My name is Bill Stewart and I’m the founder of PetTrax, as well as the proud cat parent of Ricky and Teddy. The PetTrax Story begins with Ricky and Teddy. Upon adopting these two boys, it was obvious that their eating habits couldn’t be more different. Ricky is a classic overeater; he inhales his food as soon as it’s served and then tries to eat his brother’s as well, or sneak more food from other family members. Teddy is more of a grazer and prefers to eat small portions throughout the day, but because of his brother’s appetite he often doesn’t get enough to eat. Over the years we tried everything—feeding them separately, sitting on the floor of the kitchen, buying special diet food—but nothing helped.
Using my background in technology, I decided to tackle this problem and built the first prototype of an authorization based feeding and monitoring system. The PetTrax automatic pet feeder (RightBite) uses RFID technology – the same technology that is used in pet microchips. This allows the feeder to identify which pet is trying to access the food, look up that pet’s feeding profile, and allow or deny based on the details of the profile (e.g. daily calorie allowance, calories consumed today, foods allowed to eat). All activity at the feeder is transmitted in real-time to the PetTrax database so the pet owner can track exactly how much and how frequently each pet is eating via our mobile application. Ricky now eats his proper calories and is not allowed to eat Teddy’s food, which has finally brought him down to a healthy weight. Teddy also has access to eat at a slower pace without the worry of his brother stealing his food.
Connecting Pets and Families… One Meal at a Time
As friends and family saw the system in action, I kept getting the same comments about issues in multi-pet homes, and the difficulty of keeping pets on a healthy diet with today’s busy lives. This feedback made me realize that my prototype could provide a health benefit to all pet families, while ensuring peace of mind when caregivers are away from home. Here at PetTrax we’re focused on helping pet families manage the epidemic of overweight and obese pets (see petobesityprevention.org for the staggering statistics). Through the use of technology, we’ll be offering some revolutionary products and services that will provide you with the tools you need to keep your loved furry family members on track for a long, high quality life.