Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Got a messy eater in the house? Kibbles on the floor in every corner of the kitchen. Ants and roaches may enjoy it but mixtures of crumbs and saliva are not pleasant to step on. There just might be a solution to this pet-parent problem. The solution being the Fluff Trough.
So what is it?
It's a new and unique feeder designed for flat-faced breeds. The standard-sized Fluff Trough is ideal for your small or smedium-sized flat-faced breeds: Boston Terriers, Boxers, Pugs, English, French Bulldogs, etc. However, it's just as compatible for non-flat-faced breeds too. Its inception started with the owner's Pug being diagnosed with a Vestibular Disease that causes difficulty eating and many other complications. The company does disclose no clinical trials have been conducted, but something so simple often works. Many success stories and testimonials posted on social media, particularly for special needs furkids. So, there are a lot of success stories and happy canines for reference!
Below are some of the 'Deets' directly from the Amazon page for the standard size.
Dimensions: 7.25 x 7.5 x 10 inches
The base of bowl is five inches from the ground
Capacity: Two cups
BPA-free | Non-toxic | Dishwasher safe
Four color options: dark, teal, grey, and teal
My Pugs and French Bulldogs of various sizes have no issues eating from the Fluff Trough. They actually prefer to eat from it over the other feeders they have available. The food from here is always the first to go. Fluff Trough has photos of various breeds and sizes on their Sizing Guide page for better visuals. Check out the Fluff Trough Instagram feed to see more action @flufftrough.
Just My Two Cents...
I wanted to have a justification yet methodical reason or rating as to why I would recommend the Fluff Trough. I've purchased many various feeders over my short lifetime and I'd have to say this is by far the absolute best. I drafted up a rating rationale starting with four primary factors, a fifth that may or may not apply, and an overall rating. Imperfect but it's a start and excuse the punny'ish nomenclature. I plan on uploading my review on YouTube which will entail the same information but more condensed.
I. Overall Value
A. Design: The shape and contour allow for easy feeding of your fur-kid. Given the feeder's height, it enables them for better posture, providing comfort that traditional bowls don't by inhibiting them from arching their neck down to feed. There are two primary pieces: the stand, a dense plastic material, and a silicone insert in two variations. The first variation is without grooves, and the second, which I have, comes with grooves. The grooves slow down their feeding to mitigate boating and flatulence. Removing the inserts is seamless and makes for easy washing. However, the variation with a smooth surface is relatively easier to clean without crumbs and oils being trapped within the grooves.
The shape also mitigates your furkid from making a mess. The base has rubber stops at the bottom, some
may not be a tight fit, and each time I go to wash or move the feeder, one or two of them have a tendency to fall off. I glued them onto the base to prevent that from happening. Just be mindful when you relocate it, so your pup doesn't find it to chew or choke on.
B. Material Quality: The plastic body is dense, not flimsy. The silicone is thick and, according to their description, dishwasher safe. I don't have a dishwasher, but I wouldn't believe it couldn't withstand repeated use. These are made in China, but as it stands, they have excellent quality control. One aspect of determining quality in my eyes is the weight, and this is beefy. It will not easily snap or break apart.
C. Price: Off the bat, it is pricey for just plastic, rubber, silicone, and because other substitutes are much more economical. However, there is nothing currently comparable available, and Fluff Trough is the first market entry with a unique design; they have a U.S. Patent. As someone who is a co-patent, this is a grueling and expensive process for any individual or small business to undertake.
Under this context, I find the price reasonable. Starting at $45 for the standard model without grooves and the XL version at $55. Of course, we all have different thresholds on price but all things considered, I find it fair. These prices are if you order directly from Fluff Trough as opposed to Amazon. Amazon likely charges fees or has a profit-sharing built into having businesses use their platform, hence the up-charge. So, I would encourage purchasing directly from the business as they would keep a larger portion of the profit. These prices are, of course, subject to change because, Economics.
D. Practicability: It solves the issues intended to be solved. Its effectiveness lies with its simplicity. Often, simple things work the best.
E. Pet Likability: All five of my pets enjoy it, and they prefer to eat out of this feeder over the other feeders. The food from here is the first to go. If they enjoy it, then I enjoy it. Pawfect 10/10
II. Intended Purpose
The problem or reason I purchased this was to mitigate food spillage. For example, Kibbles going underneath kitchen appliances or bowls would attract ants and other pests. My secondary reason was that it is elevated with grooves to slow down feeding. I have other slow feeders, and when my pups ate from it, it would cause friction on their noses when they would bend down to eat. This friction caused drying and, at a couple of periods, bleeding. I would often use nose butter as a moisturizer. I don't have to worry about that issue with this product. The photos on the right are of a couple of slow feeders I've used, definitely not flat-faced breed friendly!
I pulled the trigger because of its uniqueness and simplicity. I try to be an informed consumer, and I looked for anything comparable because I couldn't believe there wasn't anything like it. It was a why didn't I think of it this moment? With multiple dogs, $50 for a feeder can be exorbitant, so I started with one and liked it so much I purchased a second. I intend on getting a third one and may keep the two bowels as variables to continue monitoring their usage. But if you have special needs furkids, it's definitely worth its weight in gold with the peace of mind that they are eating in comfort.
I have had my first one for two months, and as I said, my pups enjoy it. Whether it's the silicone grooves when they lick up the kibbles that tickle them or because it forces them into a comfortable posture, they eat from this dish first. In addition, it's been easy to clean the insert, and messes are now non-existent.
One Cup or Two Cups?
One item of note; the description indicates that its capacity is two cups. It can in fact hold two cups. However, I find one cup being the optimal amount; otherwise there will be spillage. My Frenchies are the messy eaters. I also intend to utilize the grooves to
slow down their feeding; the grooves are not deep enough for two cups. The size of kibble may play a smaller factor. My furkids eat Taste of the Wild, all of the variants. I mix them (venison, buffalo, chicken, lamb, salmon, etc.) and sort them into four batches and pour one cup per feeder. I think of it as a buffet and let them choose what they want to eat, refilling whatever is out of order. At least until evening where I empty their dishes. I'll post another article with more details on their diet later on.
Update: August 26, 2021
For effectively utilizing the slow feeder, one cup is optimal but if you have the regular insert it will not matter. I just got in extra inserts without the grooves yesterday as shown in the photos below. The grey feeder holding two cups and the dark feeder holding one cup.
Fluff Trough has humble beginnings, starting with their first bowl as a 3D print because of a special needs Pug named Pork Chop! Many of their customers have posted photos and testimonials of their loved ones with special needs. They've advocated and supported the product. The owner invested their entire savings; it's a fascinating entrepreneurial story. They donate their products to rescues and shelters, and I am an advocate of altruism. I am always supportive of businesses that give back to the community, whether for our veterans, the elderly, or animals. I go out of my way to support them even if the alternatives are more economical. I have a personal conviction to help those who do goodwill for others. Which is why I'll back Fluff Trough and their products.
- Feeder with pet comfort in mind - Costly to those who are price sensitive
- Reduces food spillage - Unsecure rubber stops
- Quality materials
- Slow-feeder option
- Ease of sanitation
IV. Overall Paw Rating - The Verdict!
Overall the Fluff Trough is Pawfect, 9.8/10. I can enthusiastically recommend this for flat-faced breeds and even non-flat-faced breeds. Without a doubt the best feeder I have ever purchased and maybe the best feeder out there. I don't regret my purchase and I am confident neither will you; go check their products out!
V. Just more photos
Below are additional photos of my furkids using their Fluff Trough.
VI. Update: August 26, 2021
I just received my third and fourth Fluff Trough after several successful months of use. It was time to make the full commitment and upgrade everyone. Now all but one need to share their Fluff Trough. Keeping one bowl would be ideal as I often mix the greasier or oily food in their. Sometimes I drop in liquid fish oil, cottage cheese, or yogurt probiotics as needed. Brutus was so excited to help unbox another Fluff Trough. Now he doesn't have to share with his brothers and sisters!