Image by San Jose Library via FlickrDogs don’t mind their table manners when they are thirsty. They slurp, drip, slobber, and sometimes spill water from their dishes – all over the place. Offset this mess by preparing their mealtime area by laying a placemat underneath food and water dishes. You can purchase placemats at discount and department stores, and you can buy all sorts of materials designed for other things in order to accommodate a set of big dog bowls. Also, these placemats tend to slip and slide when your dog noses around in bowls, pushing them and the placement across slick tile and wood floor surfaces.
One alternative is to buy a few bathmats of the towel or short rug style. My ex-husband bought a one step ladder to put the water bowl on so the dog doesn’t slobber as much, and he stores the food bowl underneath the ladder. The whole set-up is on a black bath rug, which soaks up the water when his Lab slobbers around, as Labs do. The set-up works quite well, I must say – especially considering he can hardly make himself coffee in the morning (i.e. I’m impressed).
If you are yearning for some arts and crafts with the kids, here is an idea, also:
Why not personalize your pup’s placemats and improve their slide-resistance by making your own? Your dog can help with this project—you’ll borrow his paw for a “stamp.”
Fabric or paper to use as a canvas for your design
Nontoxic water-based paint, colors of your choice
Disposable plastic or paper bowls (for holding paint)
Sponges (scrap) for stamping designs
Paint brushes, various sizes
Burlap-textured shelf liner (to affix on placemat back for skid resistance)
1. Gather paint brushes, sponges, and other decorating materials. Set up a place to work outside. Cut fabric or paper several feet long, allowing room for your dogs to walk on the surface. Tape the corners of fabric or paper to the ground. This is your canvas. Pour paint into the plastic or paper bowls.
2. Round up your dog and calm her down with a treat or two. Dip one or two paws at a time in the paint and allow her to jump and dance on the fabric. If you have more than one dog, work with one dog at a time and consider leaving the other dogs indoors so they don’t get their noses in the paint bowls. If authentic paw prints are too labor-intensive, cut kitchen sponges into paw shapes, dip into the paints, and stamp onto fabric or paper. Allow the paint to dry in the sun.
4. Set the dog dishes side by side and measure the length, allowing several inches of extra room on every side. Measure this space with a ruler. Cut rectangles of the same size from your fabric or paper canvas, once it is dry.
5. Embellish the placemats with ribbon, glitter, or any type of crafting medium before lamination to create different designs. There are limitless options.
6. Laminate the design. Most print shops and office supply stores offer lamination services. Or, if you have a wide enough food saver, feed the unlaminated placemats into the saver and operate according to manufacturer instructions, enclosing the mats in plastic.
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