Special occasions should be marked by presents. So for Baxter’s Gotcha Day, I made him a dinner table all his own.
I took inspiration from the DIY Pet Food Station that Kim and Scott made for their Jack over at Yellow Brick Home. As much as I coveted the hairpin legs that they used (love the industrial-rustic mix), I didn’t find any at a price I was willing to pay. So I went to the bench I made for the mudroom and adjusted it to be doggie size.
Like with the bench, I dug into my beat-up antique lumber stash in the barn. People, these planks are absolutely amazing. Sure they weigh 3 tonnes and are covered in poop and who knows what, but they’re phenomenal. The plank I chose was too big and heavy for me to move on my own, so I lopped off a 4 foot piece with my circular saw and got to building.
I think the details on the construction are pretty self-explanatory, especially if you reference my bench plans. I used my Kreg jig to attach the legs with three screws each. In terms of finished measurements, the stand is 10 inches high, 24 inches long, and 10 inches deep. The legs are at about a 15 degree angle and are 8 1/4 inches end to end. The bowls are 7 1/2 inches in diameter.
Cutting the circles for the bowls was the hardest part. I drew my circles using the bowls for a template. Then I drilled a hole so that I had a spot to insert my jigsaw blade, and I cut along the line. I think I figured out why this wood is so darn heavy. It is super duper dense. My jigsaw blade broke before it was even halfway around the first cutout. Initially the cutting was so slow that I thought my blade was dull. But when I installed the new blade after my first one snapped, it still took a significant amount of force to push the jigsaw along the line ever, ever so slowly. And I had to do it twice! Darn dog needing water as well as food.
To seal and protect my dense, hard, beat-up beautiful wood, I turned to Waterlox, the same solution we used on our DIY kitchen counter. It’s food safe for humans, so it’s an appropriate finish to use on a stand whose sole purpose is to hold (dog) food. Nothing’s too good for my puppy.
From my past experience with the bench when it turned black because it sucked up so much stain, I knew that the wood would be thirsty, and boy was I right. It took about three coats before the finish started to build up and look shiny on the wood. Even then, there were some sections (the ones with the most worm holes) that just sucked the Waterlox right in. All in all, I did a total of 6 coats of finish.
After that, it was simply about putting the bowls in the stand and filling them up! Tip: kibble on its own isn’t very appetizing. Sweet potatoes make it much more palatable. (That is, if you’re Julia. If you’re Matt you give in to the sad eyes and put ketchup on it. Yeah, my husband and the dog are totally related.)
Bon appetit, Baxter. Or as Matt says, “Mangey, mangey”–as in French “mange” with an “ee” ending. (He and the dog share their own language as well as the same taste buds.)
Do your pets get presents? How do you handle pet food at your house? What’s your pet’s favourite food?