The No Bend Pet Bowl – The Journey From Idea to Shop
Posted by Mike Phipps on July 29, 2022
Matt is a co-inventor of the No Bend Pet Bowl along with his business partner Pam, and lives in Northamptonshire, UK.
Ability Superstore asked Matt to write a blog to let us know how he and his business partner came up with the idea of the No Bend Pet Bowl, and the journey they took to get the bowl to market.
Matt also gave us an exclusive price available only to Ability Superstore customers that you can take advantage of if you click here!
It All Starts With An Idea…
“A few years ago, I visited a relative who had recently undergone a hip replacement operation. Understandably, carrying out the many tasks they would typically do had become challenging.
Before I left, my relative asked me to feed their cat, as they were struggling to bend over to reach the floor to fill the pet bowls with food and water.
Whilst their house was full of new gadgets and equipment to make things as easy as possible, my relative was still “decorating the kitchen floor” with cat food and puddles of water twice a day!
The Hunt For A Solution
Later that evening, and after a couple of hours on the internet, Pam and I still couldn’t find anything to help.
The next step was a trawl of pet and mobility stores searching for an answer – this also drew a complete blank.
Pet retailers felt it was, “more of a mobility device and suggested that we try mobility shops”. Mobility retailers told us, “it was more of a pet product”!
We decided to create our own solution – a plastic handle from an old mop glued to a double pet bowl, the – No Bend Pet Bowl – was born!
Surely There Isn’t Just One Person With This Problem?
We discovered that over 90,000 hip and 100,000 knee operations are carried out in the UK every year.
On the pet front, some 24% of UK households have a cat – that’s about 11.1 million cats, and there are around 10.2 million dog owners.
It then occurred to us that it wasn’t just people who had a new hip or knee that struggled to bend down to feed their pets; there is a multitude of medical conditions that can make it difficult, such as wheelchair users, people with balance issues, back pain, pregnancy and many more; the list got bigger and bigger.
Having worked with manufacturers in China before, we found a factory that could make a better version of the bowl/mop combo that had started to fall apart and needed sticking back together every few weeks!
After months of development and many samples later, we eventually took stock of our No Bend Pet Bowl and released it for sale in the UK – it was a huge hit!
Unfortunately, over time, the quality began to slip, leading to us making the very sad decision to end production, and the No Bend Pet Bowl was no more.
Gone But Not Forgotten
After we closed production, we still received enquiries from around the world asking where they could get their hands on our No Bend Pet Bowl.
Whilst we had known it was popular, we were surprised by just how much. So last year we decided to revisit the idea of bringing the product back, only this time we would make it better.
How Do You Improve On What Works?
We were not naive to think that our original product was perfect, so we reviewed comments, looked at feedback and browsed through various ideas we had thought of over the years.
We drew up a list of improvements and settled on some important and key changes, the main one being that we would move production to the UK.
Working with an entirely UK-based design and manufacturing firm in the East of England, we are now incredibly pleased to launch the new – No Bend Pet Bowl – mark two!
Once again, it’s just as easy to feed your cat or small dog without bending or kneeling, making the whole process much safer, pain-free and less messy.
As well as the new extendable handle, which reaches 72 cm (28 inches), other innovative features include:
• Rubber edged base
• Easy-grip handle
• Locking indicator and ‘click’ feedback
• 8oz double bowls
How It Works
Without the need to bend or kneel, pet owners can fill the bowls with food or water with the bowl unit on a table top, or a kitchen surface, thus avoiding the need to bend over.
With the desired amount of food or water in each bowl, the handle is connected to the centre of the bowl and turned 45 degrees.
A convenient and clear indicator shows when the handle is in the correct position – there is a noticeable ‘click’ as it slots into place.
Using the Screwlock, the handle can be adjusted to the desired height. It’s fully extendable to 72 cm (28 inches), so it should be suitable for even the tallest people.
The bowl can then be carried to the desired location and lowered to the floor or mat – no more bending, no more kneeling and no more mess!
Everything is dishwasher safe, and whilst currently only available in red, other colours will follow in light grey and black.
One of the most satisfying things on our journey has been receiving comments from our customers on how much of a difference a No Bend Pet Bowl has made to their daily lives.
We have come a long way since we glued a mop handle to the pet bowl – I think it’s still in a cupboard somewhere!"