Once upon a time, the choice in dog feeding bowls was metal, ceramic or plastic. The ProBowl from Obe takes things a step further with a smart design that monitors a dog's food and water intake in real time and sends alerts if there are abnormal changes, helping owners to keep watch on their pet's diet.

According to Obe, the 8-in (20-cm) ProBowl is made of food-grade, microwave- and dishwasher-safe plastic, is powered by four AA batteries, and connects to a home network over Wi-Fi. When feeding time comes around, the base blows green. In addition, it has a built-in scale and glows red when the correct amount of food is exceeded.

The key to ProBowl is the mobile app, which allows the owner to manage their dog's diet. By entering details, such as breed, weight, and age, it creates bespoke menus based on veterinarian-recommended standards. Scanning the barcode on the dog's preferred food using the smart device's camera lets the app learn the brand and the package size, and to keep an ingredient log to help trace possible allergies.

In addition, the ProBowl app sends alerts if changes in the dog's eating or drinking patterns are detected that may indicate illness, and sends reminders to other people taking care of the dog. It can take into account vet recommendations for special diets, adjust feedings as the dog grows and ages, track how much food has been eaten, and automatically reorder a new supply. Currently only available for iOS 8-compatible devices, Obe says an Android version of the app is coming soon.

The ProBowl is currently the focus of an Indiegogo campaign, which runs through December 17 and aims to raise US$50,000, to fund finalizing the design and to develop tooling and manufacturing.

For a pledge of $69, backers can opt to take part in a limited manufacturing test run earmarked for an April 2016 kick-off, with the promise of a production run replacement should any issues be identified with the test unit.

Early bird production run pledges start at $99, representing $30 off the expected retail price. If all goes to plan, shipping of ProBowls is estimated to start in September next year.

View gallery - 6 images