Pets are the new kids on the block, and millennials are leading the charge in treating their four-legged companions like the true family members they are. This shift in pet-pampering has given rise to a booming industry, with innovative products designed to cater to our fur babies’ every whim. Among these clever creations, pet feeders have emerged as a standout – not only satisfying our pets’ appetites (and preventing fast-eating and overeating) but also providing mental and physical stimulation by making them work for their treats through engaging play.
This series of Pet Feeders from OurPets has a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek way of bridging the visual gap between pet treats and what humans consider treats. The feeders come in two styles – a sushi tray and a plate of waffles (with maple syrup and butter on top), with sliding and rotating compartments to hide pet treats in. Getting to these hidden treats requires a fair bit of problem-solving, including figuring out how components move to reveal the food hidden inside. This gives pets their mental stimulation, making them work for their food as their wild counterparts would have by scouting, strategizing, and hunting.
The Sushi Feeder Tray comes with rows of California Rolls that slide from side to side, with compartments underneath it for storing treats. Almost perfect for cats, given their penchant for fish, this toy has them dining with etiquette, as they paw the expertly crafted Sushi Rolls from side to side, eating individual portions of treats from the containers underneath. If there ever was a perfectly bougie pet feeder, this would be it!
The Waffle Pet Feeder definitely has a dog energy to it. Built around America’s favorite breakfast treat, the golden-colored pet feeder comes with indentations to hide food in, and a rotating blob of maple syrup and butter that the pet needs to move with their paw or snout to access the treats. Like the Sushi Tray, the Waffle Stack is made from durable, rugged plastics that are designed to withstand the wear and tear of even the most enthusiastic of pets. “We recommend trying healthy pet-approved treats that your dog can smell such as cheese, pumpkin puree, soft training treats, or peanut butter,” say the makers at OurPets.
The development of the toy had its own interesting process too, as designers Claudia and Caitlin worked with their design director Ryan Rutherford to come up with different mechanical interactions and pair them with food items to create hilariously adorable human-food-inspired pet feeders. Claudia and Caitlin also worked with object-based feeders, but the food-inspired route seemed like the best fit.