Before our family dog became ill, he used to beg for food during dinner. With his persistence and puppy dog eyes, we succumbed and shared our food with him. Even when we did find the will power to resist the temptation he would move chairs and climb on top of the table. When his health declined the vet said he only had a few months left to live and put him on a strict diet, which he refused to eat it. He would starve the whole day, and would only eat when everyone went to sleep. That is when the idea originated.
I figured, if I can somehow make his food smell better perhaps he will be more likely to eat it. The goal was not to modify his food in any way, so adding gravy was out of the question.
This was my original design.
My goal was to keep it as simple as possible, I decided to make many holes in the existing dog bowl. I would place some of the food that he desired underneath and his prescription food in the bowl, the aroma would rise through the holes and into the bowl which made him more intrigued to eat the prescription food. The bowl worked well and with the diet we have prolonged our dogs life for an additional 5 years. Some of our friends and family who also had dogs and who saw the advantages it brought to our dog really admired the idea and recommended I manufacture it as a product.
At the time the cost to manufacture the bowl was out of my reach and all my savings went into the patent, so the project got put on hold.
My younger son decided to revisit the project and see if there is an alternative to making some prototypes. We started in the kitchen with a technique he saw on MythBusters (Vacuum Forming). After many attempts we were not getting the results needed. We got a quote to professionally vacuum form the bowl but the cost per bowl would have ended up costing more than $60 to manufacture.
My son then designed the bowl in CAD and obtained a quote to produce the bowl using the injection mold process. Once again I put in all my savings and made the first successful prototype.
The bowl was perfect but still needed packaging and logo, I decided to reach out to investors. At the time Z100 in NYC was having a contest called " Telebrands - The Next Great Inventor" I ordered 50 of the prototype bowls, my kids made an infomercial and we were entered in the top three spots.
This was our infomercial
.We were not the winners in the contest, but my kids did present the bowl on the TV morning show Fox and Friends.
My eldest son designed the packaging, my youngest son created a doodlemation and KickStarter video, and I have saved enough to manufacture 950 units with the logo and packaging offered here on KickStarter.
Closeup Images of the Bowl
The Manufacturing Plan
Make a mold for a matching water bowl of the current size listed on Kickstarter
Make a smaller bowl for smaller dogs
Make a smaller water bowl
Make a larger bowl for bigger sized dogs
Make a larger water bowl
Make the bowl in different colors
The Water bowl will be the exact same design but will not contain the Aroma Holes and may not include the lid as it will less likely be dragged across the floor.
Create a Full page Ad on Cesar's Way for at least a 2 month Circulation
Submit the product to stores
What will the funding be used for
The funding raised on KickStarter will be used entirely for the manufacturing plan. If we raise more than the goal we will invest it into the Post Manufacturing Plan.
Risks and challenges
My family has come a long way and is very familiar with challenges. This project has started before January 2000 and had no funding. Since then we learned many things and overcame many obstacles in order to even have a prototype product. I am certain there will be new challenges and new things to learn, however with our determination we will tackle them as they arise.