By Sari Reis
It’s not surprising with everything trending high tech these days that some enterprising entrepreneurs with a love of animals would partner with some brilliant software engineers to create some awesome electronics for our furry companions.
The pet industry, which continues to grow in leaps and bounds, is ripe for development of devices that perform a multitude of functions — from keeping our pets safe in their yards to analyzing their on-going physical well-being. And there is no question that there is a lot more to come.
To date, we have electronic fences to keep our dogs in the yard and GPS systems to track them if they wander. Electronic doggie doors can now synchronize with collar devices allowing pets to enter their yards and return without human engagement.
We can train our dogs with smartphones that remotely keep them from barking and set up systems to provide treats that seem to automatically fall from the wall when they do as requested.
There are pet radio mats that keep dogs and cats away from off-limit areas. Webcams abound that can allow pet parents to observe their furry kids at any time and can actually talk to them. Check out The Cube camera that also controls a laser that can keep bored cats playing for hours.
Some of my favorite inventions include automatic feeders that restrict the dog or cat from eating each other’s foods. This is especially important in multiple pet households where animals are on different diets or eat at different speeds. They also keep food fresher and keep away unwelcomed ants. Meow Space and Sure Flap are both cleverly designed devices that coordinate with microchips or special tags on the cat or dog’s collar. There are also feeders that operate on face recognition.
There are automatic ball launchers for your retrievers that will play fetch all day. Think of the wear and tear that saves on your pitching arm. Wearables, like the Fit Bark, will track your dog’s activity and Pintofeed collects data on feeding frequency and volume eaten.
In my opinion, the trend toward collars that monitor our pet’s health are long overdue. Since dogs and cats are not very good at telling us how they are feeling, having a flow of data that provides information on vital signs such as temperature, pulse, respiration, heart rate variability, etc., and alerts us when there is a problem, are essential for every pet parent.
Pet Pace and Voyce are two of these systems that coordinate with an app and will inform you when there is a problem as well as keep a baseline of vital signs. These can also be coordinated with your veterinarian.
The app field is also doing a great job helping pet parents. Pet first aid apps allow you to look up information in an emergency and other apps allow you to store all your pets’ medical records at your fingertips. The list goes on.
It is an exciting time and we should look forward to many more of these digital aids to help us keep our furry kids healthy and safe.
—Sari Reis is a Certified Humane Education Specialist and the owner of Mission Valley Pet Sitting Services. For more information you can contact her at 760-644-0289 or at missionvalleypetsitting.com.