All ME dogs should eat in upright position, but you don’t always have to use an actual “chair” and especially when first diagnosed. There are many alternatives and it can take creativity. When your dog is first diagnosed, it is imperative to follow proper management which does mean getting your dog in upright position so gravity may take food to the stomach. If you are like we were when our first GSD was diagnosed, panic sometimes overrides logical thinking. But, look around your house for things that will help you get your specific dog upright not only to eat but with some hold time afterwards. They usually have to remain in that position another 15-20 (each dog is different so some will be shorter and some longer).
There are a few “chapters” here that will identify and show pics of possibilities, but to name a few that work:
Sandwiched between you sitting on a chair or ottoman and dogs front feet up on another surface such as a bed, couch, or chair
Snugglie – front back pack used for smaller dogs and younger puppies due to weight
Mailbox turned on its side and padded
Bar stool turned upside down and padded
Oatmeal container – saw this used for very, very young puppies
Infants rolling toy
Standing with front feet on a counter (obviously for very large breeds)
Wedged backwards into a wall corner and feet up on your knees while you are in a chair
Wedged backwards in a sectional and held in place either with pillows or you holding them there
These are only a few of the very creative ideas folks have used, but should provide you ways to immediately achieve the right position as you learn what will be needed to manage your individual dog. You can always change, modify, etc as you move forward and get to know how your dog does best.
Make sure you provide padding not only around any hard surfaces you might use, but under the butt as well. Remember, your dog will spend a lot of time using this so, like humans, they will be happiest if comfortable.
Can use comforters, bed spreads, blankets, towels, pillows, etc
Try to use things that can be washed to for healthier hygiene