Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Creating a raised feeding platform for your dog is simple, cheap -- and it can fit into your decor

If you haven't heard by now, I moved into a new place a few weeks ago. I've spent the better part of April and May not only trying to figure out where I fit in to these four walls, but more importantly, "What's most comfortable for for Gretchen and Silver?"

The overall the place is quite ideal for both of them, I've had to tweak a few things, and that's no surprise: they are 14 and 16, respectively. Life is very different than it was a year ago, even a month ago. Being extra mindful and flexible is a must at this stage of life.

I spent some one-on-one time acclimating each of them into their new digs, and while that's important, if you've had a senior pet, you know it's about all the little details that make life easier.

Mealtime is still quite manageable for Gretchen, and I want that to continue be as comfortable as possible. After all, she's been able to retain much of her mobility with the help of an anti-inflammatory, and I want that confidence to continue.

I have found that elevating her food bowl slightly does help in making things more comfortable, but I didn't want to go out and buy another elevated platform, as it really didn't make sense. She already has bowls, so finding another approach to get off the ground was the key.

Full disclosure: I'm big on upcycling and thrifting.

During the move, I made a trip to Costco. After unloading the box of necessities that I purchased, I felt like it was a shame to just recycle the box – which previously held a case of avocados – so I decided to upcycle it into a raised feeding platform. After all, it was heavy-duty, and the perfect height and width.

 As with everything else in my new place, I wanted a custom look, and be functional — but on a budget.

I took a trip down to my local hardware store and picked up a can of Krylon Fusion for $2.99 in a shade of green that I love (greens, oranges and yellows dominate that space), then to a thrift shop for a non-skid placemat (50 cents) in a complementary color, and went to work.

No prep or skill needed: I simply spray painted the box, flipped upside down, let it dry for 24 hours and then placed it in the little nook where Gretchen likes to eat. It's a sturdy platform that fits the bill, and with the snazzy non-skid placemat, her bowl will stay in place easily.

You could certainly give the platform a coat of Krylon clear polyurethane after the color is dry to help protect against mess or water, should you feel that's necessary.         
It's a project that took little time and money to do, but this is a great solution to address a very pressing need, and stylishly so.

Lorrie Shaw is a freelance writer, a regular contributor for The Ann Arbor News and owner of Professional Pet Sitting. Shoot her an email, contact her at 734-904-7279 or follow her adventures on Twitter.

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