FREE SHIPPING on orders over $29

How tall should my elevated dog bowl be?

on February 08, 2022

Pet owners shopping for elevated dog bowls have many factors to consider while choosing a bowl: style, capacity, and height, to name a few. Choosing the correct height of your dog’s dish is often the hardest decision. We are frequently asked “how high should my dog's bowl be?”

While shopping, you will likely see infographics and measurements that try to oversimplify this decision. This can be a good starting point, but relying solely on these guides can be misleading or incomplete. 

What’s the correct height for my dog's elevated feeder?

As mentioned above, there are suggested ways to calculate the height of your dog’s elevated bowl. In our opinion, this measurement should be treated as a starting point for a bowl stand’s height — and usually a maximum height. That is, of course, unless you are otherwise instructed by a veterinarian.

To calculate this starting height:

  1. Measure from the floor to your dog’s chest (even with the top of their back).
  2. Next subtract 6” from this measurement.
  3. The result is typically the maximum height you should consider. 

For medium and large breeds, the result can come out anywhere from 9” - 24” — a huge range! We often suggest erring on the side of a shorter bowl.

Very tall elevated bowls aren’t good for every dog.

Typically, a bowl that forces your dog to reach upward or allows them to gulp their food is too tall, so these stands are easy to eliminate from your decision.

If your dog has a specific medical condition that requires eating from a certain height, your veterinarian should prescribe that. If not, a bowl that maintains a more natural eating position is usually a good fit. This is why we believe the above calculation is often too tall.

There is some controversy around elevated dog bowls that suggests overly large breeds can be at risk for bloat or GDV if eating out of elevated dog bowls that are too high. Read more about this study when determining why to choose an elevated dog bowl.

Pet Junkie offers versatile bowl heights.

Pet Junkie creates single elevated dog bowls for medium and large breeds in 10” and 6” heights. We believe these heights are good for a wide array of dog breeds of various sizes and ages.

We also have slightly elevated bowls for small dogs and cats in 3” and 5” heights.

My dog doesn't have a prescribed medical condition. Will they benefit from an elevated bowl?

Mid-height 6” bowls and large 10” bowls can be good for medium and large dogs that simply don’t have a medical condition requiring a taller elevated dog bowl. These bowls offer other benefits:

  • Food is raised off the ground and away from dust and hair.
  • They can still lessen stress on your dog’s neck. This can help, especially in older dogs.
  • Some picky eaters will prefer a raised dish.
  • Elevated dog bowls often simply look better.

We often hear dogs that switch to Pet Junkie bowls love them! There's not always a known condition requiring a raised dish.

An expert’s opinion

When in doubt, always consult your dog’s veterinarian. This is especially important if you believe your pet may have a medical condition requiring an elevated bowl or if your dog is predisposed to bloat. And of course, always monitor your pet while they are eating.

Browse elevated dog bowls >