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puppies eatingGenerally speaking, feeding a dog or cat should be the easiest part of owning one. What happens though, when you need to place restrictions on when, what or how much your pet should eat? As if those conditions aren't tricky enough to deal with, what about when you have a multi-animal household and one member of your furry entourage requires special dietary restrictions?

Never fear, the DIY community has already undertaken the development of constructive solutions to your specialized animal feeding requirements.

Our friend Joshua Topolsky, over at Engadget turned up this interesting idea for restricting a hungry dog from going into food bowls it should leave alone. The concept works by using radio frequency identification tags (RFID) to trigger an "alarm" designed to scare his dog away from food bowls he shouldn't be snacking in. When the dog comes into close proximity of the bowl, a sensor recognizes the RFID tag worn by the dog and triggers the alarm. The concept is simple and effective but I wonder if the dog had enough desire to eat that food, would the animal eventually become "immune" to the negative stimulus and approach the bowl anyway.

Another strategy which I've heard about is to restrict the bowl rather than the pet. Two good ways to do this are based on a similar concept to the bowl alarm system but both are a bit more animal friendly and I believe more effective for the long term. One way is to have a feeder unit set up containing the animal's specialized food and have it designed to release a pre-measured amount of food when the animal wearing RFID comes within range. The second, and possibly easier concept would be to have each animal's own food dish available behind an individualized RFID actuated pet door.

The basics of this concept make for a large variation of applications and I challenge you to come up with your own unique solutions. Whether it's an RFID proximity sensor or some other manner of individualized pet feeding strategy used in a multi pet home, we would love to hear the interesting and effective solutions that you have come up with.

  • aaron

    this is exactly what I am looking for.......a specialized "cat" food dish that has access restricted to only one cat in a multicat household, via "an individualized RFID actuated pet door". I've been trying to determine first I thought I'd mount an IR/magnet access door in the bedroom door, but she actually prefers to lay next to the bedroom door granting access by proximity to all the cats. Then I thought I could mount the IR/magnet door in a horizontal fasion with the food bowl below, and then I would set the food dish contraption in a location that she doesn't usually go to, to avoid the unwanted proximity issue. But this second solution which I thought of is basically a clumsy attempt at what you suggested in this post: "The downpour: feeding cats and dogsby Gary E. Sattler on Sep 10th 2007 3:00PM". What is needed is a simplified feeding bowl with an access lid that opens only when the pet wearing the special collar approaches..............WHERE do I find one please?

  • Roger Baillargeon

    My name Is Roger Baillargeon...

    I'm the Owner of the Blog…
    ‘’ Pictures-of-Cats’’Lovers
    (Cat Care Support-Resources-Solution)

    I've just launched a brand New FORUM...
    ' The Cat Care Messenger'

    The Forum exist to help Cat Lovers
    find solutions to Cat Care Problems !

    I'm sending You a Message because it
    would be a ( plus ) for the Forum if You
    could participate (once in a while) in
    helping Cat Owners Questions/Answers.

    I Sincerely Hope You will Consider
    this Community Participation.

    Here is the Forum URL…

    Thanks a million.

    Regards, Roger B.

    Rpger Baillargeon
    Quebec, Canada

  • 2 Comments / 1 Pages

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