Subtract a Half Foot From Wither Height
Elevating your dog's water and food bowls improves your dog's posture; relieves strain at your dog's hips, shoulders, forearms and wrist areas; and helps your dog digest food better. Determine the ideal height for your dog's bowl by subtracting six inches from the length between your dog's shoulder and the floor; this section of your dog is also referred to as "wither height."
Subtract Less for Small Breeds
Instead of six inches, only subtract four inches from a small dog's shoulder height. For very short dogs, such as dachshunds or toy breeds, very little or no elevation is necessary.
Use your dog's size to determine the proper number of inches to subtract for wither height. Elevate the bowl for all but very small dogs.