What are the Pros and Cons of Elevated Pet Feeding Platforms / Raised Dog Bowl Stands

What are the Pros and Cons of Elevated Pet Feeding Platforms / Raised Dog Bowl Stands

What are the Pros and Cons of Elevated Pet Feeding Platforms / Raised Dog Bowl Stands

As you are reading this blog on our website you are obviously interested in the current thinking on the suitability of raised dog / cat bowls for your pet, as are we. Having looked at a few of the most recent articles written in the UK and US we have came up with the following for you to take into consideration. Let's explore both sides of the debate.

The Benefits of Elevated Pet Feeding Platforms

  1. Improved Digestion: Elevated pet feeders can help improve digestion, especially in larger breeds. By raising the food and water bowls to a more comfortable height, pets don’t have to bend down as much, which can help prevent digestive issues like bloating and regurgitation.

  2. Better Posture: Raised bowls promote better posture, reducing the strain on your pet’s neck, shoulders, and joints. This is particularly beneficial for pets with neck or shoulder pain, herniated cervical discs, arthritis of the spine, or other diseases of the head or neck. The elevated platform keeps the pet’s head and neck up, eliminating the strain caused by reaching down to a bowl on the floor.

  3. Minimized Aspiration Risk: Elevated feeders may help minimize the risk of aspiration of food and water, which is beneficial for pets diagnosed or suspected of having laryngeal paralysis or other neuromuscular diseases. Brachycephalic pets, whose anatomy puts them at a higher risk for aspiration and developing secondary aspiration pneumonia, may also benefit from elevated dishes.

  4. Cleaner Eating Area: Elevated feeders can also lead to a cleaner eating area. They reduce the amount of food and water spillage on the floor, keeping the feeding zone more sanitary. Some designs even include features like spill-resistant rims or built-in mats to further minimize mess.

  5. Easier for Owners: For pet owners, elevated feeding platforms can be more convenient. They make it easier to fill and clean the bowls without having to bend over as much. This can be a significant benefit for elderly owners or those with mobility issues.

The Problems with Elevated Pet Feeding Platforms

  1. Risk of Bloat: There is a debate regarding the risk of bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), associated with elevated feeders. Some veterinary professionals believe that feeding large- or giant-breed dogs from elevated feeders may help minimize this risk, as pets are less likely to swallow as much air while eating. However, recent research shows no evidence that using elevated feeders reduces the risk of GDV. Clients with dogs at risk for GDV should make an informed decision on bowl height with input from their veterinary team.

  2. Not Suitable for All Dogs: Elevated feeders are not suitable for every dog. For smaller breeds or dogs without joint issues, the benefits might be negligible. In some cases, pets might find the elevated bowls awkward or uncomfortable if they are not used to them.

  3. Behavioural Issues: There is also a concern that elevated feeders can lead to undesirable behaviours in some dogs. For instance, eating from a raised platform might encourage faster eating, which can cause choking or digestive issues. It’s essential to monitor your pet’s eating habits and adjust accordingly.

  4. Cost and Aesthetics: Elevated feeding platforms can be more expensive than traditional bowls. While they come in various styles and materials, finding one that matches your home decor and fits within your budget might be challenging. Additionally, not all designs are created equal; some may be flimsy or difficult to clean.

Making the Right Choice for Your Pet

When considering an elevated pet feeding platform or raised dog bowl, it's important to evaluate your pet's specific needs and health conditions. Here are some tips to help you decide:

  1. Consult Your Veterinarian: Always consult your vet before making changes to your pet’s feeding routine. They can provide personalized advice based on your pet’s breed, age, health status, and dietary needs.

  2. Observe Your Pet: Pay attention to how your pet eats and drinks. If they seem uncomfortable bending down or have mobility issues, an elevated feeder might be beneficial. Conversely, if they eat too quickly or exhibit signs of bloating, you might want to reconsider.

  3. Try Different Heights: Not all elevated feeders are the same height. Experiment with different levels to see what works best for your pet. Some feeders are adjustable, which can be a good option as it allows you to customize the height over time. For dogs, the ideal bowl height is slightly below the level of the withers, while cats prefer to eat in a crouched position with the elevated platform at about the level of their stifles.

  4. Special Needs Consideration: Some pets with very specific needs may require specially designed elevated feeding stations. For example, dogs with megaesophagus should be fed vertically to allow gravity to assist the passage of food from the oral cavity into the stomach. The ideal way to feed these pets is by using a Bailey Chair, which holds the dog upright during feedings. If purchasing a chair is not feasible, consult your veterinary team for alternative solutions.

  5. Monitor and Adjust: After introducing an elevated feeder, monitor your pet closely for any changes in behaviour or health. If you notice any adverse effects, it might be best to switch back to a traditional bowl.


Elevated pet feeding platforms and raised dog bowls offer a range of benefits, particularly for older pets or those with joint issues, neck pain, or other specific health conditions. However, they are not without potential risks, such as the increased chance of bloat in some dogs. The key is to assess your pet’s individual needs, consult with your veterinarian, and make an informed decision. By doing so, you can ensure that mealtime remains a happy and healthy experience for your beloved companion.

Hope this helps! 

To give your pet the most comfortable dining we are here to make your feeder to the perfect height for your pet. We can also incorporate slow feeder bowls as an extra to help reduce the risk of bloat so please email us through the site before purchasing and we are happy to discuss all of your options with you. We'll discuss slow feeding bowls in our next blog. Thanks :)