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June 28, 2017

Feeding pets can be a great bonding experience. Consequently, the type of food and water bowls used play an equally important role in enhancing meal time—and they should be not only functional, but also attractive.

Smart Feeders
PetSafe unveiled both new fountains and feeders at Global Pet Expo this past March in Orlando, Florida, adding to an already large range.

The new ceramic Seascape Fountain, like its predecessor the Sedona, is whisper quiet and designed for dogs that like water that bubbles upwards as well as those that like to lap water as it trickles down to the bowl. The rectangular bowls holds 70 ounces of water and can be placed on the top shelf of the dishwasher for a proper maintenance cleaning.

The company’s latest Digital Two Meal Feeder can be programmed to serve two kibble meals over a 48-hour period. The battery-operated feeder is set on a timer to open and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Closed bowls allow kibble to remain palatable for longer periods.

The latest collection of stainless steel food bowls from PetRageous Designs is the Fiji collection, which features a plastic-rubber design on the sides and along the bottom to help hold the bowl in one place during meal times.

For Anne Fitzgerald, owner of The Dog Park pet store in Alexandria, Virginia, the weight of a dog bowl is its most important functional “feature.”

“This really matters to my customers because dogs tend to kick and nudge their bowls all over the place,” she explained.

Gretchen George, co-owner of PetRageous with her husband, George, agreed with Fitzgerald.

“We took weight into account in designing the Fiji collection; it is very important,” she said. “Our most popular design for both food and water bowls is our Vintage ceramic collection that sports the words ‘food’ and ‘water’ as a design. Being ceramic, they are solid, too.”

Fitzgerald added that her customers also love heavy ceramic bowls that have words or sayings on them.

“They feel more connected to their pets with a bowl that says ‘One Spoiled Dog Lives Here,’” she added. “Another popular PetRageous bowl in our store is the one that says ‘Yummy.’ And my customers love bright colors, too. They are perennially popular.”

For dogs with long ears, mealtime may sometimes pose an issue, as liquid food can stain the ears and leave a smell that’s less than favorable. To combat this and other problems from improper eating patterns, there’s the BUSTER IncrediBowl from KRUUSE.

“These bowls are an attractive and sensible solution for dogs whose ears regularly flop into their food bowl,” said Lars Lund, Americas sales director for KRUUSE. “They’re built to last, easy to clean and designed to suit different size dogs and their ears. If you have a dog, then we have a bowl for you.”

The IncrediBowl is available in gray, navy blue and lime green, and its design includes durable floor stabilizers to keep the bowl in place while dogs eat.

Feeding the Brain
According to PAW5 co-founder Dennis O’Donnell, he designed The Wooly to offer pets an entirely unique eating experience. The kibble is thrown randomly onto the mat and allows dogs to engage their powerful sense of smell to snuffle, snort and sniff their way through dinner.

“Rather than make a better dog bowl, we started by asking what would be the best way to feed a dog,” O’Donnell said. “The answer we found was to replace the idea of a bowl, which is the perfect tool for a human, with a solution created specifically from the dog’s point of view. And by combining a dog’s natural foraging instincts with mealtime, you’re feeding their belly and their brain.”

The mats are hand-woven from upcycled, pre-consumer fabrics and are machine washable. They are suitable for dogs of any breed, age or size.

The other more traditional bowl from this company is the Rock ’n Bowl, a slow-feeder bowl that rocks in arbitrary patterns so that dogs have to work to eat as it rolls in random directions.

“The bowls can hold up to four cups of food and come apart into two pieces for dishwasher cleaning,” O’Donnell added.

Drinking Options
The O2Cool is a special portable hydration system that allows a pet owner to carry one water bottle that can be shared with his or her pet. The bottle has a removable dog bowl and a special easy-squeeze spout to pour water into the dog bowl and simultaneously allows the owner to drink directly from the bottle.

It also has a removable treat compartment and a built-in ID, money and key holder, and by utilizing the clip, owners can walk hands-free. The bottles are available in four colors and in a ½-liter and one-liter size.

According to Barry Prehodka of AA Pet, the manufacturers of the Dog H2O Pet Water Fountain, his company makes the only fountainstyled bowl that offers dental care for pets, as most dental products are not designed to work with fountain systems.

“The fountain has special filters and dental tablets that dissolve in the water to help protect teeth against plaque and tartar build up, to promote healthier gums and ward off ‘doggy breath,’” he explained.

The tablets are formulated, made in Australia and sold separately.

“This encourages repeat visits by the consumers to the pet store to stock up on the tablets,” Prehodka said.

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