A spoonful of ingenuity from one inventor helps with the ruff part of pet medication.

By Raygan Swan

We’ve all had great ideas for inventions, but rarely do we take them to market.

Well, just like on the hit show “Apprentice,” Rob Puma is making his way in the market with Medi-Crunch — a dog treat that helps administer Fido’s meds.

His idea — along with the doggie flobbie (a grooming tool), which

didn’t quite make it — came as the result of a semester-long MBA project at Butler University.

“Through local vets and surveys, we found a real need for a safe, mess-free way to give dogs their pills,” said Puma, 30, of Fishers.

The problem is that some pet owners wrestle their dogs’ jaws open or hide pet meds in certain foods like cheese and bread, but Puma said this isn’t always safe or healthy for the dog.

Many times your dog makes off with the cheese and leaves the medicine behind, and the calories can add up, he added.

So, how is using Medi-Crunch different?

“The crunchy exterior forces the dog into a crunching motion, and the creamy peanut butter center adheres to the medication,” he said.

After testing Medi-Crunch on more than 100 dogs, Puma said he saw a 95 percent success rate in getting the pet to eat the medication and treat.

Looking back, he never expected the product to make it to market. It was a call from an Indianapolis vet, however, that pushed Puma forward on the project.

James Wardat Allisonville Animal Clinic, a vet he had surveyed early in the research phase, called Puma several weeks later and told him he needed the treats.

Eager to meet the request, Puma told the vet he would make it happen.

Needless to say, he spent an entire weekend baking and tasting, trying to come up with the recipe for his dog treats. He used the neighbor dogs as his test subjects and was successful.

“I had a date visiting me that weekend, so instead of going out, we had to make dog treats,” he laughed.

Puma hopes to be laughing all the way to the bank, as his new product has been well received since its launch.

So far, Medi-Crunch is available at veterinary clinics. Puma is also in talks with QVC and various pet stores.

What’s next?

I want to make a similar product for cats on every shelf in the country.

Have you tried one of the new treats?

Yes, a little dry but it’s edible

Do you have a slogan?

“To turn your pet’s medication time into tricks and treats time!”

Why dog treats?

When I was a kid, my cat died of kidney disease because we couldn’t give him his medication.

Who is your favorite celebrity dog?

Snoopy. I had a Snoopy doll I carried everywhere.

This article originally appeared on INtake Weekly and was written by Raygan Swan raygan.swan@intakeweekly.com.

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