Raised Dog Diners By Laurie Brooke Adams
With tall and giant breeds, it's a good idea to provide feed in raised containers so the dog
doesn't have to stoop too much to reach the floor but can easily reach the food. I looked at
those fancy raised diners in a catalog more than once, but first, the usual wire ones look too
flimsy for even a fair-sized Dane, as if they could be knocked over without the dog even
realizing what it had done. Then once or twice in the pricey catalogs I saw what looked like
a nice cupboard with a hole in the right size to drop in a standard size dog dish, but those
were priced like custom cabinetry.
Being a practical aesthete on a tight budget, I took a standard 5-quart dish with me to
the local garden shops. The dish was clean, but since it has been used by mastiffs there was
no question of its being new. I brought it in, and made a beeline for those cute plastic urns
that people buy to put petunias in by the front door, shaped like a fat, ornate plastic wine
glass (short stem and a pedestal foot). They come in a lot of sizes, and I used to use big ones
to free-feed a half-dozen house mastiffs. Now I am more conscious of things like exposing
dogs' noses to plastic (some develop a lack of pigmentation on the nose as a reaction to
contact with plastic) so I looked for one that a standard size dog dish would sit into neatly.
I found a standard plastic urn whose inner measurement was 9-1/2 inches across, and
my 5 qt. dog dishes are 10 inches across on the inner rim. This is my idea of a good fit,
because the dish will sit up just a bit above the plastic so the dog will seldom touch plastic
with his nose. If you are luckier than I am, you can find some color prettier than muddy pink
(which isn't an aesthete's treat beside the old gold recliner and gold and brown plaid dog
Compared to the $30-70 dollar range of the fancy dog diners, these cost me $3.49
each at K-Mart. They are easy to wash and cheap to replace. Since the urns and the dog
dishes may vary in size, you should take a clean (but dented) dog dish with you to try them
out for size. Oh, and I'm no longer frustrated about the dents in those fairly new dog dishes.
A few dents keep the plastic from sticking too well to the smooth metal of the dish, so it's
easy to pull the dish out to wash it. My dogs love them. Of course, even though everyone has
his or her own urn and dish, they have to play musical suppers, but that's life in the dogs'
house. Now no matter whose dish they are eating out of, they don't have to stoop or bend
their elbows way out to eat!