Feb
14
2011
by David S. Greene

Its a time honored truth that a dog or cat who has special dietary needs might be more interested in eating the other dogs (or cats) meal. For decades, pet owners have tried creative solutions to fight this dilemma. Houston veterinarian Rachel Addleman DVM, DABVP, CVA not only believes she has the solution, she has the registered U.S. patent to prove it.

Houston veterinarian Rachel Addleman DVM, DABVP, CVA has invented a device to help keep pets on their diets.

Her invention is a magnetic pendant which attaches to the animals collar. When the animal is near the food container theyre allowed to eat from, they have the access they need. However, if they move toward the bowl that isnt theirs, their access is cut off. The key is the food will still remain available to other animals who dont have any restriction.

Dr. Addlemans thought process was geared toward cats with particular dietary restrictions, such as her own. Describing the issue to be solved was her first step to creating a solution.

"Cat owners are more often than not multiple cat households, and many cat owners struggle with keeping each cat on their proper diet," Addleman said. "A common household issue is trying to keep weight on an elderly cat who might need a lower protein diet, while trying to keep a younger one on a higher protein or weight loss program. Someone in the household has a food allergy, and you cant keep them from getting into anothers food bowl. It can be really difficult to keep the dog from eating the cats food, too."

At the same time, Dr. Addleman was sensitive to handling "traffic control" and not creating a needless phobia.

"I never wanted to have a pet scared of the food bowl," Addleman said. "The biggest issue was making sure that as two animals approached the bowl at the same time, the correct animal was not prevented from eating. I specifically had in mind my older cat, who is thinner, and not as likely to put up a fight to stand in front of the food bowl if the younger cat was present. If he was prevented from eating, he would just give up and go lay down."

She concluded, "So I had to make something that would be easy for him to eat at but keep his younger brother away."

Dr. Addleman is a board-certified feline specialist, as well as a certified acupuncturist. She practices at Houstons Memorial Cat Hospital, which boasts not one but four board-certified feline specialists. Her goal is to "bring Eastern medical therapies to Western animals."

As well as maintaining her Houston practice Dr. Addleman is still working hard on making the product available to consumers. Getting it to market remains an elusive goal, but her optimism is high. She knows the need is there.

"This is a much needed product, and the positive response I get from other veterinarians and pet owners makes me certain it is a product that can be profitable," Dr. Addleman says. "I continue to speak with different pet product manufactures to bring this idea to market."

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