There’s a reason plastic is banned in most countries, including the United States.
But it’s also a sign of weakness.
There’s nothing preventing dogs from opening your fridge door, stealing your pet food or chewing on your food, and opening your door while you’re sleeping.
This week, the University of Michigan’s School of Veterinary Medicine teamed up with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to study plastic barriers that can be used to keep food safe in the home.
Plastic barriers have been around for years, but the FDA and Michigan’s Veterinary Medicine are the first to use them in a clinical setting.
In the study, researchers followed 33 people for six months to determine whether a plastic barriers worked.
The barrier helped stop dogs from stealing food in the house and preventing them from chewing on their food.
The researchers then tested them in the lab and found that they prevented dogs from biting through the barrier.
The research team also showed that the barrier stopped dogs from eating food that was not covered by the barrier, preventing them to chew on it.
“It’s a very safe barrier, so it can protect the food from contamination, but it doesn’t prevent food from getting eaten by the dog,” says co-author Kristina Zolna, a graduate student in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
The team will present their findings at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday, May 19.
“We were able to see this barrier work in a lab environment, but we were not able to demonstrate that it would prevent dog bites,” Zolnas says.
The barriers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they typically measure 4 inches wide and 6 inches tall.
The metal-like material is meant to help prevent dogs from chewing through the metal barrier, but sometimes, it’s not that simple.
Zolnia and her colleagues designed the barrier in such a way that it was easily removable.
For example, if the plastic barrier was too small, the dogs would need to be removed before the barrier would stop them.
The plastic barrier is also designed to be removable when the dogs aren’t hungry, and the researchers say that’s why it is so effective.
The study, which was funded by the U-M Center for Behavioral and Neural Engineering, will be presented Thursday at the Association of American Feed Control Officials annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.
“This is really a very novel barrier, and it has shown that this barrier works in the laboratory,” Zolsna says.
She and her team also hope to improve the barrier over time.
They want to develop a similar barrier that would be able to withstand being broken and then easily replace.
“It would also be an easy barrier to install and remove, so that it doesn, in fact, keep food in a secure place,” Zoltna says, adding that the plastic would be designed so that food would not get lost.
They also hope that the barriers will be able make their way to consumers soon, because they would be a great way to keep people from stealing their food and other pets from eating it.
Zoltnia and Zolnias have been working with the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers to test the barrier for the past six months.
They will be presenting their findings next week at the annual meeting of the American Board of Veterinary Medical Examining Boards.