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Great Danes can eat…a LOT. They will typically put away between 6 and 10 cups of food per day, with active young adult Danes needing around 3,000 calories per day. With that in mind, you’ll likely want to purchase a high-quality food bowl for your Great Dane that makes it comfortable and easy for her to get the nutrition that she needs.
In this article, we’ll discuss whether Great Danes need to be fed from elevated bowls and how to choose the best one for your needs, plus we’ll review my top 6 picks. Want to skip right to the bowls? Look no further:
- Best Overall: Pawfect Pets Adjustable Height Elevated Dog Bowls
- Runner Up: SCENEREAL Adjustable Raised Pet Bowls
- Best on a Budget: Pet Zone Designer Diner Elevated Dog Bowls
- Most Adjustable: Pinzoveco Elevated Dog Bowls
- Most Stylish: Modern Ironworks Elevated Great Dane Feeder
- Most Convenient: New Age Pet ecoFLEX Dog Diner
Do Great Danes Actually Need Elevated Food Bowls?
There is some controversy about whether Great Danes and other large breeds benefit from or are potentially hindered by elevated food bowls. The idea behind elevated food bowls is that it reduces strain on your Dane’s neck, spine, and even her legs, since she doesn’t have to crouch or extend her neck straight down in order to reach her food bowl. This can be a huge help for older Great Danes who suffer from arthritis, mobility issues, or other aches and pains.
Great Danes are unfortunately commonly affected by bloat and many experts think that eating from elevated bowls can help them avoid eating too quickly, which in turn helps avoid getting too much air into their stomachs. Elevated bowls are often generally more sturdy than bowls on the ground, which can scoot around as your Dane eats, leading her to believe that it’s playtime rather than dinnertime.
As you can see in this video, the Great Dane looks quite comfortable and relaxed eating out of the raised bowl:
However, there was one study done in 2000 that actually concluded that the opposite is true, and that eating out of elevated bowls can increase the incidence of bloat in big dogs. But, at the end of the day, we still don’t know what exactly causes bloat, and there are any number of other variables that could have contributed.
You can help your Great Dane avoid developing bloat by feeding her several small meals per day, preventing her from exercising right after eating, and using a slow feeder if necessary so she doesn’t eat or drink too fast.
When deciding whether to use an elevated food bowl, it’s important to balance the benefits of comfort while eating with the potential risk of bloat, and use other bloat mitigation techniques to help your Dane stay healthy. If you do suspect bloat, call your vet right away, as it can be a life-threatening condition.
Considerations When Choosing an Elevated Dog Bowl for a Great Dane
If you’ve decided that an elevated food bowl makes sense for your Great Dane, here are some things to keep in mind as you shop for one:
Whether you’re looking for a food bowl or a dog crate for your Great Dane, height is always a major consideration.
An elevated bowl should be no higher than the bottom of your Great Dane’s chest, in order to maintain the natural downward head angle while she eats. If it’s too high, she might have to stretch her neck upwards which can be uncomfortable and even dangerous.
If you are nervous about the potential for bloat but still want to provide some relief for your Dane with limited mobility or joint issues, consider using a food bowl that is elevated just a few inches off the ground. This can make it easier for her to reach her food without adding undue risk of bloat.
Some elevated food bowls are adjustable, which can be convenient for a growing Great Dane. You can start with the bowls on the ground when she is very small, and then incrementally raise the bowls as she grows. Some of the bowls on our list today are not adjustable, but some have several different heights that you can choose from.
Great Danes can weigh 100-200 pounds, and it can be easy for them to get carried away while eating and nudge the bowl around with their snout. When your Dane’s food bowl is right on the ground, it can easily scoot away from her as she tries to get every last piece of kibble, which can make the whole thing feel like a game, and then lead to her trying to speed-eat before the bowl runs away altogether. This is obviously not ideal in terms of bloat risk.
So, using a sturdy elevated bowl that won’t slide around can help keep your Dane relaxed and eating at a healthy pace. Look for a stand that is significant in terms of weight and/or has non-skid feet or base pieces.
Of course, the style of an elevated food bowl likely won’t mean much to your Great Dane – she’s just there for the food! But you will have to look at this thing every single day, so you might as well choose one that is visually appealing and matches the vibe of your home.
Ease of Cleaning
Great Danes are generally, perhaps unsurprisingly, not the neatest of eaters or drinkers. So, when shopping for an elevated food bowl, be sure to look for one that is easy to clean. Most come with removable stainless steel bowls that are dishwasher safe, and some even come with two sets of bowls so you can have a backup set while the other set is being washed.
Be sure to look for a base that is easily cleanable as well, to make your life much easier and keep the whole thing looking its best.
Finally, you can look for additional features if you wish, such as the ability to store food within the base of the elevated bowl system, the inclusion of slow feeder inserts, or racks for storing food or treats below. These features all come down to your personal preference.
The 6 Best Elevated Dog Bowls for Great Danes
Now, without further ado, let’s look at our top 6 elevated feeding bowls for Great Danes:
Best Overall: Pawfect Pets Adjustable Height Elevated Dog Bowls
This elevated dog feeder is simple, classic, and elegant. It’s also conveniently adjustable with three different heights: 12, 14, and 16 inches. The wood stand weighs 7 pounds, which makes it difficult for a Dane to push it around or tip it over. The set comes with four stainless steel bowls in total: three 48-ounce bowls and one 32-ounce bowl.
The bowls are kept firmly in place with silicone pads, which also eliminate any clanking of the bowls against the stand. The manufacturer offers hassle-free returns if you aren’t happy with the elevated bowls for any reason. Reviewers have reported that the set is easy to put together and feels quite sturdy.
Read more reviews from happy customers and see the current price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: It’s adjustable, aesthetically pleasing, comes with four bowls, and has silicone pads to eliminate slippage and noise.
What I wish it had: This simple, functional set doesn’t really leave anything to be desired.
Runner Up: SCENEREAL Adjustable Raised Pet Bowls
This set of elevated dog food bowls has a more industrial look, with a black steel frame and stainless steel bowls. The bowls can be adjusted anywhere between 11 and 16 inches tall, which means it can grow with your Dane. It comes with two removable stainless steel bowls.
This elevated bowl set requires assembly, but all hardware is included and reviewers report that it can easily be put together by one person and feels quite sturdy. The entire unit measures 9 by 17 by 11-16 inches (depending on how tall you’ve set the bowls to be).
However, this feeder does not have any silicone pads for the bowl, so some users have said that it makes noise when their dogs eat out of it. But, you could easily solve this with small rubber grips.
Read reviews and check out the current price by clicking here.
What I love about it: It’s simple, sturdy, has an industrial vibe, and is reasonably priced.
What I wish it had: It would be nice if it came with another set of bowls and rubber pads to eliminate noise.
Best on a Budget: Pet Zone Designer Diner Elevated Dog Bowls
This budget-friendly option features a plastic stand that adjusts to three different heights: 2.75, 8, and 12 inches. The feeder includes two 56-ounce dishwasher-safe stainless steel bowls. This bowl set has the advantage of being collapsible, so you can take it with you when you and your Great Dane are on the go. The legs fold right into the base when not in use, and then you can attach them to the long side of the tray for the medium height or to the short side for the tallest height.
The manufacturer also has a spiral slow feeder insert (sold separately) that can help slow your Great Dane down as she eats. The legs have non-slip pads to keep the feeder sturdily in place and the tray has a ridge around the edge that helps prevent spills from reaching the floor.
Read reviews and check the current price on Amazon here.
What I love about it: It’s adjustable, budget-friendly, collapsible, has a spill ridge, and comes with massive food/water bowls.
What I wish it had: For a budget option, this has essentially everything you need!
Most Adjustable: Pinzoveco Elevated Dog Bowls
This elevated Great Dane food bowl set has four height settings: 5.5, 8.5, 11.5, and 14.5 inches. It’s got a stylish wood and iron design with two 42-ounce dishwasher-safe stainless steel bowls. The set also comes with a 31-ounce slow feeder bowl included. It has a wire rack that can be placed underneath the bowls to hold your Great Dane’s food, treats, toys, or other accessories.
The holder has adjustable plastic pads under each leg so you can ensure that the whole structure sits perfectly flat and won’t wobble or rattle around as your Dane eats. The wood tray is food-grade, so you can be sure it won’t develop mold or mildew from spills.
Check out reviews and the current price here.
What I love about it: It has 4 adjustable heights, a slow feeder bowl included, a wire rack, and a clean, beautiful design.
What I wish it had: An option with higher-capacity bowls would be nice for Great Danes who eat and drink especially large amounts.
Most Stylish: Modern Ironworks Elevated Great Dane Feeder
This elevated bowl set is made specifically for Great Danes – it even has two Dane silhouettes on the sides! The bowls sit at a whopping 21 inches tall to accommodate even the largest of Great Danes. For reference, the tallest dog ever recorded is Zeus, a Great Dane who measured 44 inches tall at the shoulder…which makes 21 inches for an elevated feeder height sound downright reasonable.
These elevated feeders are quite a bit more expensive than the others, but they are handmade in the US with a combination of modern metal fabrication techniques and classic craftsmanship. The entire frame is made of powder coated steel and the two removable 96-ounce (enormous!) bowls are stainless steel. The frame has adjustable plastic leveling feet so it can be used on any floor surface and will sit level.
Read reviews of this bowl set and check out the current price here.
What I love about it: It’s handmade, created specifically for Great Danes, and has truly XL sizing of both the stand and the bowls.
What I wish it had: If the height was adjustable, it could be used by younger/smaller Great Danes.
Most Convenient: New Age Pet ecoFLEX Dog Diner
This ‘dog diner’ is made from a non-toxic recycled plastic/wood polymer that has the classic look of wood but it won’t warp or crack. The 32-ounce stainless steel bowls sit 15 inches off the ground, and the whole top portion slides sideways so you can access the storage space below – perfect for stashing your Great Dane’s kibble, treats, and so forth.
That way, the food is easily accessible for you, but hidden away so there’s no unsightly bag tempting your Dane to gorge herself. The lid latches closed to prevent your enterprising Dane from sneaking any extra meals. Additionally, the bowls sit in sealed indentations, so water won’t drip through onto the food stored below, and your Great Dane can’t simply pull the bowl out and snack.
The diner comes in three colors: white, gray, and brown. It has a classic vibe that would be perfectly at home in a modern farmhouse. Plus, it’s easy to clean and doesn’t require any tools to assemble it.
Read reviews of this dog diner and check current prices here.
What I love about it: It has a farmhouse aesthetic, provides a convenient place to store food, and is easy to clean.
What I wish it had: A slightly bigger version may be better suited for XL Great Danes.
Great Danes can certainly have an easier time eating from an elevated food bowl, especially if they have arthritis or other joint or mobility issues. Bending down all the way to the floor to eat and drink can place unnecessary stress on their necks and joints, which can be alleviated by raising their bowls up a bit. No matter which type of feeding bowl you choose, be sure to take steps to help prevent bloat and keep a close eye on your Great Dane for symptoms.