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A good nose for invention

Manufacturing

A NEW interactive pet toy has launched on a popular crowdfunding site with the promise of engaging dogs with scents instead of food.

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Invented by Justin Daley, director of My Clever Dog in South Australia, the Schnuzzle toy contains a scent disc to stimulate and engage a dog.

Daley said his company had been researching the idea for over 12 months before launching on Kickstarter this week.

“Already there has been a great response with the toy being snapped up for $30 each,’’ he said.

“I’m hoping to raise $75,000 that will go toward starting up the manufacturing process here in South Australia with our prime target being the United States.

The challenge creating this product was ensuring the scent disc came into contact with other moveable parts to create the “scratch’’ which then releases the scent.

The Schnuzzle product is a chewable dog toy which contains a “scent disc’’, created using micro encapsulation.

“Basically it is a version of scratch and sniff,’’ Daley said.

“A dog’s smelling ability is 100,000 times more sensitive than a humans, yet they only have about 15 per cent of the amount of taste buds we do.

“The challenge creating this product was ensuring the scent disc came into contact with other moveable parts to create the “scratch’’ which then releases the scent.

“We quickly discovered that just using a liquid scent inside a toy didn’t work. It would evaporate too quickly and therefore become non-appealing to the dog, as well as being expensive as the liquid would have to be constantly replaced.

“The scent disc can last up to a week of continuous play in the toy before it needs to be replaced. Also if the toy is not being played with the scent disc won’t degrade.’’

“It is perfect for dogs of all ages and animals with restricted diets. The toy has no calories and is the fraction of the cost of a food treat.’’

The Schnuzzle toy is easily opened (by a person, not a dog) and a new scent disc placed inside. Fragrances include roast chicken, barbecue beef, liver, bacon and cheese.

Daley said he had already invested $100,000 of his own start up capital to develop the concept.

“I have been working with an industrial designer to get Schnuzzle market ready and we are all excited about the potential of the product,’’ he said.

“Once the toy is in production I will be outsourcing the packaging and shipping.

“All going well I hope to be delivering the first of the products in the first quarter of 2015.’’

He said other countries would be targeted including Japan, China, France, Russian and Brazil.

Daley said he also has other Schnuzzle related products planned including collars and leads.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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