By Natasha Were
Pampered pooches can now eat in both comfort and style, while simultaneously supporting their less fortunate canine relatives, thanks to one enterprising couple’s efforts.
Dog Treats Cayman, a non-profit organisation set up by Cayman residents Mark and Heidi Edmunds, is turning used wooden wine boxes into elevated dog feeding stations, with 100 percent of the proceeds being donated directly to local charities Canine Friends and PAWS.
Having often admired the interesting designs on wooden wine boxes, Heidi said she had long wondered about how these could be re-purposed. A little internet research revealed multiple ideas for giving new life to the crates, but for the owner of four rescue dogs, the concept of turning the boxes into feeding stations was particularly appealing.
She contacted various local liquor stores and restaurants to ask if they had any spare wine boxes and she and her husband set about building the feeding stations.
By adding a set of legs to the boxes a table-like structure is created and stainless steel feeding bowls slot into holes cut into the top surface. The couple adds a hand carved acknowledgement to the side of each box, as a thank you to the business that donated the box, and the stations are then varnished to protect the wood.
But these elevated feeding stations are not only about visual appeal. According to Heidi, placing a dog’s food higher than floor level can be beneficial to its health. If eating from the floor, she points out, a dog’s head is lower than its throat and stomach, making swallowing difficult. For older dogs,trying to reach food that is too low down also puts pressure on their joints.
“It can also help to prevent conditions such as twisted stomach or mega-oesophagus where the food accumulates in the oesophagus instead of descending into the stomach,” she said. “This can lead to regurgitation and possibly more complicated issues.”
For best digestion, a dog feeder should be level with a dog’s lower chest. There are therefore no one-size-fits-all feeding stations and each one is made to measure for the dog in question.
Single and double feeders are available, in a variety of shades, and cat feeding stations can also be ordered.
The couple are both in full time employment but in their free time they collect the empty boxes, source reclaimed wood for the base and construct and varnish the feeding stations. PAWS and Canine Friends supply the feeding bowls but the couple cover all other costs themselves, with payment for the feeding stations going directly to the charities they support.
For more information about elevated food stations visit Dog Treats Cayman’s Facebook page or email [email protected].