5/5 Stars – Good Dog! Gold Standard
Ozarks Fehr Trade Originals
Neither the writer nor Good Dog! Magazine received compensation for this review.
By Christine Boswell
If you are wondering why raised bowls matter for pets, especially taller ones, the answer lies in their tummies. If a dog has to bend their head lower than their stomach they may develop digestive issues including gas, bloating, and in some awful cases twisting of the gut. None of these are fun, and the gut twisting will result in an expensive and painful surgery for your pooch if it doesn’t kill them first. I’m sure there are many more benefits to the raised food bowl, but those are the big three for us, and we figured they would be on the top of your list too.
Our Decision Process
We had already had a not too thrilling experience trying to find a raised bowl for Helen with very little positive outcome, and had pretty given up hope that anything decent was available in the sizes we would need. However, Ozarks Fehr Trade Originals managed to catch our eye. Their products are not only gorgeous, they also fit together in compact fashion appropriate for our compact lifestyle (we are working on fitting everything into a camper so that we can travel whenever we want) and they are made from sustainable materials (and they recycle their waste materials), which is a huge plus for us. I was super excited to find out that their bowls would not make Charlotte (our resident reason why we can’t have nice things) sick if she chews on them some, as they are triple-coated in a varnish that is non-toxic, non-allergenic, asthma-friendly, has zero VOCs, is odorless, and organic.
Picking the Right Size Bowl for Your Dog
First off, the right raised bowl height really makes a difference. If the bowl is too high, your pooch can’t get to all their noms or has to stand on tippy toe like a ballet dancer, and who wants to eat their food like that? If too low, you’ll run into the same issues as not having the raised bowl in the first place. That is why we highly recommend that you measure the length of your dog’s legs three times to make sure you get the right number for the sizing chart. Sadly, our Manly Stan Lee is just too gigantic for OFTO’s largest bowl. Never fear though– they are working on making a jumbo-sized bowl for all of us jumbo sized dog owners soon!
See here for measuring instructions:
Opening Our Box
Due to our unique situation with the gigantic Stan Lee, we spent some time getting to know the lovely people at OFTO, and were really surprised when we received not one… but three bowls in our box! The 7” tall bowl was the one we were expecting for Helen, and it was exactly perfect for our senior pup. She was able to find and use the bowl without any spills, trips over said bowl, or having to stretch up on tip toe.
We also received a teacup sized bowl which is 3 inches tall for our itty-bitty kitty cat, Ylva (she has perpetual kitten syndrome). Of the animals, she loved her bowl the most! She has transitioned completely and always gobbles all of her food up and nuzzles the bowls as if saying, “Thank you for the nomz.”
The tallest bowl is 12 inches tall and was supposed to be tried out by Charlotte. However, she and Stan Lee are afraid of the bowl, and are working on coming around to the newness of it. She did sniff it today, and Stan Lee didn’t skitter out of the room when he noticed it (did I mention that all of our pups are rescues? These two were gotten young, but still have a few scars from being rehomed/saved). I feel that once she and Stan Lee get over their aversion to the newness, they will love the bowls as much as we do.
We also selected the “In Case of Emergency” kits to test out. I have previous experience with fire-fighting and wanted to see if these were better than the other “we have pets inside” stickers out there. Not only were they more durable, but they are one of the only reflective I.C.E. pet kits out there. The ID badges are great, and have places to put your pets name, an emergency contact, your name, and your veterinarian’s name. It also comes with extras for those of us who tend to think faster than they write and mess up hand written stuff, and a way to laminate the card and protect it. There are also two key rings to put on your keys so that EMS personnel can know to check your wallet for your I.C.E. card. The only change I would make would be to the sticker. I wish there was a way to mark green, yellow, and red for friendly, shy, and aggressive. I know I would like to know what I’m walking into if I needed to go get someone’s pet out of their house for them. Aside from that, I love them!
Our Thoughts on the Raised Bowls
Each bowl is not only unique, but exceptionally beautiful, built like the brick house the third piggy put up, and if you have several different sized dogs they are even stackable. They do not smell “varnishy”, but like freshly cut wood or like a good new book. The teacup sized bowl was perfect for our Ylva. She was very welcoming to the thought of her food not being as close to the ground. I loved that it ended up fitting in her cat tree so that she could climb and then eat out of her raised bowl. She too loved not having to eat with the dogs in her face trying to steal her nomz, the challenge of the raised bowl in the raised tree, and the wood itself. I have, on several occasions, seen her rubbing up against her raised bowls. Helen too liked her bowl. She is almost blind, and I think the raised bowl and shiny cup really help her find her water and food. She does not struggle so much, and for that I will forever be grateful that we could find her something to help her final years be more comfortable. All in all, we absolutely adore our bowls, our I.C.E. Kits, and the knowledge that our loves are safer when they eat now.
Quae est per servum suum dominus eius melius amari quam canem? This Latin proverb means, “by what servant is his master better loved than by his dog”, and we as humans have a unique and beautiful bond with our doggos that has lasted thousands of years. From the first man who bonded with a canine, to the Romans and on to the bond we have today– humans and dogs are like PB&J. We just fit, and it is that love that prompted us to consider raised food bowls for our tall dogs, Stan Lee and Charlotte. There are tons of health benefits to the bowls and we made a promise to each of our dogs on the day that we got them that we would always provide what was best for them. By what servant is his master better loved than by his dog? This family, and we serve them right back.