When thinking about our pets and what is best for them, most of us think first about their health. When working for a veterinarian it was normal for us to recommend elevating food bowls, especially for those large and giant breed dogs who were more prone to “Bloat”.
BLOAT is when the stomach twists, the deeper chested the dog the more likely it is to occur, so the dog cannot expel gas or liquids normally. A twisted stomach can cause several other issues as well, and roughly half the time can be deadly. A couple of those issues are necrosis of the stomach due to pinched off circulation, distended abdomen, heart problems and a few more. If your dog starts exibiting any of these symptoms; listless, pacing, painful when attempting to lay down, vomiting with no results, heavy panting, and when thumping the abdomen it sounds hollow like a drum, please see your veterinarian IMMEDIATELY. It is time sensitive for your dog, the sooner they are seen the better. It may just save their life.
On that note, there are several preventative practices that we at the vet’s office would tout:
- Elevated food & water bowls
No heavy exercise 1 hour before or after a meal
Small amounts of water, no excess gulping during meal times
Not eating too fast
Monitor more closely as they age
The interesting thing is, it may not help as much as we once thought.
All of these things are things to keep in mind. But what is best for your pets and their circumstances? The thing that most folks seem to forget is, there are no real hard and fast rules. Most of our experiences depend on circumstances and outside influence. For example: When a new puppy comes home, most of us want to feel like we have done THE BEST job we can do. If something happens to our puppy it is emotionally taxing. The same goes for BLOAT.
However at this time, the experts say there is no rhyme or reason why it happens. The only thing we can do is our best. Is it going to sneak up and “bite” us sometimes? Yes. Is it fair? No. Do we still bring these furry companions into our lives knowing things can happen? SURE!
In conclusion, is it best to elevate their bowls or leave them on the floor? Totally up to you and what you are comfortable with. Sometimes our pets tell us we need to rethink things. Make a judgement call and know you have your pet’s best interest at heart.
For those of you who are interested in reading the full article (one of them anyway) where the information was collected, click here.