My Beagle’s eating habits have changed. He shovels down food and water faster than ever. Glutton or not, I don’t appreciate the wet and sloppy aftermath from eating too fast. That’s right, he vomits. Thus my search for a solve. That’s how I came across the Contech Eat and Drink Better dog bowls designed by Victor Lee.
The premise is simple. Design a bowl with peaks and valleys to force poochie to eat slowly. The DrinkBetter bowl works differently in that a concave floating disc serves up only enough water to lap slowly. I’ve seen similar products but Contech has by far designed the best looking ones. Function is important but that doesn’t mean you should negate form.
Both bowls are made from very high grade plastic, seemingly scratch proof even from a brillo pad. There’s a notch at the bottom on the side of the bowls making them easy to pick up. There are also 3 rubber pads to keep them from slipping. They come in 3 translucent colors lending an air of modernity. Contech definitely has their branding down. The packaging and bowls have beautiful iconography, simple and refined.
But how well do they work? Back to my Beagle, Miko. He was a bit hesitant at first, spending almost 15 minutes sniffing every nook and cranny before diving in. It’s quite amusing to see a dog want to eat but the sight and smell of something unfamiliar instantly triggers cautious instincts – overpowering the drive of hunger. Once he determined all systems were go, he went to work and I noticed a huge difference. The EatBetter bowl separates the food into 3 areas where he systematically attacks one by one. He normally finishes his food in under 3 minutes. The EatBetter bowl forced him to a crawl – almost 10 minutes.
A hardy meal deserves a drink to wash it down. Watching him use the DrinkBetter bowl wasn’t easy. I mentioned earlier there’s a floating disc that reduces the drinking surface area to directly center. My dog knew there was an obstacle in his water and determined the disc shape was too reminiscent of his favorite frisbee. Hilarity ensued as he ran off with the disc. By the time I retrieved it – teeth marks and damage. After a few more tries, and the call of thirst, Miko decided the disc was only a minor annoyance and as long as he could get to the water, it’s best to ignore it.
I personally think the EatBetter bowl is perfect. My only issue is with the DrinkBetter bowl. The floating hollow disc is far too buoyant so you have to fill it with water to sink it deep enough for a small pool of water to form. I understand the need to adjust buoyancy but they could have built a weight inside and achieved the same results. At $25 a piece, it slots right in between steel bowls on the low end and ceramic bowls on the high end, but with thoughtful functionality, I think it’s a great deal.
If your dog needs to be taught healthier eating habits, pick these bowls up. There are lots of other comparable products but as a designer I really think the Contech Eat and Drink Better bowls are superior. I’m not the only one who thinks so. The DrinkBetter bowl was one of the 8 finalists in the Pet Fashion Week NY Lifestyle Innovation Awards, up against heavy weights like Alessi and Hugx.
However the true test was to wait and see Miko would upchuck. Thankfully he didn’t. Kuods Contech!
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