Dog lovers are always concerned about keeping their furry friends happy, which typically means keeping them well-fed and occupied. That requires some dedication, but now a team of designers has come up with an automated device called Foobler that ticks both these boxes.

The Foobler, which is a portmanteau of "food" and "tumbler," was designed by Tristan Christianson, Greg Snyder and Fred Schechter, who have a background in industrial design, engineering and pet products, and who consulted with a dog behavior specialist when developing the device.

Described as a “self reloading puzzle feeder,” the device features an automated mechanism that dispenses kibble and treats gradually over the course of nine hours. This way, dogs are fed smaller portions throughout the day rather than one big meal, while being challenged to “hunt” their food. The creators see it as ideal for times when dogs need to be left on their own or to keep them busy during outings.

Six feeding pods within the device dispense food using a time delay mechanism. The pods are inserted into the puzzle feeder and dispense timers can be set for 15, 30, 60 or 90 minutes, totaling up to nine hours of play and food. Dog food or treats up to 3/4 in (1.9 cm) in diameter fit in the unit and pass through easily. When a pod is full and it’s time play with the Foobler again, a bell will ring to alert the dog. The device is powered by two AA batteries.

The designers have already produced prototypes and are seeking funding via Kickstarter in order to bring the product to market. A pledge of US$45 is the minimum required to stake a claim for a Foobler, with the funding goal having already been reached with two weeks to go. The team says deliveries are due to begin in April.

The Foobler pitch video can be viewed below.

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