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I'm sorry if all i'm talking about is bloat and such, but I have a question about ways to reduce the risk.

I was reading that the cause of bloat is not really 100% known yet, but they list things could increase the risk. Some of these things are feeding from an elevated dish and adding water to kibble. Do you think these things are true?

I add water to Karitsa's food to increase her water intake as she had crystals in her urine a while back. I also soften Bullet's kibble as his front teeth are worn down all the way and it seemed like he was having a hard time with the hard kibble.

I also feed from an elevated dish. It's not super elevated, they still need to reach down a little bit.

Does anyone have any insight on this?
 

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I read a review of bloat studies a while back that made it seem like a mixed bag of pretty definitive results and some wishy washy association. I'll try and find the article because it said which was which.

I think the thing that was pretty clear was the 2x vs 1x a day feeding and the raised bowl. Most of the recommendations fall in to the "it can't hurt" zone though.
 

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Im interested to see others responses on this topic. Unfortunetly since I haven't done to much reading on bloat I cant really give a definite answer.

I have heard that feeding from a elevated bowl can cause bloat. But ive never heard of putting water on dry food leading to bloat. I would think since you add water to the food, its already somewhat expanded before your dog eats it. So it doesn't expand as much as it normally would if it was just eaten regularly.

Just from my general reading on bloat, I know that avoiding heavy exercise for an hour or more can help, and using a slow feed bowl or a food dispensing toy can slow your dog down in eating.
Hopefully others can help and give you more information
 

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This isn't the one I was thinking o but here is one post about bloat. Raised bowls and bloat: Ratcheting up the controversy on the risk of GDV in dogs | petMD

Here's the key part.

“Cumulative incidence of GDV during the study was 6% for large breed and giant breed dogs. Factors significantly associated with an increased risk of GDV were increasing age, having a first-degree relative with a history of GDV, having a faster speed of eating, and having a raised feeding bowl. Approximately 20 and 52% of cases of GDV among the large breed and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised feed bowl.” (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1492–1499)
 

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I just remembered something I came across a week or two ago when I posted here asking for opinions on dog food.

The reviews for the adult version of the dog food I give my puppy all mentioned one thing, the size of the kibble.

We tried all the various tricks to slow down one of our Shiloh Shepherds. The doughnut shaped bowl, the big metal ball in the dish, but settled on this one. a) because it's a simple solution and b) because our guys really like it. The kibble is huge maybe 1.5" on a side. Too big to inhale. It forces them to slow down and eat each piece individually.
We love this dog food, although in our area it's hard to find and it's cheaper to order online. We have two St Bernards, and this large chunk dog food forces them to 'chew' instead of swallow. We tried other smaller foods, but our dogs inhale it and we were afraid they were going to bloat. I will always feed them Royal Canin Giant Breed.
I have no idea if there is a scientifically proven benefit to HUGE kibble but on the surface it seems to make sense on the same line as multiple feedings and eating more slowly.
 

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I remember reading (but unfortunately, don't remember where) that the biggest risk factors were having a close relative who bloated and an anxious temperament. Age, gender, stress, number of meals, and exercise before/after meals are also factors. Of them, only feeding and exercise (and to a lesser extent, stress) are things that an owner can easily control (after having the dog).

The AKC Health Foundation released Bloat: What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know recently.

Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) in Dogs

One thing you can do is look into a prophylactic gastropexy. It won't prevent bloating, but may lessen the risk of torsion and can buy time to get to a vet.
 

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I feed my dogs once a day, occasionally in the morning too if I have time and they're hungry enough (my kota doesn't eat unless she's hungry enough, so I don't have to worry about overeating or eating too fast).
I don't think adding water to their kibble causes bloat because I've read somewhere that dry-only meals are more of a cause than wet or wet mixed with dry meals, but I could be wrong.. of course I hope I'm not because I add canned food to my dog's kibble. I also feed one of my dogs with an elevated dish but she still has to bend down a lot, its just a Walmart kind that came with the bowls. I don't actually use it most of the time.
The one thing I'm certain on is when I read about bloat for the first time, you should wait at least 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the dog) before letting them run around or anything. I remember being scared mine were moving too much after eating, I think I was kind of paranoid though because my friend's dog had recently suffered from bloat.

Diet affects it to an extent too, but then again it affects pretty much everything. I would just suggest making sure they don't eat too fast and if you aren't already, then maybe feeding twice a day?
And this is kind of hard to control but make sure the dog isn't stressed or nervous when it's eating, which I doubt yours are.

These are all pretty much the same things everyone else has mentioned or sent links about. Bloat seems to be just one of those things that can happen to any dog unexpectedly..
 

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Odd, I thought I remembered hearing that wetting the food was actually better for reducing the incidence of bloat, something about the food not expanding in their stomach or something. There must be new science on the topic, or I'm remembering wrong. I do definitely remember that exercise immediately before or after eating can contribute to bloat.
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With my family's Mastiff and Dane, they just feed a couple times a day as recommended by the vet and breeders. Unless the dog is gulping the food down, this was the only course of action to take in their experiences. On a cautionary note by reading internet articles, they have taken to feeding before they eat dinner so there is a bit of time to rest while the family is eating, then take the dogs for a stroll after. The nine year old Mastiff is doing well and has had no problems with bloat as well as the breeder has not heard of any of their dogs getting bloat in their 30 years of experience. I know I got all worked up over the internet scare factor on the topic of bloat and tried to cover all the bases but my dog is such a strange one who chews her kibble like 30 times before swallowing.
haha, takes her a freaking hour these days to eat 2 cups of kibble, but still eats from a slo-Bowl that she prefers.
 

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At the clinic, our doctors just recommend no exercise or stressful situations (i.e.: the groomer) 1/2 hour before or after eating (this includes to water).

Also I had heard that watering food with citric acid can cause issues because of how the food expands? and that raised bowls encourage gulping/additional breathing(?) while eating which cause issues. But both were taken from the inter web

Honestly it's a crap shoot. We had a golden at the clinic that went to the groomer came home and chugged a bowl or two of water and bloated. Then we had another who's owner took all the precautions and bloated in the middle of the night. Both didn't make it :(
 

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My golden retriever, HaHa is prone to bloat, so I take precautions with him...that I gathered off the internet after hours of reading.

I feed him only small meals at a time...and often pre soak his food.
I don't let him eat until he's in a calm state...so if he comes in from outside and he's a little hot, or a little excited. I wait until he's done panting before I feed him.

I think feeding lower to the ground is better... more natural... my own bias there...as there seemed to be a toss up between that and raising the feed bowl.
I have read with horses that some people are now feeding hay down low rather than in feeders up higher as that is more natural and they think it might help horses with colic issues or such. Horses graze head down in nature, so feeding them that way seems to make since to me....ditto with dogs. Canines probably use to stand over kills and reach down to eat...and not have their food raised up high.

Also, I keep Gas-x (simethicone) on hand at all times. If I feed HaHa dry (non soaked) kibble, he gets a gas-x pill. I think they help...and I am always relieved to hear HaHa burp after eating.

So far in doing these things I haven't seen him have any tummy troubles like he had before I was aware of what bloat was. I'm amazed I didn't lose him to it as I was unaware of it existed and the breeder, the animal shelter and a few vets never caught on either, even though HaHa has a history of stomach upset.

One time I thought he even had an obstruction in his stomach...it was that hard...and after about the 3rd round of him being like that, I got on the internet and did some research and then contacted my vet...who pulled his records from the other vet's office and her own and decided that yeah, a lot of his problems were due to gas build up in his stomach.

Anyway, I keep a close eye on HaHa and keep those gas-x pills handy. They might not stop a full bloat, but they might buy me time to get him to the vets where she can try to save him if worse comes to worse.

Stormy
 
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