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Pet Project: Lifestyle Touch Ups for Senior Citizens and Their Beloved Pets

Blacksburg: Procter & Gamble and the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) have forked out a competitive grant of $40,000 to a Virginia Tech team led by Ed Dorsa // , associate professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Affairs for the development of new products and systems that can add more value to the lives of elderly people and their pets.

"PAWS: Pet Care Awareness System" , the title of this endeavor will focus on the Virginia Tech team’s capabilities to enable a variety of customizable, interactive products and services that will assist the elderly to care for their pets in a better manner . The products will also aim to improve communication channels between the elderly, their families, and medical providers.

"For example, designers have conceived the idea of a key-chain based point-of-purchase encoder that could signal a veterinarian that an elderly owner has mistakenly purchased the wrong animal chow for a senior pet that might be on a health-restricted diet. Designers are also looking at the creation of incentive-based toys for senior pets that can deliver a treat following a prescribed interval of exercise and play," Dorsa said.

Other ideas revolve around honed elevated systems that will permit an elderly person to feed their animal without straining the back, and systems that afford combination of medications and meals as a single dose, especially while traveling with their pets.

Marie Suthers-McCabe, an associate professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences and director of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Animal Human Relationships (CENTAUR), is a co-investigator on the project.

Source: Eureka Alert


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