Sales of dehydrated pet foods make up a small percentage of total sales, according to Nielsen. Nevertheless, in a Packaged Facts survey, pet owners like the idea of styles other than dry kibble or wet canned diets. For some pet owners, the convenience of dry kibble may be one strong reason for using a classic bag of dog food over a more involved fresh pet food. In the age of Roombas and Keurigs, a dog food cooking and dispensing device attempts to bridge that gap between convenience and fresh.
Next year, European pet owners may be feeding their dogs with a machine a that moistens, warms and serves dehydrated dog foods. Called Kibus, pet owners first program it with amount per serving and servings per day. The machine then requires roughly weekly refilling with water and food. Commercially available dehydrated or air-dried dog foods will work in the units.
Kibus’s creators raised EUR350,000 (US$414,909) in seed funding, along with EUR250,000 (US$296,363) from the Spanish government. Currently, Kibus’ Kickstarter campaign has three weeks to go, but has already raised more than US$30,000.
“Once the campaign is over, we are going to start mass production, and the device is to be ready in June 2021 for its commercialization in the EU,” Albert Icart, co-founder and CEO, of Kibus said. “In June 2021 we will ship the devices sold to North America on Kickstarter, but regular commercialization in the region will come in 2022.”
Automated dog food hydration
After the Kibus units are produced and delivered, pet owners set the device on the floor, plug it in, program it, fill it and that’s about it. They may be able to control the device with a mobile app, which is under development.
“Once the food is ready the orange bowl goes out and there is a music to warn the pet,” Icart said. “The bowl remains outside the device until it is time to cook again. When the bowl goes in for the next cooking process, it automatically weights the remaining amount of food. If more than 20% from the previous serving is left, the device does not cook again. The food bowl goes out again without cooking and there is a message on the screen to alert the owner as well.”
As the device waits on the dogs to dine, for now, cats to will have to wait for a robo-rehydrator.
“We have tried Kibus with dehydrated cat food and also with cats and it works well,” Icart said. “However, when developing the product, we decided to focus on dogs to make sure the device perfectly meets their needs. We are planning to develop a specific cat model later-on.”