PERTH dog lover Cherelle Witney’s idea to create an automatic dog toy and treat dispenser was featured on Channel 10’s Shark Tank last night.
The idea came about when Ms Witney was having problems with her dogs, coming home each day to a trashed house and annoyed neighbours complaining about barking.
So the Attadale resident created Tricky Treats, a device which dispenses toys and snacks to your pooch while you’re out.
Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, so Ms Witney said she wanted something to keep them distracted and happy.
“I’d tried everything to keep them amused but nothing on the market worked and I knew I had to come up with a solution,” she said.
“I had this crazy idea that just kept spinning around my head.
“I knew I had to create something that was wall mounted so that my dogs couldn’t get to it, it had to have drop down shelves and it had to be easy to use so you could load, set and forget it to throw out treats and toys at different times throughout the day when you weren’t home.
While Tricky Treats did not receive any financial backing from the Shark Tank judges, they did receive a ringing endorsement from one.
“We didn’t have a deal to actually invest, but we’ve had some really good advice and one of the Sharks (Steve Baxter) say that they’ll buy one for their dog, which was good,” she said.
Ms Witney said the experience on the show was one of the most exciting she’d ever had.
“We auditioned in Perth in January, got shortlisted then flown to Sydney to film in March,” Ms Whitney said.
“It was good last night to see it finally after such a long wait.
“We were pleased our product got on at all.
“It’s probably one of the most scary and exciting things I’ve ever done.”
Ms Witney said her product is having a real impact on the lives of dogs and their owners.
“It’s an incredible feeling to see your idea being made, assembled and tested by scores of factory workers but even more rewarding is the feedback from customers,” she said.
“They’re amazed how it has stopped their dogs misbehaving due to loneliness and it’s helped relieve their guilt for leaving their dog home alone.
“It’s said necessity is the mother of all invention and Tricky Treats is exactly that.”