Our dogs scratch on the door when they need to go out. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that they are house trained, but they also ruin our front door by doing this. We've been thinking about buying some bells to hang on the doorknob, but maybe we'll get a Barking Mat instead.
Technology meets practicality with the Barking Mat. Essentially, it's a mat that you place in front of your dog and when your pet steps on it a bark or chime noise is made to signal that the pooch needs to go outside. Not only will it save doors like mine from being ruined, this product will also be a great training tool for young pups.
We have had a few dogs over the years that would sit in front of the door without making any noise and then pee on the floor if you didn't notice them in time. If we had a Barking Mat we never would have had that problem.
The Barking Mat was designed by Jenna Swartz and David Wachs, two long-time pet owners. As you'll see in the video below, their dog Lulu did not notify them when she needed to go out. That's what sparked the idea for the Barking Mat.
I'm very pleased with the design of the mat. All too often, products like this don't blend into your home's decor. I understand that manufacturers want their products to stand out, but pet owners don't. We want products like this to blend in with our home and look natural. I mean, who wants every guest in their home asking “What is that?” and having to explain that it notifies you when your dog needs to go #1 or #2?
The Barking mat is also thin enough to slide under most doors, but you may not want to put it at your front door. Although it's designed to sound the alarm when your dog steps on it, it will also go off if a person steps on it. Your guests may not want to be welcomed in by the sound of barking every time they enter your home.
It's available in three colors: beige, black and charcoal. The cover is made of neoprene, so it's soft on your dog's paws and durable to withstand frequent traffic. The Barking Mat is also stain resistant and wipes clean with a wet towel. The lithium ion battery is rechargeable via a USB port.
In an effort to get their product off the ground, the couple is building a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for initial production. If you're interested in following this endeavor, you can sign up on their website. If you decide to participate in the crowdfunding campaign you'll also be eligible to receive a Barking Mat at a reduced price.
Swartz and Wachs have also promised a second generation Barking Mat that will be released in the future. This new model will be Bluetooth compatible and will partner with an app on your smartphone to notify you silently that your pup wants to go out. I like that idea much better than the audible alarm.