Don’t leave your precious Fido or Fluffy stuck in the Stone Age. High-tech gadgets can help supply some of the basics for your pet cat or dog.
For instance, a web-connected collar with GPS can help you find your lost dog without having to go knocking on neighbors’ doors. And a portable vacuum may be a lot more convenient than dunking him in the tub.
Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting technology for your beloved pet dog or cat.
Pet tags of the future
Traditional plastic or metal pet tags are functional enough for providing a pet’s name and its owner’s phone number. Pawscout’s web-connected tag takes the idea to a super-connected level.
The tag, which costs $20, connects to a corresponding smartphone app to let people track their pets within a 300-foot radius on a digital map. If a dog ventures outside that range, the app notifies the owner that the canine is too far away.
But even then, the dog can still be found, in theory, using a work around. If a lost dog happens to walk near people who have the Pawscout app installed on their smartphones, the owner of the lost dog will get an alert about its location.
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A Fitbit for your pet
The StarWalk Dog Activity Tracker by Dogtra iQPet is essentially a small Fitbit-like gadget that attatches to your dog’s collar. The tracker is supposed to help dog owners monitor their dog’s health by recording how many steps it took in a day as well as the calories it burned.
It’s no substitute for a trip to the vet for health check up, but for $50, pet owners can glean some interesting data like the temperature of body temperature and how many hours their dog was most active in a day.
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Dog tracker and Fitness tracker combined
The LINK AKC Internet-connected collar is more expensive than both the Pawscout and StarWalk activity tracker, but it’s essentially the two products combined into what looks like a traditional leather collar.
Like the other devices, the LINK collar works with a smartphone app and logs doggy data like the canine’s location through GPS and the temperature where the dog may be hanging out. LINK managed to sneak in a tech buzzword du jour—artificial intelligence—in its marketing materials, saying that its propriety algorithms help learn “what constitutes intense activity for your dog so you can make sure your dog gets enough active minutes each day.”
The collar costs $100 plus a monthly $10 fee, although that fee is slightly discounted if its part of a one or two-year plan.
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Litter box that cleans itself
It’s great that cats know how to use litter boxes, thus sparing your home from smelly disasters. Still, there’s the annoying task of cleaning the box.
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The PetSafe Scoopfree Self Cleaning Litter Box lets you avoid having to manually clean a dirty litter box. Once a cat is finished doing its business, a rake-like mechanism automatically sweeps the mess away into a hidden compartment.
From there, cat owners just have to throw the tray away “every few weeks” as opposed to cleaning the box daily.
The high-tech litter box costs $130, and a pack of 6 disposable trays costs $90.
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Fun with cats and lasers
The FroliCat BOLT Laser Pet Toy promises hours of fun for your cat by keeping it occupied with lasers.
It’s essentially a table-top version of the common laser pointer used for presentations, except people don’t have to manually point the laser. Instead, the device shoots the laser on the floor where it zig-zags all over the place, keeping cats occupied by the mesmerizing red beams—at least in theory. You can just sit there and read a book.
Obviously, pet owners would be wise to keep the floor bare of anything their cats might crash into as they chase the laser dot. And while the laser toy, which costs $18, is marketed to cats, curious dogs may also be hooked.
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Vacuum your dog like a pro
Bathing your dog, especially if he absolutely hates being dunked in a tub of soapy water, can be a chore. For canines that hate getting soaked, the Bissell BarkBath Portable Dog Bath System may be a good cleaning tool of choice.
It essentially works like those wet vacuums that clean stains from carpets. But the attached nozzle appears to clean more gently than the typical heavy-duty carpet cleaners. To shampoo your dog, you drag the nozzle across its fur. The vacuum then sucks up the residue.
It may not be the best choice for dogs that hate vacuums or loud noises, but it could make cleaning your dog a lot quicker.
The portable dog bath costs $110.
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Update: Dec. 4, 1:10 PM PT.
Story corrected to say that Pawscout owners will be notified of lost dogs if the canines venture near people with the Pawscout app installed on their smartphones, not just the tags. The LINK collar also records ambient temperature.