For pet parents, a major concern while going on long walks or travelling with their fur baby is having to carry separate bowls to serve them food and water. This could add to luggage weight and occupy a lot of space. Some parents carry boxes with lids. but find it uncomfortable as there is a possibility of leakage.
Two years ago, 14-year-old Dia Sheth, a resident of Mumbai and her family got a shih-tzu puppy. Whenever she took him for walks, she noticed that the dog would get breathless and stop walking because he was tired. So Dia had to take him for walks only around her apartment society so that he could access drinking water whenever he got tired.
“Even when we would go on road trips out of Mumbai, we had to make several stops for my dog to take a break. After speaking to several other pet owners, I realised that even they were facing the same issue. So, I decided to innovate the Slurrp-y, a travel-friendly and leak-proof water bottle for pets,” says Dia, a Class 9 student of DY Patil International School, in an interview with The Better India.
Being a part of Young Entrepreneurship Academy, which helps students become young entrepreneurs, she not only innovated a solution but has also made a business out of it.
An innovative solution
In 2018, Dia surveyed 120 pet parents. She realised 97% of them could not travel with their pet because they were worried about spilling food and water in their cars.
“Some had found solutions provided by foreign brands but did not purchase them because they were too expensive. So I decided to innovate a feeder which would fit in their handbag or backpack like a water bottle,” says Dia.
First, she drew the model on paper. Then with help from her father, who is an engineer, she was able to work with manufacturers who could replicate her design.
“The first few prototypes had to be rejected because they were either too big or not convenient for dogs to drink from. So my mother, who is a fashion designer, helped me redesign the bottle’s shape,” says Dia, adding the final prototype was designed within six months in 2019.
The Slurrp-y has two variations, one which supplies only water and the other, the Slurrp-y plus, which also has a compartment to store food.
“Both the bottles have a stopper, which allows and stops the flow of water into the bowl-like attachment, from where the pet can drink. To prevent wastage, after the pet is finished with drinking, any leftover water can be transferred back to the bottle. Sometimes, due to drool or dirt, the water may get dirty after your pet drinks from the bottle. To avoid this from mixing with the water, there is also a carbon filter between the bottle and cap,” says Dia.
The Slurrp-y bottle can hold 400 ml of water while the Slurrp-y plus bottle holds 150 ml of water and 150ml of food.
Delivered up to 400 orders
The first sale Dia made was at the YEA trade show organised in Mumbai. Here, she sold a few pieces and her project was chosen among the top three in her school. She was even selected to showcase her product at a trade show in Rochester, USA but it was cancelled owing to the pandemic.
However, this did not stop her from expanding her business.
“I took my business online and raised awareness about the products through Instagram. Apart from this, pet stores like Heads Up For Tails, Mumbai agreed to stock the bottles,” says Dia, adding that she has sold up to 400 bottles till today.
If you wish to place an order for the Slurrp-y connect with Dia through her Instagram page.