Feeding your dog is a necessary aspect of responsible pet ownership, but occasionally work or school schedules make it difficult to feed your dog on his normal schedule. A gravity feeder is an inexpensive and safe way to make sure your pet is getting fed while you are away.
Cut a 1-inch tall half circle out of the bottom edge of one end of the PVC pipe with a hacksaw. This forms a gap that allows the kibble to spill into the bottom of the bowl. If your dog eats a large-size kibble, increase the height of the cut to 2 inches.
Apply a thin bead of PVC glue along the bottom of the cut end of the pipe, and press the pipe into the bottom of a large plastic dog bowl. Hold the pipe in place for at least 60 seconds to form a tight bond between the bowl and the pipe.
Place a circle of glue in the middle of the plywood square, and set the bowl on top of the glue. Push it down firmly with your hands for 1 minute to secure the bowl to the wood. Allow the glue to dry overnight to prevent the bowl or pipe from shifting. The plywood helps stabilize the bowl and spills under the weight of the kibble in the pipe.
Fill the pipe with dry dog food and cover the top of the tube with a PVC end cap. The end cap keeps the kibble dry and helps prevent mold from forming inside the pipe.
- Monitor your dog’s eating habits closely while using the feeder. Some dogs do fine on a free-feeding routine, but others eat too much and will put on unwanted pounds.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.