Ironic, my first shepherd who had bloat & torsion ate out of the same raised bowl Gandalf does (although was raised much higher than I have it for him), ate high quality kibble never wet food, wasn't very lean, scarfed his food down every meal in about a second, and had no family history either he was a BYB dog. I worry about G since he eats so fast and is always burping, he eats raw so I don't want to use one of our circle bowls to slow him down because I wouldn't be able to disinfect it properly after each use.Having had a dog prone to bloat, the first time having a gastric torsion and her spleen removed,
2) Genetics - we got her at a year old, she didn't come with a family history.
3) She was a lean dog especially in the summer. It was hard to keep her weight up.
4) She had her first incidence of bloat when she was 8
5) she wasn't a fast eater, she was incredibly picky
6) Her bowls weren't raised
7) I would describe her as a fairly anxious dog, not fearful. But when we first got her we had huge separation anxiety problems and when my first child was born she briefly took up 'flank sucking'
8) She was fed wet food.
She was never exercised for two hours before and after feeding. She was fed once a day.
Since then my dogs have had raised water bowls and i keep an eye on water intake but don't limit it. My dogs since then have been fed twice a day, some kibble, some a mixture of wet and kibble, and not from raised bowls. I still don't exercise for two hours after eating. Nor do i feed my dogs until they are totally relaxed.
I am not entirely convinced that anyone has a definitive answer to what causes bloat. As an owner you should be aware of all the signs and it's not just bloating up, it can be trying to be sick, frothing at the mouth, trying to hide etc.
Personally I think genetics is a factor, the rest is just a way of mitigating it happening. Right from the beginning my girl had a sensitive stomach.
I had a vet who told me that if your dog could belch they were less likely to get bloat. Totally random but my first girl never did.