DIY raised dog bowl

Raised dog bowls provide health benefits to your dog and aesthetic benefits for your home. There are multiple ways to build a raised dog bowl with reusable and environmentally friendly materials. Reclaimed wooden pallets are a versatile and environmentally friendly building material. Upcycling these pallets, instead of buying virgin wood, helps reduce the market for more timber harvesting.

Before you start to build your raised dog bowl, you’ll need to decide which dog bowl you want to use and where you want your stand to be placed. Pick a quiet corner in your home where there isn’t busy foot traffic and your dog can eat peacefully.

Reclaimed Pallet Raised Dog Bowl

Dog trainer and author, John Woods from All Things Dogs created this simple and easy-to-follow design for a DIY raised dog bowl stand. To start, find a wooden pallet. Ideally, you can find a pallet that’s free, safe, and reclaimed.

To find free pallets, look at local stores, food markets, DIY stores, or Craigslist. To make sure your pallets are safe, inspect their IPPC stamp; this is a stamp branded onto the pallet that shows a treatment code. Make sure this code doesn’t contain the letters MB (methyl bromide), which is toxic to pets. Ideally, you’ll want to find the codes DB (untreated) or KD (kiln dried).

Once you have sourced your pallet, let’s look at the materials and tools you’ll need.

Materials Required

  • 2 reclaimed standard pallets
  • 1 stainless steel dog bowl (10” diameter)
  • 1 pack of 50 x 1.5” oval nails

Tools Required

  • Measuring tape
  • Carpenters square
  • 22” coarse handsaw
  • 24 ounce claw hammer
  • Electric jigsaw


Break Down Your Pallets

Grab a hammer and start dismantling the pallet’s base by removing the chocks. Pry the top planks from the pallet using your claw hammer. If any planks break, are rotten, or unsuitable, place them aside. Once you have removed the top planks, pull out the nails and repeat this process until you have around 10 planks.

planks removed from wooden pallets
Dismantled planks from the pallet. Image courtesy of John Woods

Prepare the Planks

In this example, I’m using a 10-inch diameter dog bowl, so I measured 14 inches along two of the six planks, drew cut lines (using a carpenter’s square), and cut them to size using a handsaw. Repeat this process; however, this time use 13 inches as the measurement. Now, using two off-cuts from your pallet, cut two 13-inch support beams. You should end up with six planks, two measuring 14 inches and four measuring 13 inches.

measure and cut the planks
Image courtesy of John Woods

Build the Stand

Now that your planks are cut to measure, you can build the stand. Start by nailing the 13-inch width planks into the off-cut 13-inch support planks — this will double the width of the original planks. Then nail the 14-inch length planks into the width planks to create a square. Once all of the panels have been nailed together, you should end up with the base. Test to make sure your bowl fits!

build the raised dog bowl base
Building the base for the raised dog bowl stand. Image courtesy of John Woods

Fix Top Planks to Base

Using the remaining planks from the original pallets, cut five planks to measure 15 inches long; this allows for a small overhang. Dry fit the five planks to make sure they are level and plumb and then nail each plank to the base. Finally, place your dog bowl upside down on the finished top, center it, and draw around the bowl. Use this guide to cut out the center piece where the bowl will fit.

complete the top of the raised dog bowl stand
Image courtesy of John Woods

Once finished, you can sand, decorate, and clean your raised dog bowl stand, and your lucky dog can eat dinner in a more comfortable position.

Do you have DIY designs for dog-friendly projects?

Feature image courtesy of John Woods, All Things Dogs

About the Author

Editor of All Things Dogs, dog lover John Woods is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America, and a dog-parent to two rescue dogs.


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