It’s simple enough if you are human and want a quick snack or treat from a vending machine. You just pull out some loose change from your wallet or purse and select what snack you would like. For dogs however, a little more work is required, as dog food manufacturers Bakers aptly demonstrated, with what is possibly the world’s first vending machine for dogs.
The machine turned up on London’s Clapham Common this week, a regular haunt for dog walkers and their canine chums, and was met with instant delight. The vending machine had an array of dog suitable tasks, such as returning a thrown ball, and jumping up at a rope, and each time they were successful, a treat would appear from the main shoot at the front of the machine.
Other more difficult challenges included pulling a bone that was attached to a lever than then caused a tennis ball to fire off from the top of the machine. The dogs have to chase the ball and return it and only then they will receive their reward of a 200g pack of Bakers Complete.
The designers behind the doggy vending machine say that every aspect of it was created with the needs of a dog in mind, and to encourage them to engage in the machine and to have fun whilst exercising.
Whilst Bakers Complete spokeswoman Hannah Dixon said: “Bakers Complete have been delighting dogs for over 20 years with mouthwatering food, and designed the Doggy Vending Machine with dogs’ needs in mind, rewarding each dog that successfully interacts with the machine with a delectable sample. While some people said we were barking mad, dogs and their owners really enjoyed it!”
The vending machine even plays noises like the miaow of a cat, in order to attract the dogs in the first place. And if you think this machine is a one-off, think again, as they might be cropping up in parks near you in the not too distant future.
Peter Neville, an animal expert who works with Bakers Complete, said trips to the park ‘may never be the same again’. He added: “Imagine stumbling across a doggy vending machine that adds challenge and excitement to your run in the park. All it takes is a little focus, and dogs can earn a tasty Bakers Complete reward simply by engaging in a stimulating mix of mind and body.”
Purina, the manufacturers behind Bakers and the machine say that it was created to celebrate Bakers’ ‘Empty Bowl Promise’, in which if a dog doesn’t clean his bowl of the Bakers Complete food, owners can claim their money back.