and drink is easier on his posture. That's an important issue if he’s a show dog, but even if a flawless stance isn't an issue, your mile-high hound will be more comfortable if he doesn't have to squat down or strain his neck just to get a bite to eat.
Putting Atlas's kibble and water up where he can more easily access them can encourage him to eat and drink more quickly than he should. Fast eating is one of the most common causes of bloat, a serious digestive condition for large dogs such as Danes that can result in their stomachs filling up with air and possibly twisting. It's a painful disorder that can end in death even if it's treated immediately. Many vets and the ASPCA advise against feeding and watering Great Danes and other statuesque dogs from elevated dishes.
Elevated for Older Danes
As Cleopatra matures, raised food and water dishes may be helpful if she starts having trouble getting down far enough to eat comfortably. Because Cleopatra is so large, she could end up developing arthritis from the stress her own body weight puts on her joints. When age-related issues like arthritis start interfering with your dog's ability to eat, a problem with eating too quickly takes a back seat to ensuring he can eat at all. Consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet. Your vet can help you decide whether feeding him from a raised bowl is safe.
Making Elevated Bowls Safe
You can reduce Duke’s chances of suffering bloat by placing a large, inedible object such as a huge rock or a ball in his dish. He'll have to eat around the object and take his time doing so. And you can slow down your dog's drinking if you put ice cubes in his dish instead of water. Whether he just licks at them or chews them up, he'll still get enough water, it just won't be at a fast rate.
- The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats; Editors of Prevention Health Books
- Great Dane: A Practical Guide for the Great Dane; Janice Biniok
- My Dog!: A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy & Healthy Pet; Michael J. Rosen
- ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs; Sheldon L. Gerstenfeld, et al.
- Vet On Call: The Best Home Remedies for Keeping Your Dog Healthy; Matthew Hoffman
- ASPCA: Bloat
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.