There is wearable technology for just about everything: from smart watches that tell you when to exercise, to baby onesies that tell you it’s time to change your baby’s nappy. And now there’s a range of technology to help you be a better pet owner.
Microchipping your pet
When you take your pets to the vet, more often than not you’ll be asked whether you’d like to have them microchipped. These microchips can carry your pet’s details and owner details, so that in the event they go missing or become ill, the vet will know what to do and who to return them to. The microchip itself is a small piece of technology, about the size of a grain of rice. It’s inserted to the scruff of the neck via syringe, and only takes a few seconds to administer. It’s increasingly more common for cats and dogs to be microchipped, but you can even microchip your guinea pigs, rabbits, or horses!
Microchip Cat Doors
Cat doors are a common household fixture. There are the standard cat flaps that you can set to swing one way, or both, and there are the slightly more sophisticated magnetic ones that require your cat to wear a magnetic bauble on their collar to grip the cat flap as they move through the cat door. But things are getting slightly more sophisticated for cats and their owners.
Microchip pet doors like the Sureflap work together with your pet’s existing microchip to allow them exclusive access rights to your installed cat door. This is a great way to stop neighbourhood strays entering your home when you’re out, and you don’t have to worry about remembering to reset the entry/exit options on your cat door.
Microchip pet feeder
If you’ve already got a microchip operated cat door, why not look at a microchip pet feeder? These are ideal for households with both a cat and a dog, especially when your dog is the kind to steal from the cat bowl. Once you’ve synchronised your cat’s microchip or RFID collar tag with the feeder, it will only open for them, and automatically close as soon as they move away. Also a great way to stop the toddlers getting into the cat biscuits!
Fitness wearables for your dog
The FitBark monitors your dog’s every habits, from exercise to sleep, and allows you to track their progress. It’s much like the FitBit, only instead of a smartwatch around your wrist, there’s a small, battery powered sensor you attach to your dog’s collar. The FitBark can be synchronised to your iOS and Android devices, so you can monitor your dog’s activities from your iPhone or tablet. Some benefits to the FitBark are getting to know your dog’s long term behavioural trends, and using that data to compare your dog with other dogs. You can start to see different patterns in their behaviour based on their location or even what they’ve had to eat that day.
SHRU – an intelligent companion for your cat
Everyone knows that cats are one of the fussier domestic animals. You buy them expensive toys from the pet shop only to find they favour digging into your lounge furniture or rugs. Well, the SHRU is the answer to your furniture’s prayers. This cat toy has a range of “play modes” to keep your cat entertained. From hyper energetic phases to gentler or noisier ones. The SHRU mimics a small animal’s movement and sound, a little like a mouse, to challenge your cat’s concentration.
This one is for the dog owners out there struggling to keep up with their demanding pup. The CleverPet is designed to help your dog with separation anxiety and boredom once you’ve left the house for the day. The CleverPet gives your dog a range of incentivised challenges based on light, sound and touch. As the dog goes through the activities it is rewarded with food. Like all great pet tech, this allows you to set up your smartphone or set up your tablet to synchronise with the CleverPet. You can then use the CleverPet app to monitor your dog’s activities from afar.
And the best part? You can put the CleverPet food dispenser straight into the dishwasher when it’s ready for a clean.
This one is great whether you have pets or not. The HomeMonitor system helps you protect your home through camera surveillance and cloud computing. The best part is that the in-home camera is connected to a HomeMonitor portal, cloud based storage. You can access the portal on PC, Mac, iPhone or Android devices, enabling you to check in on your home at anytime.
If you have a troublesome terrier that keeps escaping during the day but you’re not quite sure how, then check in on them with the HomeMonitor portal. You’ll have their escape route pegged in no time.
Haven’t you always wondered what your pets get up to when you’re out for the day? Wonder no more. There are a range of pet GPS trackers out there, that when used in combination with a GoPro or other camera, you can see exactly what they’ve been up to.
1 in 3 pets will go missing in their lifetime, and attaching a GPS tracker to them is just one way you can make sure they come home again.
The Petrek GPS is the first NZ made Pet GPS to be sold in stores. Using an Android or iOS device you can install the Petrek app to pinpoint the exact location of your pet. A little bit like using Find My iPhone to find your lost iPhone, the app shows you a map of your beloved’s location.
The Petrek can be used on cats or dogs, so long as you can fit it snugly on their collar.
An academic at Victoria University of Wellington has been busy GPS tracking domestic cats to see just how far from home they wander. The cat tracker project has already tracked 45 cats, and has seen a huge disparity in the home range of each individual tabby.
And for something a little different… One dedicated cat owner has built a custom AT-ST Walker, Star Wars inspired cat playhouse. The AT ST is flanked by two climbing posts, making for ultimate cat entertainment.
Get geeky with your pet tech
We use technology for parenting, so why not use technology to help with our pet ownership? Our highly trained technicians can help you set up your new devices to work with your new pet technology. If you need to set up your laptop to work with a wireless monitoring system or maybe your dog has taken to your computer and you need computer repairs, then get in touch today.
- 7 Pieces of Pet Tech http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-06/16/pet-tech