Ready to move on from bowls on the floor to a one-of-a-kind pet feeding area? These DIY dog feeding station ideas will help you find materials that match your home's decor and teach you how to create an area that's as unique as your dog.
Other than the food itself, a functional pet feeding station has three main items:
- Dog bowls
- Food storage container
You could go buy these things (and spend a lot of money on items that match your decor), or you can make some of your items on your own. Certain upcycling materials allow you to piece together a dog feeding station that is functional, unique, and doesn't clean out your wallet. To start, visit your local thrift store for plain stainless steel or white ceramic containers. In addition, be on the lookout for yoga mats, vinyl letter stickers, measuring cups, large pop corn tins, or large metal canisters, but make sure the materials of your finds are food-safe! Once you have your items, you're ready to get creative.
Look and Feel
At this point you should decide how you want to design your pet food bowls. Permanent markers can be used to spice up white ceramic bowls. Just be sure to let them sit for two hours after drawing on them, then bake them for another two hours in a 225-degree Fahrenheit oven to ensure the design sets properly before your dog digs in (avoid writing on the inside of the bowl, and let it sit for another day and wash it before use). If you're using stainless steel bowls, on the other hand, you can decorate with vinyl letters and still hand-wash them for a long time before the stickers wear.
Make Your Own Mat
This next part of the project is also the first thing positioned at your new dog feeding station. Yoga mats, old or new, offer the perfect cushion and traction to keep under your dog's food and water bowls. Luckily they come in various styles, colors, and designs, and most are the perfect size and durability for a typical feeding area. The best part? You can cut them into a dog bone or other unique shapes to cover your floors and keep them protected from food and water spillage (dogs aren't the most sophisticated eaters, as you know).
If you're looking for a more adventurous place to put your dog bowls, consider the Thrifty Decor Chick's DIY pet food tray. This sturdy dish helps keep moisture better contained and allows you to size it however you want—perfect for puppies or multiple canines dining in the same place.
Stylish Storage Ideas
Dog food and treats should only be stored in the original bag or in clean metal containers. Plastic or rubber containers have been found to alter the taste and sometimes leave an odor in the food. With this in mind, look for old popcorn tins or metal canisters, the outsides of which can be repainted and used to store food and treats near your dog feeding area. Make sure they're not kept where your dog can get to the food though. You can safely use spray paint on the outside of the tins with colors to match your decor or using fun patterns like dog prints or your pooch's name, but never paint the inside, which comes in contact with the pet food itself.
Another option is to paint the outside of the metal canister or tin with chalkboard paint, which allows you to write in different colors of chalk. You might use this as a labeling tool to set reminders for which bowl contained which food if you refill. Check out pinning board sites for inspiration and decorating ideas for your new dog food container.
With everything done, it's time to put it all together into a one-of-a-kind dog feeding station that's as fun as it is functional. It doesn't have to sap you of time or money to create a feeding station your pet will enjoy for years to come, and something you're proud to show off no matter who or what else shares the space.
Chrissie Klinger is an educator, mother, and pet owner with a passion for living a healthy and eco-conscious lifestyle.