This is the year I get to welcome a new, little member to my family. No, I’m not having a baby. I’m having a kitten! I never thought I would get the opportunity to have a cat, mainly because my long-time boyfriend is terribly allergic. Thankfully, we found a breed of cats that produces less of the Fel d 1 protein that many people, including my boyfriend, react to.
Considering that technology is such a huge part of my life, now that we’re getting our fur-baby I decided to start looking into products that could enrich our lives together. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Best Buy already has me covered with their Pet Supplies & Technology category on BestBuy.com. Much of the tech I found is geared toward dogs, but I want to share some of these handy discoveries in the hopes of assisting others interested in integrating technology into their identity as a pet owner.
Pet Activity Trackers
One of the things I found most interesting when searching for Pet-tech was the prevalence of different pet activity trackers such as the Poof Pea Pet Activity Tracker or the FitBark Dog Activity Monitor. Just like a FitBit, pet owners can view their pet’s activity level on an app and use that knowledge to positively influence their pet’s life.
Not only is it possible to compare your pet’s activity to other animals, but, depending on the tracker you choose, they may even have other useful suggestions in the accompanying app for food intake based on calories burned. With a focus on wellness, other selections are available to help alert you if your pet’s activity levels are abnormal, which could indicate a health concern. As I’m getting a cat, the Poof tracker is more to my liking as it’s meant for either cats or dogs. That being said, the FitBark seems to have great opportunities for online community involvement and even has an option to link with an owner’s Fitbit to track your dog’s fitness along with your own.
The LINK AKC- Smart Dog Collar also has some additional features that may be of interest. For example, the built in GPS allows you to find your dog’s position so a lost dog won’t stay gone for long. This collar goes well beyond tracking as it also lets you set wellness reminders for important vet appointments and has a remote to turn on sounds to aid in training. A service plan is required for connectivity, which includes other great services such as access to a 24/7 animal poison control center.
Pet Food Accessories
As I gather more insights from friends and family, one of the topics of greatest concern for pet owners seems to be the health and, specifically the weight, of their pets. Worries about animal diabetes, or sore joints due to excess weight is something I can empathize with and I am happy to see technology here to help!
The PetKit Smart Bowl, for instance, has a downloadable app to provide unique suggestions on daily food intake for a dog. The integrated scale also helps owners accurately measure how much food their dog is eating.
I think the Petnet SmartFeeder has some great features worth considering, as well. The Smart Bowl measures the weight of food in the bowl to accurately count calories, whereas the Petnet SmartFeeder has pre-set portion sizes and can be programed to automatically dispense at certain times. This should make feeding time much simpler every day and even when you may be out of town.
Home security cameras are more prevalent than ever but pet owners have some unusual components beyond traditional cameras that help them keep an eye their pets when away from home. Each camera offers something unique for pet owners, but I am most intrigued by the products that include interactive elements.
The Petcube Play Indoor 1080p Wi-Fi Camera, for instance, has a built-in laser pointer. Not only can you set up the laser to activate for regular playtimes, but the integrated 2-way communication even allows you the perk of talking to a pet when you’re not there. I feel like the enjoyment a pet can derive from this camera sets it apart from other, similar products.
The Petzila Petzi Treat Cam also has an interactive feature that owners may get behind. The built-in treat dispenser allows you to give treats to your pet when you’re not home. This product is built around the idea of interacting with your pets while easily capturing and shareing pictures with the Petzi community and other social networks, making it ideal for owners who cannot take enough pictures of their pets.
Other Cool Stuff
Have you ever wondered what it looks like for a dog to weave through an obstacle course or jump into a lake? The Fetch Dog Harness in this GoPro Bundle allows you to attach a GoPro to your dog so you can see the world from a different perspective.
Another harness you might be interested in is the Royal Animals LED Dog Harness, which ensures that a dog is still highly visible at night. Safety for night walks is always important, so this harnesses’ rechargeable battery with USB cable should keep your pup glowing.
And finally, there is the iFetch, a toy for your dog to play fetch with himself. No more bored pups, as a dog can just put one of the provided miniature tennis balls into the funnel and the iFetch will throw it either 10, 20, or 30 feet. Training this behavior may take some time, but that just gives you another opportunity to bond with your dog.
Technology is with us every day, and now it can help you as a pet owner. Many people fear that technology reduces the strength of personal connections, but I feel like the right technology can reinforce relationships. I hope some of this animal-centered tech can help you and your pet enjoy the best life has to offer.