Doting dog owners love their loyal pals, and would do anything to see to their needs. Gramma and Grampa can be stashed away in a retirement home, but we wouldn’t dare give away Woofus. We vet dog walkers with more scrutiny than we do with our children’s teachers. Dog food brands and ingredients are Googled on the spot, while questionable hot dog meat is served for our family lunch. The Obe ProBowl, now on Indiegogo, is a proposed tech solution to one of the responsibilities of dog ownership: feeding.
The ProBowl is designed to take the guesswork out of food and water management. You enter your dog’s details into the ProBowl app and scan the food’s barcode label. The bowl will weigh the food as you pour, and glow green when you’ve hit the right amount. As your dog matures and grows, the serving size changes along with him.
The bowl will also glow red if the dog is fed off schedule. Here’s a familiar scenario: You feed the pooch and then go off to do your thing. He finishes his meal then waits until you’re out of sight, at which point he will nuzzles up to another member of the household and feigns hunger. The bowl will let everyone know that the dog’s already been fed.
When you’re away, the ProBowl maintains feeding instructions for your sitter, who will also get reminders regarding the feeding schedule. The ProBowl can even reorder dog food to your home before your current supply runs out.
If something changes in your dog’s eating or drinking habits, you and your caretaker will get an alert. If you changed brands of dog food, the bowl will attempt to identify allergens or other factors that may affect your dog’s behavior. You can take this all information to your veterinarian.
NomNomNow cites the dog obesity rate (30 percent above ideal weight) at about 30 percent. It’s no wonder more and more vets are recommending adjustments to canine diets. The ProBowl can be programmed to reduce the amount of food your dog consumes over time, easing them into their new diet.
Like many crowd-funded products, the ProBowl promises the world on a platter … or in this case, bowl. Even if it could perform all the listed functions, is it taking too much responsibility away from doggy parents? It’s not like you’re asking it to walk him or take him to the park, though we’re sure someone is working on a robotic solution to that as well.
The ProBowl can be pre-ordered for $70. It can run on your home’s Wi-Fi and the app is currently only available through iTunes. The bowl itself is slated for a September 2016 release.