About this project
Say goodbye to that slimy layer in your pet's water bowls!
Most pet owners are familiar with the hard to clean slime that forms on bowls. Who has time or enjoys scrubbing out that bacteria ridden bio-film, whose primary function is to protect and glue microbes to the surface? A slime that has evolved to be as hard to wash away as possible.
It was observed centuries ago that water contained in copper vessels or transported in copper conveyance systems was of a higher quality. These systems didn’t develop a slime layer. This was due to the oligodynamic effect. The oligodynamic effect is an inherent property of copper but not stainless steel or ceramic. We are the only unlacquered bowl with this property.
"Bailee loves his new bowl. It looks really nice too. He won't use his other bowl now"
"I am enjoying! Phoebe loves it!"
"Loving my shiny new water bowl!"
"They are so pretty in person! The sizes work great. The small one is perfect for my two puppies and water and the big one is great size for the dad dog"
"The bowls are absolutely beautiful and Henry is enjoying it (and I'm enjoying that he can't tip it!)"
"My cats love [the 16 oz no tip]. I feel it keeps the water colder. Good for the summer."
"This bowl is seriously awesome! I have had mine for about a month and only wash it because I feel like I should. My previous water bowls would grow bacteria in a matter of days, so I was always scrubbing them clean, but not anymore!"
We'll be making bowls in two styles: regular and non-tip. Our video and photos feature the 16 oz non-tip, 24 oz regular, and 64 oz non-tip bowls. We recommend the non-tip version unless you are ordering the giant sized bowls or have a feeding station for which you would like new inserts.
Our bowls are copper plated on top of a stainless steel core. We chose this style primarily for affordability purposes and the strength/weight ratio of steel compared to the others. We have ensured the electroplated copper layer's thickness is sufficient to ensure the durability of your new CuBowl. As well, a recent scientific paper concluded that “electroplated copper surfaces killed bacteria more rapidly than either polished copper or native rolled copper”.
Safety and Care Instructions
- Copper CuBowls are for water only. Copper is safe for water but Copper Cubowls are not meant for food use. The bowls are not lacquered and acidic substances, such as certain dog foods, could leach copper. Municipal water is never acidic, as it would ruin water pipes. Copper Cubowls will have “Water Only. Not Safe for Food” printed on their bottoms.
- Did you know that copper has long been the standard and premium material for water piping into our homes? The earliest known copper water piping was found in the Indus River Valley and is approximately 6000-7000 years old. The ancient Egyptians built copper pipes in pyramids. The Romans used copper for stopcocks, valves, pumps, and other fittings. Copper piping is still used extensively in new construction today. Unlined copper vessels are commonly used in jam, candy, and beer making among other food and beverage uses.
- According to the Ayurveda, a system of preventive medicine and health care that developed in India more than 5,000 years ago, water stored in a copper vessel has the ability to balance all the three doshas in your body.The water stored in a copper vessel is known as ‘tamara jal’,and is supposed to be consumed after residing in a copper vessel for at least eight hours.
- Copper is an essential part of all cats' and dogs' diet. Copper is needed for the development of red blood cells and the formation of collagen, bone and connective tissue among other important functions. In the US, dog food must contain a minimum of 7.3mg of copper per kg of food to be marketed as “complete and balanced”. Many pet food manufacturers fortify their products with supplemental copper. For comparison, the average leach rate for 1 kg of copper in a water rinse is 0.387mg per week. The amount of copper that leaches into water is far less than the legally required minimum amount of copper in "complete and balanced" dog and cat food. Our main competitor, stainless steel, leaches a tiny amount of chromium and nickel into water.
- Bowls that are severely scratched, tarnished, or otherwise deformed or damaged should be repaired or replaced.
- Copper and Silver are known for their high thermodynamic stability and resistance to reacting with the environment but, very slowly, copper and silver items tarnish. To remove tarnishing, we recommend polishing your CuBowl once every 6-8 weeks or as needed. This can be simply done by combining a mixture of 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and rubbing down your Cubowl, before polishing off with a clean cloth. Copper that has turned green is toxic and bowls with veridgras should not be used, however it typically takes 15-20 years of neglect for copper to develop verdigris.
- According to an expert in copper disease, the two dangers of copper are that it leaches when exposed to acids, and toxic salts that develop if copper is allowed to tarnish to the point that they develop a green patina. According to experts such as Dr. Herbert Scheinberg these are the two potential dangers of copper vessels, and if they are avoided then copper doesn't pose any health risks.
- Bowls that are visibly tarnished should be polished and washed out before use as tarnishing can increase copper leaching. Cold water considerably slows down copper tarnishing. The corrosion rate of copper in most potable waters is less than 2.5 µm/year.
- Dogs that have Copper Storage Disease should not use Cubowls. Copper storage disease is a recessive autosomal hereditary disease common in bedlington terriers. Pets that have any medical condition that requires them to lower their intake of copper should not use a Cubowl.
- CuBowls are hand wash only. You will find it very easy to clean and rinse out your pet bowl when it doesn't have bacteria glued to all over the inside!
Many pet owners believe that stainless steel or ceramic bowls are a healthier choice for their pets as compared to plastic, because they harbor less bacteria. It is commonly known that bacteria on the lip of a bowl can cause pet acne. Many pet health specialists agree that shared bowls are possible transmission vectors for diseases such as kennel cough, canine Papilloma Virus, Feline Calicivirus, and others. A recent scientific paper has recommended copper be used to help stop the spread of respiratory diseases.
Scientific consensus has been reached on copper, silver, and golds inherent antimicrobial property and this is easily demonstrated. On stainless steel, microbes such as e.coli can survive for weeks. Studies have shown that solid copper destroys over 99.9% of certain bacteria within 2 hours of surface contact. Within six hours of inoculation, 50% of infectious adenovirus particles survived on stainless steel. In the same time frame, a solid copper surface inactivated 99.999% of adenovirus particles.
Bacteria Plating Test
We performed an experiment plating out the bacteria in a CuBowl after a week of use and a standard bowl after four days of use. We sampled both after filling them with an equal volume of water and then scraping the sides with a collection flask.
We have brought Cubowls out to several different different pet events recently and are grateful to have receive lots of positive feedback. Many people have told us the same thing; that their dogs normally will not drink out of communal water bowls and that they are shocked they went right for the CuBowl! We have found that dogs truly do tend to prefer the CuBowl over stainless steel and plastic.
Not just for cats and dogs! Our friend's rabbit was given a CuBowl as an experiment, she was used to drinking her water from a bottle on the side of her pen; but since we placed a small non-tip CuBowl in her pen, it is evident she much prefers it as it is the only thing she uses now!
These bowls are great. You expect your pet bowl to be slimy because that's what your used to dealing with; rinsing out and filling up your pet bowls will never frustrate or make you feel guilty again!
Alternatively, many people have fallen in love with the CuBowl solely for it's elegant and classy design; if you decide to support this project, be prepared to receive many compliments on your latest home decor accessory!
Risks and challenges
Our manufacturer is an experienced industrial factory specialized in making various stainless steel, copper plated, and silver plated kitchenware with very large production capabilities. We worked out the kinks in the prototype phase. One problem was that the undersides of some bowls were not the same quality as the rest of the product. We added a tiny hole on the outside lip of the non-tip bowls in order to allow for an additional air-drying step, in the non-tip version, this hole is covered by the rubber gasket. We tested our manufacturing capability for producing a larger order of 2 different styles and 8 different sizes. These will be the bowls being shipped to early backers. We learned that switching the dies is a time consuming step and we’ll try to produce in a way with the fewest die changes possible.
Profile picture by Kiefer James Photography
Video by Bocajj Studios
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- (35 days)