This post was sponsored by Tender & True Pet Food. All opinions are mine (and the cats’) and are not impacted by the compensation received.
I can’t believe it’s already February, can you?! While January has been an exhausting month, it seemed to fly by. As a result, I’m just now starting to look ahead at birthdays, holidays and other big events on my calendar.
One thing I like to do is treat Doug and Earl to a special surprise during holidays. Last year, they got Easter Baskets, two years ago they had special Halloween Costumes, and this year for Valentine’s Day, I’m making them personalized food bowls!
Spring cleaning doesn’t just have to mean dusting your window sills and organizing your paperwork. It can be a great time to give your pet station a quick refresh. Doug and Earl have shared a food bowl since we brought them home as kittens. It’s big enough and has a separator in the middle of it. As far as I can tell, they don’t mind it at all. But recently I was loading laundry (the room where their food bowl is), and thought it might be time for them to get their own, grown-up cat, food bowls! To make it even more special, I’m including a couple small items and, of course, a great quality food to go inside of them!
This would be a great treat for your pet on Valentine’s Day or any springtime holiday, like Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Earth Day, Cinco de Mayo, or even to incorporate into your Mother’s Day present if your mom has started doting on a pet since you left the house.
1. Go Shopping for Supplies
A good cat dish is pretty easy to find. If you’re making a dish for a dog, you may need rubber on the bottom to keep the bowl from sliding around. However, for a cat, any shallow, food-safe dish will work!
I found these dishes and they seemed like the perfect way to class up Doug and Earl’s eating station. Make sure that if there’s a retailer’s sticker on the bottom, that you get that off and wash the dish before you start the rest of this project.
The rest of the supplies you’ll need are stickers for the outlines of the letters, paint based markers, a slightly damp paper towel, a Q-Tip to get the adhesive off once you remove the stickers, and some coffee. (Coffee is not required.) I prefer the look of three colors, but two would work as well.
2. Add the Stickers to Spell Your Pet’s Name, Initials or Another Saying
You may be better at adding stickers in a straight line than I am. I considered getting out a ruler and marking straight lines but then I decided I liked the idea of it being a little more whimsical.
You can also just do a single sticker or two of your pet’s initials, or a phrase like “MEOW” or “WOOF.”
3. Begin Adding dots of each color
Because the stickers are protecting the letters underneath, you can just go willy-nilly with the paint pens. Simply tap the tip of the paint pen onto the bowl over and over! you’ll want to fill the spaces by the letters the most, and then the dots can get progressively spaced out after that. This way, the letters will really stand out after you take the stickers off. Don’t leave any white space at all in the spaces in between and next to the letters.
Frankly, I’m a little nervous. These stickers were REALLY adhering to the bowl (it took me several tries to get DOUG to fit onto the bowl), so hopefully it’s not too hard to peel them off. If there’s a problem, a damp Q-Tip and some muscle will get the adhesive off.
If you have any spots that smear, your hand slips and you draw a line instead, or the pen leaks (see the green mark on the D), simply use a very damp paper towel to wipe it off.
Don’t worry about dots ending up on top of each other. The paint will not mix together or ruin your other marker.
You’ll want the paint to dry before you take any additional steps. You can let it dry for a couple of hours, or overnight to be safe. During this time, you can start getting together what you need for the gift bowls!
4. Grab a bag or a can of Tender & True Pet Nutrition Food
Good quality food is so important for our pets. If your pets are anything like Doug and Earl, they’re a little picky about their food. These two have staged hunger strikes in the past when their favorite food has been replaced with a generic brand.
Luckily, Tender & True Pet Food reached out to give Doug and Earl a try of their organic and nutritious food options! An early Valentine’s Day present seemed like the perfect opportunity for them to give the new food a try!
5. Pick out a Couple of other Toys as Special Treat for your Pet
I found some Valentine’s Day themed mice, this box with the balls trapped inside and a few other toys to include in Doug and Earl’s early Valentine’s Day present. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you could probably sew your own toys as well.
Doug has been the subject of my DSLR class practices, so he’s a bit more comfortable in front of the camera. Earl was a little shy. It’s funny, because Earl loves human attention way more than Doug. Isn’t it fun how different our pets’ personalities are??
6. Bake the Bowls
Place the bowls in a cold oven, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. This will set the paint and keep it from washing off. Leave the bowls in the oven to cool. It’s important to put the bowls in the oven before it has preheated, otherwise you could end up with a dangerous cracked bowl situation!
7. Set up the Special Springtime Present for your Cat!
To set up the presents, I filled the bowls with tissue paper, the organic and healthy canned food, and the toys. I also got them a cute toy that’s a fishing line on a stick (see above).
Aren’t those little Valentine’s Day mice adorable? I can’t get enough of them! And their full of cat nip, so I bet Doug and Earl won’t be able to get enough of them either.
The Importance of Feeding Your Cat Great Quality Food
One of my favorite ways to treat the beloved humans in my life is food. For special occasions, or sometimes just for a date night, J and I make a nice steak with potatoes or veggies and garlic bread. Why should this be any different for my pets? Good quality food makes everyone healthier and happier!
Tender & True is great because the cats LOVE it. I couldn’t even set up their bowls in a more photo friendly part of the room. I put the food in, and they were right on top of it. They boys are used to sharing a bowl, so I’ve never seen them nudge each other out of the way before! They especially loved the wet food. They were even trying to eat it out of the can when there wasn’t enough room to share!
Once they got over the special event of wet food, they were also happy to chow down on the dry food.
The boys apparently can’t read yet, because they went between each other’s bowls without concern. But that’s OK. I’m just happy that they are devouring Tender & True cat food!! This food is amazing quality and it gives me great comfort knowing that they’re eating food that’s made of high quality ingredients, chosen by Tender & True itself.
None of their cat foods have corn, wheat or soy, and none have artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. Many are also free of added hormones. They’re also made in the USA. This is super important to me and I try to buy most of the products I use in my own life that are made in the USA, even if they’re more expensive. There’s no reason that value shouldn’t continue to the cats’ lives as well!
If organic, sustainably fished, antibiotic free, and cage-free food products are important to you, then you’ll love the mission of Tender & True.
I’m happy. J’s happy. Doug and Earl are happy. You can’t ask for a better night than that!
You can also see how Doug’s bowl had more blue paint-pen, while Earl’s bowl had more green. It’s amazing the personalization that you can do using this craft! I am positive your pet will love it for whatever holiday you decide to freshen up his or her pet food station!
Don’t forget to pick up a bag of Tender & True for your cat (or even your dog) to include in your special springtime pet gift!
You can find Tender & True Pet Food all over the web:
- Ceramic Bowls
- Paint Based Sharpies in your Desired Colors
- A damp paper towel
- A damp Q-Tip
- A Good Quality Food like Tender & True Pet Nutrition
- A Baking Tray
- A Toy or Two (or 5… I’m a sucker)
- Tissue Paper
- Your camera – to catch those adorable pet moments when they first play with a new toy and try a new, delicious food!