How Elevated Should Dog Bowls Be Off the Ground

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Choosing a good elevated dog feeder requires a focus on several factors. Pet parents will often ask how elevated should dog bowls be off the ground.

This is because height is one of the critical factors that shows how good a raised dog bowl is. The elevation of a raised dog bowl will determine how healthy your pup eats and drinks.

A shorter or taller raised bowl will be inconvenient for your dog to use. The height needs to be just right for them.

How Elevated Should Dog Bowls Be Off the Ground

Getting the right elevation for a raised dog feeder ensures that your dog eats and drinks without straining their neck and joints. This height should typically be about your dog’s shoulders.

Other factors to consider when buying a dog bowl include:

  • Capacity
  • Design
  • Shape
  • Color
  • Base
  • Material

You will often find the feeders categorized according to size when purchasing. Do not solely rely on the information found on the bowls regarding the height.

Just use them as a starting point to narrow down to the best choice. Check our top picks for the best elevated dog bowls.

Dogs are different and your dog might be taller or shorter than their average breed height. You should know which height is best for your specific dog.

Continue reading this guide to find out how to get the best elevation for your dog’s food bowl.

Why The Correct Height Matters

A dog bowl should enable your dog to maintain a natural position while eating.

A taller dog bow will force your pup to eat while stretching their neck upwards. A shorter one will likewise strain your dog’s neck and joints as they lean downwards. This predisposes your dog to fast eating habits, choking, and serious bloating.

Your vet will prescribe the best eating posture for your dog if they have a medical condition. Otherwise, dogs should eat while facing down, without stretching their neck and joints.

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How To Get the Correct Elevation for Your Dog’s Bowl

The best elevation for a raised dog feeder should be around the dog’s shoulder area. A dog should not struggle while eating their meal. Get the right elevation to make them relaxed and comfortable.

You can determine the right height by following the following two simple steps:

1.Get the measurement of your dog from the forelimb’s metacarpal paw pad to the top of the shoulder. Ensure that your dog is standing upright on bare ground, preferably one without a carpet.

2. Subtract 6 inches from the obtained measurement for large dogs and 3 inches for small dogs. This will give you the most suitable height for your raised dog bowl.

The top of the dog’s food bowl should be at par with the lower part of the dog’s chest.

You can consider getting an adjustable raised dog bowl as opposed to the fixed ones. This will give you the latitude to tweak the height to get the best elevation for your pup.

Adjustable bowls are also good for dogs who are still growing. You don’t have to buy a new feeder when your dog gets taller, just adjust the height accordingly.

Approximate Height Ranges for Raised Dog Bowls

We calculated the approximate elevation you can expect for all dog sizes. The values presented here are within a range. Your dog will most certainly need an elevation within our calculated ranges.

1.    Small dogs

Small dog breeds should typically have their bowls raised between 2 to 6 inches off the ground. The exact height will depend on the individual breeds.

Such small dog breeds include Shi Tzus, Maltese, Yorkies, Pugs, Chihuahua, Pomeranians, and Dachshunds, among others.

Some small dogs can comfortably eat and drink from the regular bowls on the ground.

2.    Medium dog breeds

Medium dog breeds should have their bowls raised between 7 and 14 inches off the ground. Such breeds include Beagles, standard schnauzers, English Springer Spaniel, and Brittany, among others.

3.    Large dogs breeds

The elevated dog bowls for large breeds dogs should stand anywhere between 15 and 20 inches off the ground.

You should try to get the best height especially if you have a large dog. The wrong height might expose your dog to serious bloating.

A German Shepherd standing on top of a hill

Such large breed dogs include Golden retrievers, German Shepherds, Labradors, and Border Collie, among others.

4.    Giant breed dogs

Extra-large dogs will need an elevation within the range of 21 to 28 inches for their raised bowls. These dogs are also at risk of bloating if they eat or drink from the wrong posture.

Such breeds include Newfoundland, Great Dane, St. Barnard, Irish Wolfhound, and Great Pyrenees, among others.

Wrong Height Increases the Risk of Bloating

Fast eaters are more susceptible to bloating than slow eaters. This is because they ingest more air as they gobble up their foods.

A dog will eat faster if they are in a straining/uncomfortable position. They want to finish their meals faster and proceed to rest. A right-sized raised dog feeder gives your dog a natural posture when eating.

You can train your dog how to slow down their food intake by getting the right-sized raised dog bowl and giving them small food potions.

You can also use puzzle treat toys to effectively slow down fast eaters.

Keeping Your Raised Dog Bowl Stable

The challenge of having elevated dog bowls is keeping them in place when your dog is eating. Active dogs can topple unstable bowls resulting in damages, losses, and even injuries. The stability of dog bowls is reliant on the types of stands or bases.

If you are purchasing fixed raised bowls, you should go for the ones that have at least two stands. Bowls standing on one platform can easily get toppled. They might not also hold your dog’s food while they’re eating.

The more you take an adjustable dog bowl higher the wobblier they become. Always keep the height at the recommended level to maintain stability.

We recommend going for the product with a broader base. These are more stable and less likely to get tumbled even by active dogs.

The stability of the food bowls can also be reduced when you fill them with food and water. This is because filling the bowls shifts the weight to the top.

Always ensure that each bowl holds enough content. Fill the bowls only during your dog’s meal time for them to eat immediately.

You should then empty the bowls after your dog is done eating and drinking. This will reduce the risks of flipping by shifting the weight to the base.

Another great way to stabilize your raised dog bowl is to put some items at the base. This will work for specific products with a flat base stand that can accommodate a few items like dog food packs, toys, and water jars.

The sure way to keep a raised dog food bowl stable is to fix it on the wall or ground. You can use a strong rope to tie the accessory on a fixed post or furniture.

To Conclude

How Elevated Should Dog Bowls Be Off the Ground? The best elevation depends on the size of your dog. A good elevation for a raised dog bowl is somewhere around the dog’s shoulder.

Do not let your dog stretch their neck upwards or very low to reach their meals. A comfortable eating position lets them enjoy the meals and encourages proper eating behavior.

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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