Seatbelts were famously designed using male crash test dummies, and as a result, they’re statistically more unsafe for women. We broadly design objects for right-handed people, assuming that left-handed folk will ‘be just fine’. This ‘one-design-fits-all’ approach trickles down to designing for pets too. If eating from a plate or bowl works for humans, why not for pets? CHEWDEN is a series of redesigned pet foodware that rejects that notion entirely.
Most pets, dogs specifically, can’t grab their food. They don’t have opposable thumbs, and almost always bend down while standing to eat their food by directly inserting their mouth into the bowl. While sitting, however, this becomes even more challenging, considering their arms come in the way. CHEWDEN’s redesign factors the dog’s physiology and behavior into its overall process, resulting in a form that seems naturally comfortable for dogs to eat in. The CHEWDEN sports a flat mat or base, onto which a detachable bowl or treat-gripper is securely snap-mounted (making it virtually impossible for a dog to remove through brute force). The base accounts for the fact that pets need a place to keep their paws, and that they almost inevitably spill food while eating – the paws also weigh down the mat to make it more stable… while the tilted+elevated bowl/gripper is within perfect reach for the pets, allowing them to eat without needing to bend their neck in awkward angles.
CHEWDEN’s design process even accounts for the fact that dogs can sometimes eat their food too fast, raising the risk of them not chewing their food properly, or choking on small unchewed bits. The gripper accessory is perfect for treats like chew-sticks, jerkies, and bones (its universal design works with all types of treats). It securely grips the food the way a human hand would grip a chew stick, tugging back on it when the dog tries to pull the treat away. The curved design of the gripper allows dogs to use different parts of their teeth (from their incisors for tugging, to the molars for chomping), even more so towards the end, when the dog’s left trying to reach the last bits of the chew-stick that are right inside the gripper! “Chewing and licking are great enrichment activities that keep your dog occupied, draining their energy and relieving stress”, mention the team behind CHEWDEN. As a bonus, the pet works up an appetite and generates more saliva, which promotes better digestion too.
Similarly, the CHEWDEN’s bowl (codenamed the ‘Trove’) comes with a smaller diameter so that a dog can’t simply insert their entire mouth into it. Any food they eat is a result of actual work and effort put in on the dog’s part, and ridges on the inside help hold onto the food better so it doesn’t come spilling out when nudged or pushed. Moreover, as the dog tugs at their food, the bowl and gripper naturally ‘wobble’ back and forth to absorb any shock that would otherwise travel to the mat and have it constantly shifting about.
CHEWDEN’s base contains the mess, acting like a table-mat that prevents your table/floor from getting messy. Once the dog’s done with their food, the bowl or gripper can be unplugged from the mat, and the dog then gets to spend the next few minutes licking up any crumbs they may have dropped. The entire process helps serve a few key purposes – helping the dog eat comfortably, with proper healthy etiquette, while ensuring they don’t create a mess… or rather, they create a localized mess on a food mat that they’re then more than happy to lick clean!
The CHEWDEN’s design is made to be sturdy enough to withstand an excitable pup’s claws and teeth, while also being food-safe and easy to clean. The mat, bowl, and gripper are all washable and dishwasher safe and are made from a combination of non-toxic TPE material and stainless steel which are both selected for their durability and infinitely recyclable capabilities. Moreover, the gripper accessory can be used independently without the underlying mat (it stands upright on its own)… so you can carry it around with you on walks or to the homes of friends and families and still have your furry little friend getting their treats whenever they’re a good boy or girl!