It started off as Spanish designer Cutu Mazuelos’ joke about being his dog’s servant. “Nowadays the dogs aren’t serving us any more, so I thought it would be funny to work on the concept that every night I serve my dog dinner on a special tray,” he says. The result is the Walloff dish.

As a lifelong dog owner, Mazuelos – of Stone Designs – was also naturally aware of the messy eating habits of dogs and the problems with traditional pet bowls. As soon as his dogs began to eat or drink, they’d start nudging the bowl across the floor until it ran up against the wall. At the same time, food and drinking water would spill out of the bowl, making the floor around the dog’s eating area dirty and wet. Inevitably, some of the mess would also end up on the wall.

Keeping in mind the booming market for pet accessories, Mazuelos wanted to design something simple, cheap and clean that would solve the problem. “We wanted to keep it to an affordable price, and not to create a fancy or trendy product,” he says.

The Walloff dish is a seamless ABS resin tray that is formed using injection moulding, a process that is eco-friendly, clean and inexpensive. Each tray is based on a square format, so dog owners can align them side-by-side, or fit them to the corner of the room. Of course, you can’t change a dog’s table manners, but the food and water will fall into the moat around the dish, which can be easily cleaned by running it under a tap afterwards.

“We made different prototypes, where we tried different shapes – for example, our first was rectangular, with two dispensers on each tray. But we realised we needed to create a dish that was perfectly in proportion, but also very easy to wash,” says Mazuelos.

“After all the joking about our relationship with our cute dogs, we found the product was actually interesting as a new typology – so what started as a joke turned into a very useful, functional product, that is also really beautiful as an object.”??

The Walloff is manufactured by Spanish company Vigar and is available through its website.

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