Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 08:43 UK

Dog dinner time hits the big time

By Freya McClements
BBC News

Jane Grant with Emmy the dog
Jane Grant and her dog Emmy show off the new-look dog dish

It's about a foot tall and two foot wide, comes in almost any colour, and it's about to take the New York fashion world by storm.

The HugX dog feeding bowl is the latest must-have accessory for pet owners from Dubai to Derry.

It's all the work of Londonderry businesswoman Jane Grant - with a little help from her red setter Emmy.

They're both on the guest list at New York Pet Fashion Week, where the ergonomic bowl has been shortlisted for a lifestyle innovation award.

Jane explained that her initial idea was a simple one.

"I was a great shopper for pet accessories, but they weren't really functioning properly.

"It struck me that if I as an owner was frustrated with the pet bowls that were about, then other owners probably were too."

These bowls are just like the angle of a hug
Jane Grant

The HugX bowl is angled, making it easier for pets to access their food.

"Traditional bowls are probably designed by humans thinking as humans.

"We've got thumbs, and we're not usually known for using our noses for accessing our food, but that's the sort of disadvantage a cat or dog has.

"Instead these bowls are angled - just like the angle of a hug," she said.

The bowl's design has impressed pet lovers everywhere from Japan to the Middle East.

"We wanted something that was clean, something that was ergonomic, and something that looked really funky in the kitchen.

"We'll probably go mass-market next, but at the moment we're also expanding into a diamond version.

"The pet market is one of the few markets that's actually growing at the moment, because I think people don't mind spending a bit of money on the only animal that gives them unconditional love," said Jane.

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