If you’re a dog owner, you’ve likely dealt with the mess and hassle of your pup tipping over their food and water bowls. Elevated dog bowls solve this problem by raising your dog’s dishes off the ground to a more comfortable height for eating and drinking.
Commercially raised dog bowls can get pricey, but with a few simple materials and tools, you can easily build your own DIY raised dog bowl at home. This allows you to customize the height and design perfectly for your dog.
We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to create the ideal elevated feeding station for your furry friend using 12 different DIY plans for inspiration.
Pick the Perfect Elevation Based on Your Dog’s Size
The first step is determining the right height for your DIY raised dog bowl based on your dog’s size and breed.
Here are some general elevation guidelines:
- Small dogs (under 20 lbs): 6-10 inches off the ground
- Medium dogs (20-50 lbs): 10-15 inches
- Large dogs (50-90 lbs): 15-20 inches
- Extra large dogs (over 90 lbs): 20+ inches
The ultimate goal is to have the bowl at around your dog’s shoulder height when standing. This allows them to eat comfortably without excessive bending or stretching of the neck.
For breeds prone to bloat like Great Danes or Retrievers, vets recommend keeping bowls closer to the ground, under 6 inches. And if your dog has arthritis or joint issues, raise bowls just high enough to take pressure off their neck.
Once you know the ideal height range for your dog, it’s time to gather supplies and start building.
Materials and Tools You’ll Need
Most DIY-raised dog bowls utilize simple wooden planks or boards for the base. You’ll also need your dog’s stainless steel or ceramic bowls.
Beyond that, the specific tools and hardware depend on the design. Here are some common materials and tools you’ll need:
- Wood boards or planks
- Wood glue
- Screws or nails
- Wood stain, paint, or polyurethane for finishing
- Drill and drill bits
- Saw (miter saw, jigsaw, circular saw, or handsaw)
- Tape measure and pencil
- Non-slip pads or rubber feet
12 Easy DIY Raised Dog Bowl Plans
Now let’s look at 12 different DIY plans for building your own raised dog bowl station, ranked from beginner-friendly designs to more advanced woodworking projects.
1. Simple Single Plank Design
This easy DIY starts with a single 1×12-inch plank of wood. Just cut two wide semi-circles from the plank using a jigsaw to fit your dog’s bowls. Then attach a leg at each corner.
The simplicity of this single-plank design makes it a great beginner DIY project. Customize the height based on your dog’s size and breed. Add non-slip pads on the bottom of the legs to prevent sliding.
2. Mini Table Conversion
For this project, you’ll upcycle an existing small table or nightstand into a raised dog bowl station.
Use a jigsaw to cut bowl holes in the tabletop. Sand, prime, and paint the table in your choice of color. Add non-slip pads below the bowls and legs. The existing table provides a solid base.
Repurposing old furniture is an easy DIY option for savvy upcycles. Look for small tables or nightstands at thrift stores or reuse one you already have.
3. Build an Enclosed Feeding Station
If you want storage space below the bowls, build this enclosed feeding station. You’ll construct a plywood box with a hinged door to access the interior.
Use a jigsaw to cut out the arched bowl holes. Add trim pieces along the edges for a finished look. Assembly is straightforward with wood glue and nails. Just take it slow.
The enclosed design not only looks built-in but also provides storage space for food bags inside. Place the station against a wall for stability.
4. Elevate Bowls on a Paint Can
For a quick and easy elevated bowl, place a large paint can lid upside down on top of the can to make a platform. Use a jigsaw to cut a hole in the plastic lid for the bowls.
Canned food cans also work well for tiny pups. Large metal coffee cans are very sturdy too. Just trace a bowl and cut out the shape with tin snips.
5. Upcycle Old Furniture Legs
Give those old wooden chairs or table legs new life as a raised feeding station. Cut the legs down to size and screw on a wooden platform for the bowls.
Upcycling old furniture legs lets you custom-fit the height and saves money. Search secondhand shops for free or cheap table/chair legs to repurpose.
6. Build an Industrial-Chic Design
Construct this rustic industrial-style feeding station using new or salvaged wood. The chunky double X-shaped legs provide plenty of stability.
Cut lap joints to attach the legs and cross supports. Then screw on the top plank with jigsaw-cut bowl holes. This is great for large or powerful pups.
Add your own unique touches like metal hardware or vintage details to create an on-trend industrial chic look.
7. Elevate Bowls with a Plant Stand
For a quick and customizable raised bowl, place a decorative plant stand upside down and attach the bowls to the legs with adhesive.
The plant stand method lets you adjust the height easily by stacking stands. Look for sturdy stands with wide legs – top-heavy types are prone to tipping when dogs dig in.
8. Build a Modern Minimalist Design
If you want a sleek modern look, construct this simple frame feeding station. Just screw wooden dowels together into a box shape.
Leave the top open and place bowls directly on the dowels. The open design is also easy to clean underneath.
Purchase pre-cut dowel pieces from the hardware store to make assembly simple with just a drill and clamps.
9. Repurpose a Suitcase or Crate
For a fun repurposed feeding station, turn a plastic storage bin, crate, or even an old suitcase on its side and cut out bowl holes.
Use a box cutter for plastic or tin snips on metal boxes. Place a sturdy wood top on crates to screw or bolt the bowls onto. Add non-slip pads.
Let your creativity run wild to give new life to containers headed for the landfill. Attach handles or casters too for easy moving.
10. Build a Wheelable Feeding Cart
Construct this mobile wooden feeding cart to conveniently move mealtime anywhere. Attach wheels to the bottom frame to roll the cart from room to room.
The hinged top lifts up to store bags of food inside. A cute bone motif dresses up the front. Follow the step-by-step plans to build the plywood box.
Adding wheels allows you to easily move the feeder outside when the weather is nice too. Just lock the wheels in place so it doesn’t roll once positioned.
11. Craft a Concrete Feeding Station
For an ultra-durable and chew-proof feeding platform, make this concrete dog bowl stand. Form plastic bowl molds out of buckets or Tupperware.
Mix and pour concrete into the makeshift molds. Once dry, flip over and insert rubber feet on the bottom. This is perfect for “power chewers”.
Get creative embedding seashells or tiles into the concrete too. Concrete is heavy, so make a smaller single bowl stand for portable use.
Tips for Customizing Your DIY Raised Dog Bowl
Part of the fun of a DIY raised bowl is customizing the design to match your home and pet’s personality. Here are some easy ways to make your creation unique:
- Add color: Paint or stain the wood base and legs to coordinate with your home’s color scheme. Try bold colors like red or turquoise for a fun pop.
- Include storage: Attach a cabinet door or basket below to hold dog food, treats, toys, leashes, etc. Just be sure your dog can’t access it.
- Use vintage elements: Affix old candlesticks, table legs, latches, or other old home decor pieces you have on hand to give a retro flair.
- Add personalization: Use vinyl decals or wood-burning tools to stencil your dog’s name, paw prints, or other special motifs.
- Make it mobile: Attach wheels, casters, or handles to make it easy to move the feeder in and out of the way for cleaning. Locking wheels prevent drifting.
- Improve grip: Add a non-slip shelf liner, rubber feet, or grip tape below to keep the stand firmly planted on the floors.
With a little creativity, you can build a feeding station that’s as stylish as it is practical for your pet.
Prepping and Finishing Your Raised Dog Bowl
Before letting your dog start chowing down from their new raised bowl, be sure to follow these tips for a safe and successful DIY experience:
- Choose pet-safe, non-toxic wood, paint, glue, and finishes in case of chewing. Avoid pressure-treated lumber.
- Sand wooden edges smooth to prevent splinters. Consider rounding sharp corners.
- Let paints and finishes fully cure for 1-2 weeks before use if possible to limit fumes. Ventilate the space well.
- Test stability before use. Your dog’s excited eating could tip over a top-heavy design.
- Place a washable dog feeding mat under the stand to contain spills and drips during messy eating.
- Start with low portions of water until you observe your dog using its new raised bowl. Stop if they seem uncomfortable straining to reach.
With proper prep and safety checks, your DIY raised dog bowl will provide your pet with many meals tailored perfectly for them. Building your own is also a great beginner DIY project that produces an item with daily use.
Frequently Asked Questions
How high should a raised dog bowl be?
The ideal height for a raised dog bowl is around your dog’s shoulder level when standing upright. Small dogs do well at 6-8 inches, medium 10-15 inches, large 15-20 inches, and extra large breeds over 20 inches high.
Is it better to raise a dog’s food bowl?
Veterinarians recommend raised dog bowls primarily for large breeds or seniors with arthritis to prevent neck and joint strain. Elevated bowls may aid digestion in some dogs but can also increase bloat risk. Discuss the pros and cons with your vet.
What is the best material for an elevated dog bowl?
Stainless steel, ceramic, or heavy-duty plastic works well for the inner food bowls. Wood, plastic, or metal are good outer stand materials. Avoid flimsy plastic. Ensure paints, stains, and adhesives are non-toxic.
Should a DIY-raised dog bowl have non-slip feet?
Yes, attaching non-slip rubber feet, shelf liner strips, or grip pads below the stand helps prevent sliding across floors when energetic dogs eat and limit tipping hazards.
Can I make an adjustable height DIY raised dog bowl?
Yes, you can make a DIY raised bowl with adjustable legs to tweak the height as needed. Or use a plant stand and stack combinations of smaller stands to change the elevation.
Building an elevated dog bowl is an easy DIY woodworking project that prevents messes and makes mealtime more comfortable for your pup.
With basic materials from the hardware store and simple construction, you can customize the perfect raised feeding station to match your pet’s needs and your home’s style.
Start with a beginner-friendly single plank design, and work your way up to more complex furniture-like builds as your skills progress. The ability to create a functional item tailored specifically for your dog is also very rewarding.
Just be sure to choose safe, pet-friendly materials and check stability and height before use. Then watch proudly as your dog enjoys mealtime at new heights in the personalized dining nook that you built!