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Ikea is launching new pet products, a year after a major recall

The new designs are more low-tech than the company’s original line of pet products, first released in 2017.

Earlier this year, my colleague here at Fast Company reported that Ikea has recalled tens of millions of products throughout its history, in some cases because children have been hurt or killed by them. But if you have a pet, you might remember another recall: Last summer, the Swedish furniture giant recalled a water-dispensing pet bowl after two dogs suffocated when their heads became trapped inside the dome-like reservoir that held the water.

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That product was part of Lurvig, the Ikea-for-pets line that first launched in 2017 and was developed by designer Inma Bermudéz along with Barbara Schäfer, a trained veterinarian who works with Ikea’s risk assessment team. This week, the company announced it would be adding new products to the Lurvig line, which it will begin releasing in October and continue into spring of 2020. 

[Photo: Ikea]

Among them is a cozy $4.99 cat house that cleverly slips right into the brand’s Kallax shelving unit. There’s a $24.99 pet carrying bag along with a $1.99 matching travel bowl, which is “great for snacking and drinking on the run.” There’s a wide array of cushions ranging from $5 to $19.99. For a more luxurious sleeping arrangement for your pet, there is a $49.99 bed with a $15 cover, and a $27 frame. 

In this new line, there are several food and water bowls as well, but they are much simpler than the deadly bowl from last summer. These new ones are just round vessels, including stainless steel ones that come in various sizes (between $3.99 and $5.99) along with a $6.99 reversible stoneware bowl.

[Photo: Ikea]

Bermudéz and Schäfer were also responsible for designing these new items. In a statement from Ikea, the duo says their goal was to design items from a pet’s point of view. For instance, cats love sleeping in clean, enclosed spaces on cozy textiles, whereas dogs don’t care as much about their bedding as long as they are close to their owners. Cats eat with their necks in a higher position, so they created a ceramic cat bowl that is tall, while they created a flexible travel bowl for dogs who can eat in different positions. 

[Photo: Ikea]

“The biggest challenge is not to humanize pet products,” Schäfer explains. “It’s really important to use animals’ natural needs and behaviors—like how they sleep, eat, or play—as starting points. Then we can design a product that fits in with our ‘human needs,’ such as style and form.”

Ikea’s announcement also makes it a point to note product safety, though the company does not directly address the recall or the dangerous pet bowl in question. Instead, it focuses on the durability of the materials, pointing out that dogs chew while cats scratch. The statement also focused on child safety: “Pets often live with children at home, so we cross-check all products to make sure they are safe for children as well.” 

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About the author

Elizabeth Segran, Ph.D., is a staff writer at Fast Company. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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