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How to Build a Dog Feeding Station

An elevated feeding platform will save your best friend's neck—and it's great for storage, too.

If your perfect kitchen design is being compromised by dinged-up dog bowls and the dried-up drool that surrounds them, this well-built dog feeding station can help. Not only will it jazz up the fanciest of cook’s spots—and organize the bowls, cans, and bags that are part and parcel to nourishing your pup—but the elevated platform will also give your furriest family member some much-needed neck and back relief.

This is especially helpful for large breed dogs, like Great Danes and Dobermans, or pooches who are getting on in years.

DIY Dog Feeding Station in 11 Steps

As This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows here, creating this sturdy dish platform is an easy weekend project. And with storage for treats and a removable tray, cleaning the bowls—instead of the floor— will be a breeze.

Step 1: Cut the Parts

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Using a jigsaw guided by a straightedge, cut the parts of the box and the removable tray according to the measurements on the cut list. Using a combination square, check that all the cuts are perfectly squared.

Step 2: Mark the Holes for the Bowls

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Measure the diameter of one bowl inside its lip. Using a compass, draw two equally spaced circles at the size of the bowl's diameter onto the tray bottom.

Step 3: Cut the Bowl Holes

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Using a drill driver fitted with a 3/8-inch drill bit, create an entry hole for a jigsaw blade inside each marked circle. Using a jigsaw and starting at the entry hole, cut out each circle.

Step 4: Ease the Hole Edges

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Using a rasp tilted at a 45-degree angle, remove the sharp edges around each hole on the top and bottom side of the tray bottom.

Step 5: Cover the Tray Bottom

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Cut a piece of adhesive contact paper to the size of the tray deck. Cut a circle, centered over each dish hole, that's smaller than the hole. Peel one end of the adhesive backing and apply it to the tray deck.

Use a scrap block to smooth out any air bubbles. Pull the adhesive backing away from the applied area as you adhere the rest of the paper.

Cut pie-shaped slices from the center circle to the perimeter of the dish holes and fold the paper around the inner edge of the dish holes to secure it on the underside of the tray.

Step 6: Mark the Tray Handles

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Make a line at the center of each 12-inch 1x4 tray side. Using the lip of the dog bowl as a template, make an two intersecting arcs centered on the line. Position one arc 1 inch away from the edge and the other arc 2½ inches away from the edge.

Step 7: Cut the Handles and Assemble the Tray

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Using a 3/8-inch bit, create an entry hole for the jigsaw blade inside each handle mark. Cut out each handle and ease the edges of the holes with a rasp.

Using a 1 5/8-inch trim head screws and wood glue, glue and screw the 1x4 sides with the handles to the outside edges of the tray bottom. Glue and screw the 23-inch 1x3s onto the outside edges of the tray bottom and 1x4 sides. Install two 10½-inch cleats to the bottom of the tray 1 inch from each end. These will keep the tray from sliding off the box.

Step 8: Assemble the Box

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Using 1 5/8-inch trim head screws, glue and screw a 1x2 base support between the two 13½-inch-tall sides, flush with the back and bottom edges. Screw another 1x2 base support flush with the bottom edge and ¾-inch back from the front edges. Screw a 1x3 top support flush with the top and front edges and another flush with the back and top edges.

Set the bottom of the box onto the base 1x2s. Draw a line across each side 2 inches from the bottom to act as a fastening guide. Screw through the line and into the edge of the bottom piece to secure it through the sides. Attach the back of the box flush with the top edge of the sides and over their back edges, leaving the bottom 1x2 base support exposed.

Attach the top of the box below the 1x3s by marking a second line on each side as a fastening guide.

Step 9: Paint the Box

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Fill all the faster holes and seams with wood filler. Sand everything smooth using medium-grit sandpaper.

Apply painter's tape to the inside edge of the box. Coat the front edges, door, tray, and outside of the box and the door piece with primer. Once the primer is dry, sand the finish smooth using fine-grit sandpaper and paint with a semi-gloss paint.

Step 10: Install the Door

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Turn the box over. Align the door so that its top edge sits flush with the top edge of the box, and the bottom sits flush with the underside of the bottom piece. Attach the door to the box using a 22-inch piano hinge positioned knuckle side out.

Step 11: Mount the Door Hardware

Photo by Wendell T. Webber

Install the door slide to the inside wall of the box and inside of the door.

Attach a magnetic door catch to the underside of the top of the box and the inside of the door to hold the door closed.

Install a door handle on the front of the door near the top. Place the tray on the box and set the bowls in place.

What You’ll Need:


Cut List for Elevated Dog Feeder

Illustration by Jennifer Stimpson; Photo by Don Penny
  • 1x12 Sides – 2 @ 13½ inches
  • 1x12 Top – 1 @ 23 inches
  • 1x12 Bottom – 1 @ 23 inches
  • 1x12 Back – 1 @ 24 ½ inches
  • 1x12 Door – 1 @ 24 ½ inches
  • 1x3 Top Supports – 2 @ 23 inches
  • 1x2 Base Supports – 2 @ 23 inches
  • 1x12 Tray Bottom – 1 @ 23 inches
  • 1x3 Tray Sides – 2 @ 24½ inches
  • 1x4 Tray Sides – 2 @ 12 inches
  • 1x2 Cleats – 2 @ 10 ½-inches