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Wondering whether you should increase the comfort of your Great Dane by raising his feeder? Well, your big baby could benefit greatly from an elevated dog bowl. Although raised bowls have been linked to Bloat, the benefits of getting one for your Great Dane outweighs the risk. Having to overstretch to access food from the floor hurts your Dane’s back and makes digestion difficult for him. Eating off of a raised feeder solves all these issues.
Benefits of Elevated Dog Bowls
- Increased Comfort While Eating: Due to their imposing heights, it is not always comfortable for Great Danes to stretch their long necks all the way down to the floor level to reach their food or water bowls. A raised dog bowl solves the problem by putting food at face level, making it easier for these massive dogs to eat.
- Eases Digestion: Raised bowls reduce strain on your dog’s body structure, which plays a big role in enhancing smooth digestion. In particular, when your dog is feeding from a raised bowl, his head is kept above the stomach, allowing food to travel smoothly and more efficiently down the digestive tract.
- Alleviate Struggles Associated With Old Age and Health Conditions: As Great Danes age, they may begin developing a wide range of joint and posture issues, including joint pain, canine arthritis, and a host of mobility issues, which make bending while eating a painful process. They may also get Megaesophagus (or esophageal dilatation), which may limit their ability to effectively swallow food and push it down their bellies. Raised bowls could alleviate such issues, allowing your dog to feed with ease. Before you switch to raised dog bowls because of a health condition, however, consult your vet so that he or she can help you establish whether or not using a raised bowl is safe (based on the dog’s condition).
- May Slow the Pace of Eating: Great Danes are highly energetic dogs and are known to move plastic and stainless steel bowls around when eating, especially when the bowls are put on the floor. This may increase the urgency and pace of eating as well as reduce the time that they spend chewing. This is not healthy and may cause bloating risks and other digestive issues. Elevated bowls tend to sit snug in the stand, relaxing the pace of eating and removing the hassle of chasing a moving bowl when your dog is eating.
- Keeps the Bowl and the Feeding Area Clean: Using an elevated bowl can go a long way in keeping your feeding station orderly and clean. Great Danes are known to be messy eaters and immediately you serve them food, it doesn’t take long before they turn the feeding station into a hot mess. Although elevated bowls may not totally eliminate this problem, they can make feeding your Great Dane a bit more organized as you can easily spot food crump spills and clean up the mess more easily. Besides, raised dog bowls prevent dust, debris, and dog hair from coating your dog’s bowl, keeping it cleaner and hygienic.
- Discourages the Behavior of Turning Water Bowl into a Pool: Although not very common, some dogs may attempt to swim or dig into their water bowls after drinking. There is no solid explanation for this; probably, they just love water. If your Great Dane has this behavior (most common in puppies), consider getting him an elevated dog bowl.
- Built-in Storage Compartments: Some raised dog bowl brands come with food storage compartments to help you hold dog food when not in use. This is a feature that makes your dog feeding routine easier. Unfortunately, you won’t find this feature in other normal bowls.
Disadvantages of Raised Dog Bowls
One of the main shortcomings of elevated dog bowls is that they can promote fast eating. Putting your Great Dane’s food up makes it more easily accessible, which may encourage him to eat or drink quickly than he should. This may cause bloating and other digestive issues in some dogs (we’ll be discussing this shortly).
Best Elevated Dog Bowls for Great Danes
Unsurprisingly, shopping for the right elevated bowl for your pup can be quite a task. To help you make an informed choice, here is a list of the leading options in the market.
If you have a knack for beautiful yet functional pieces around your space, you will absolutely love the Platinum Pets Modern Double Diner Feeder. The feeder comes in a set of two wide-rimmed bowls beautifully painted in 18 different colors that will complement any décor. The bowls are made from stainless steel to guarantee zero rust, chipping, and scratching. Amazon customers also love the fact that food and grime don’t stick on it. Platinum Pets Feeder comes in various sizes, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding the right fit for your dog.
Pet Zone Adjustable Elevated Dog Bowls are a definition of comfort feeding for your best friend. Whether he just got out of his mother’s womb, he is in his mid-years or is totally grown, the bowls will adjust to suit his growth. This is because it can be adjusted to three sizes (2.75”, 8”, and 12”). The unit consists of two rust-resistant stainless steel bowls, a spill ridge to keep food and water from spilling, and stylish leg frames fitted with non-slip pads for extra safety.
IRIS doubles up as a cute elevated feeder for your Great Dane and a storage unit for his food. The feeder has two shiny stainless steel bowls that can be easily removed for easy cleaning. The storage container beneath can hold up to 64 cups of dry pet food. This is large enough for your big friend’s gigantic appetite. The storage space features an airtight seal to keep the food fresh for long periods. The side snap-lock latch makes things even tighter and acts as a comfortable handle for transportation purposes.
Are you a lover of wood for its aesthetics or environmental friendliness? Pawfect Pets Elevated Dog Feeder has a wooden frame that stands at a height of 4 inches and spreads for 14 inches. It is a good fit for a younger Great Dane or one who needs a little lift for his food. Like the previous feeders, this one comes with two bowls made from stainless steel. Perhaps the biggest advantage with it is stability. The bottom of the feeder includes silicone pads to secure it to the floor so your gigantic canine doesn’t knock his food over.
Featuring a rusting design and a huge promise to keep your dog’s posture right, Loving Pets Diner for Dogs is worth your consideration. Your furry friend will enjoy feeding from the elevated 2-quart Ruff n Tuff stainless steel bowls. You will also have an easy time removing them from the base for cleaning. The frames and stands feature beautiful finishes that will blow your mind if you love statement pieces.
Ethical Pet Products Stainless Steel Posture Adjustable Bowlis another elevated bowl worth a special mention on this list. Made from adjustable wood stone frames and two stainless steel bowls, your Great Dane will eat his food more comfortably and luxuriously. The stands can extend from a height of 9.5- 13.5 inches. You can adjust it to suit your pet’s height. The oak wood top also complements any décor not to mention that it is very durable.
An adjustable feeder guarantees value for money because it grows with your pet. With removable legs, Bergan Double Bowl Feeder will benefit your Dane for years to come. Simply detach the legs when he’s young and re-attach them when he grows taller. The bowls are stainless steel, so you will have an easy time staying on top of cleaning. Plus, the feeder features a stylish chick design. You can display it anywhere in your house without the worry that it will clash with your décor.
Bobby Pet Adjustable Elevated Feeder looks different from other products on this list. It is creatively designed with a heavy-duty H-style stand complete with an iron base for stability. The bowls are securely suspended on either side of the stand which can be easily adjusted by twisting the two knobs fitted in the feeder. With 19 inches of height and 2.2 QT bowls, this is certainly a perfect fit for a large dog breed.
Another amazing raised bowl that we had to include in our list because of its unique design is this magnetic elevated dog bowl by PetFusion. It is beautifully designed and comes with Earth magnet for easy assembly and bespoke customization. You can attach and detach the two bowls to customize your Dane’s feeding area the way you deem fit. The bowls are made of stainless steel, which is easy to clean, suited for all types of food, and easy on your dog’s mouth. Another great feature about these bowls is the fact that they come in two sizes—tall (11x11x9”) and short (8x8x3”)—which is great if your Dane is still growing or if you simply want to play around with the design.
YML is yet another elevated bowl stand design that will protect your dog from straining his shoulders, hips, back, and neck. The stand is made from black wrought iron and molded into an interesting and super stable pattern. It is lightweight but features a non-slip bottom that won’t turn over when knocked by a dog. The stainless steel bowls keep bacteria at bay and are easy to clean. Wrought iron is impressively sturdy, so you can be sure you will have the feeder for a very long time.
As the name goes, the Modern Ironworks feeder stand is specifically made for a Great Dane. That means it is fitted with features that are perfect for a gigantic dog. The obvious one is its height. Standing at 21” high, it makes for a comfortable eating spot for your big baby. The construction is made from steel and finished with a stunning powder coat. To personalize it further, the stand features two Great Dane fabrications on either side. Your pup will enjoy looking at his own image as he shoves food and water down the throat. The feeder comes with two stainless steel bowl that can hold up to 3 quarts of pet food each. If you are wondering if the stand is stable enough, you’ll be happy to know that it has plastic floor protectors on the base. Even if your dog is a little too ambitious, he will have a hard time kicking the stand out of place.
This is another unique elevated bowl that couldn’t miss in your list. If you are a fan of melamine, this is the raised dog bowl that you should consider buying for your Dane. It is durable, machine-washable and comes in multiple colors, allowing you to choose what suits your Dane or interior décor. For stability, the bowl has rubberized grips at the bottom.
The DAZONE Raised Dog Bowl is a durable pet feeder stand with two stainless bowls. Not only are they easy to clean but have a strong resistance against corrosion, scratching, and chipping. The frame is all metal and uses special foot pads to ensure 100% stability. When you order this feeder, you will get an extra stand, metal rod, screws, a plastic tube, and a hexagon wrench. It is a simple assembly that takes little time to put together.
Anyone who is a minimalist will love the simple but elegant design of the Pet Stop Pyramid Double Diner elevated bowl. The wrought iron construction stands at a height of 24 inches making it one of the best feeders for a Great Dane. The design is solid and unique, not to mention safe for your pet. The rubber rings beneath the bowl keep the stand in place so it doesn’t make noise during feeding.
Like IRIS, the Personalized Raised Dog Bowl features both the feeding platform and a storage unit underneath it. This one takes customization to a whole new level. You can send the name of your furry friend and your color of choice and have them make a feed station just for him. It comes in various sizes, so you can choose accordingly. Everything is handmade using high-quality, dog-safe materials. The storage space can hold everything from pet food to toys, can food, and leashes. Simply lift the top and throw your goodies in there. This feeder is also made with a waterproof interior for durability purposes.
You may think that this elevated dog bowl is similar to the Bobby Pet Adjustable Elevated Feeder that we have reviewed above but they are different. The Yosso raised bowl is made of high polished stainless steel which is not only easy to clean but also looks great in any interior décor. Also, while the Bobby Pet Feeder can stand on its base, the Yosso option is meant to be attached to a wall. It comes with bowls of different sizes—a large one (8.6 inches wide) and a smaller one (7.09 inches wide)—making it ideal for people who have multiple Danes or who have Danes that are still growing. The bowls are also adjustable, which means that you can easily twist the knobs to have different elevation options as your Great Dane puppy grows.
Eco-friendly, stylish, and effective are three words that can be used to describe the Raised Dog Single or Double Bowls. The wooden frame and natural finishes are kind to the environment. If you have an aggressive chewer, this would be the safest material for him. It comes in four different heights (5”, 7”, 12”, and 17”), so you can choose an option that can give your friend the lift he needs when eating. The stand comes in three strains to cater to different needs in the market. Choose the right one according to your taste or home décor. Handcrafted in the USA using premium materials, you are guaranteed of nothing but the best.
We don’t highly recommend plastic dog bowls because they are a bit hard to wash and may easily be chewed by an aggressive dog. However, we couldn’t leave out this particular Outward Hound bowl because it boasts of one perk that is lacking in all the bowls we have listed in this post: it features a slow feeder. For starters, slow feeders have grooves or ridges to slow your dog’s eating pace, lowering his risk of suffering bloating. The bowl is also adjustable, allowing you to fine-tune it to a height that is suitable for your Dane. It also comes with a non-skid base, so you don’t have to worry about your Dane moving it around while feeding. And for the safety of your dog, the removable bowl is free of BPA, PVC, and phthalates. This bowl may not be used as a water bowl though because it is simply not deep enough.
Elevated Dog Bowls and Bloating in Great Danes
Elevated dog bowls have been linked to cases of bloat in Great Danes and other giant breeds. Should you be worried? Well, let’s find out:
For starters, bloating or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) occur when the dog’s stomach fills with food, gas or fluids, making it to expand. This may cause twisting between your dog’s esophagus and the upper intestine. However, bloating may also occur without twisting. The bloated stomach can also put pressure on other internal organs, leading to damage or shock of the organs. All these may cause dangerous problems such as difficulty in breathing, a tear in the stomach walls, and minimal blood to the stomach linings and the heart.
One study that is often quoted when it comes to the relation between bloating and elevated bowls in giant breeds is the 2000 Glickman et al study. You can read it here. In the study, Glickman and his colleagues found out that the use of raised feeders increases the risk of GDV by 110%. According to the study’s data, between 20% and 50% of GDV cases in large and giant breeds respectively were caused by elevated feeders.
However, the Glickman et al study is still informal and has been criticized to lack substantial deductions. This Harper Adams University study, for instance, reveals conflicting findings between the Glickman et al study and other GDV-related studies. According to the study, while it is possible that raised bowls or fast eating could cause bloating in dogs, we are not 100% certain. There are high chances that some factors like the amount of exercise and breed or individual characteristics could also contribute to an increase or decrease of bloating in dogs.
So, we cannot deduce that elevated bowls contribute to bloating in Great Danes. More research still needs to be done on this theory before we can count on the findings of Glickman and his colleagues.
Making Elevated Bowl more Functional and Safe for your Great Dane
Here are tips that you can always keep in mind when choosing an elevated bowl for your Great Dane or giving him food via these bowls.
Choose the Right Height
To make feeding as comfortable as possible for your Dane, the bowl shouldn’t be too high. As a guide, the bowl should be above his wrist and below the shoulder or elbow. The right height may also be dictated by your dog’s health condition and needs, so before purchasing an elevated bowl, take a few measurements or seek the guidance of your vet for a professional recommendation.
If you decide to take measurements yourself, use a tape measure to measure from the floor to where your canine friend’s front legs meet the chest. Alternatively, measure from the floor beneath the front paws to the top of the shoulder then subtract 3-6 inches depending on your dog’s height. Subtract 3 inches for puppies and 6 inches for adult Great Danes.
Generally, adult Great Danes should have their elevated bowls placed between 21 and 27 inches. Another simple way to establish the right height is to check if your Dane can eat without stretching his neck upwards or downwards and adjust the bowl accordingly. If the bowl seems to be in a comfortable position and your Dane is having an easy time eating his food and looks happy, then you have figured out the perfect height.
Determining the perfect height for your Dane after you have purchased a raised dog bowl may not be possible with some bowl models. So, it is recommended to go for elevated dog bowls for Great Danes with adjustable heights. Bowls with customizable heights will benefit parents with Danes who are still growing or people who keep multiple Danes.
Choose the Right Bowl Material
Most dogs tend to be aggressive and may chew things around them, including their bowls. Before you buy a raised dog bowl for your Dane, therefore, ensure that it is made of sturdy and durable material that can withstand your Dane’s aggressive behavior.
We highly recommend raised dog bowls that are made of stainless steel because they are durable, non-porous, easy to clean, dishwasher-safe, and don’t absorb food odors or bacteria. They are also kind to your dog’s mouth and don’t develop molds.
Ceramic bowls are great, too. However, some are made with glazers, which can be toxic for your dog. To be certain of a ceramic dog bowl’s safety, check what has been slathered on the ceramic before you make a purchase.
We don’t recommend plastic bowls because they wear down and may contain toxic chemicals. They also tend to chip away easily and your Dane can accidentally ingest the pieces.
Slowing Your Dane’s Eating Pace
As hinted above, raised dog bowls may encourage your Dane to eat or drink faster than he should, filling his belly with air and increasing his risks of bloating. Fortunately, you can do something about it. If you observe that your Dane is slurping down his water or inhaling his food than he should, you can slow him down with a few tricks.
- Place a large, inedible block in his bowl. He will be forced to eat around the object, slowing his eating pace.
- Put ice cubes in his water bowl to slow down his rate of water consumption.
- Invest in a slow feeder. The Outward Hound bowl we have highlighted above is an excellent choice. We have also highlighted more options in the post suggested below, which are also excellent, particularly if you choose an option that can fit in your current elevated dog bowl stand.
Related Post: 25 Best Dog Bowls That Slow Down Eating
Go for the Right size
A good raised bowl should hold enough food and water for your Dane. If you choose a bowl with a perfect height and sturdy material but won’t fit one or two cups of dry food for your Dane, then you may end up delivering constant refills every mealtime.
A Great Dane is a gentle, playful, and incredibly loyal giant. Because of his height, feeding from ground bowls is tricky on his posture. If you want to eliminate the risk of chronic back pain, strained neck, and digestive problems, get him one of the elevated dog bowls for Great Danes we’ve reviewed above.
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.