When technology goes to the dogs, it’s a good thing. Just as humans rely on tech to help them stay healthy and entertained, the canine crowd can also indulge in gadget obsessions. You won’t catch your pooch wasting all of its free time browsing the internet, but you can delight your dog with smart toys and treat-dispensing cameras.
Device makers have devised everything from a FitBit-style wearable for pooches to a gaming console that challenges your dog’s mind while rewarding its taste buds. Join us as we explore a pack of tail-wagging tech that will bring you closer to your furry four-legged friends.
1. CleverPet: A game console for Fido
Most game consoles, like the Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation, are designed for humans with opposable thumbs. But dogs like games, too. The CleverPet is a smart game console for dogs. It’s designed to keep your bored pooch engaged and entertained while you’re gone all day at work.
The CleverPet uses a series of light-up pads to challenge a dog to touch the correct one. When Fluffypaws hits the right pad, CleverPet dispenses a treat. This game can start off simply, but it then evolves into more complex sequences of lights that require your dog to match the pattern on display. Just like with human games, your canine buddy is challenged to level up. The CleverPet touts its sturdy construction and dog-proof lid since it needs to hold up to being pawed and clawed repeatedly.
Even if you’re not there to watch, you can still track your dog’s gaming progress using the CleverPet app. You can see what level your dog achieved, change out the game, and schedule play times.
2. GoBone: A dog bone with a brain
Dog bones take many forms, but most are just chew toys made from rawhide or rubber. The GoBone from PulsePet updates this toy for the modern age by turning it into an interactive experience for your pooch. The battery-powered gadget features two wheels and the ability to control it using your smartphone. The bone’s rolling movements are designed to playfully encourage your canine’s innate prey drive.
You can tuck treats into the side of the GoBone to help tempt your dog to play with the gadget. Set the toy to the automatic mode when you’re away in order to get your dog to stay active when you’re out of the house. You can also schedule it to only go off at certain times, like when you want to give your dog a mid-afternoon pick-me-up during the workweek.
The GoBone started its life as a successful Kickstarter project. PulsePet refers to it as “the world’s first smartbone.” It’s now available for anyone to pre-order with an expected ship date of early 2017.
3. Petzi Treat Cam: Talk to and treat your pup
You love your dog dearly, but you can’t always be at home. With the Petzi Treat Cam, you can see your pooch, chat with him, take pictures, and hand out treats no matter where you’re located. Petzi comes with a built-in wide-angle camera with night vision, a speaker, a microphone, and a treat launcher that can distribute dog treats or pieces of hard food. It’s controlled through an iOS or Android app.
Your dog will quickly learn how to interact with the treat dispenser. You can call out our dog’s name, listen in, and see how your fuzzy buddy is doing, even if you’re at work or gone on vacation. Though the Petzi is ideal for dogs, it can also be an enticing gadget for cats, guinea pigs and other pets.
Bonus: FitBark: A dog activity monitor
Plenty of humans sport activity monitors that help them track their exercise efforts and stay physically fit. The FitBark takes that same concept and applies it to dogs. FitBark attaches to your dog’s collar to monitor movement and sleep. An app lets you track the data over time, set fitness goals, compare the information to similar dogs, and keep a journal.
Anybody who already uses a FitBit or a similar human activity monitor will be familiar with how FitBark works. It will appeal to dog owners who want to track their pup’s health or who need a helping hand with getting a chubby dog down to a recommended weight. As a bonus, it can encourage pet owners to get out and exercise with their fur-friends. FitBark continues to gather data even when you’re not around, so you can see if your dog is restless or relaxed while you’re gone at work.
One of FitBark’s more intriguing features is the ability to compare your dog and set exercise goals that are in line with others of a similar breed, weight and age. This helps take the guesswork out of how much activity your dog needs to maintain a healthy canine lifestyle.
FitBark is also meant to highlight changes in your dog’s activity or sleep levels as a warning of possible health issues. You can share the information with your veterinarian. The device is waterproof and sports a battery life of up to two weeks.