Gadgets and Gizmos Sure to Wow Tech-Geek Dog Companions
Keeping track of Fido can be a lot of work.
But with these gadgets, you can make anything from finding your lost dog to feeding your dog easier. From doggy cams to smart canine toothbrushes, here’s the best the tech world has to offer a dog owner:
This wi-fi enabled doggy cam offers a connectivity rate of 802.11 b/g/n, contains remote monitoring via smartphone, tablet or computer. It also has motion triggered image snapshot and video recording with digital zoom, effective night-vision (infrared), two-way communication (Walkie Talkie mode) and monitoring from afar room temperature adjustments so you can make sure your dog stays comfortable when temperature suddenly rise or dip in the house. Best of all, the whole thing sets up in seconds using the free Hubble App, an “Internet of Things (IoT) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS),” which handles voice over IP (VoIP), video streaming and cloud recording. $100
Besides functioning as a reasonably easy way to monitor a potentially naughty dog who’s barking a bit too much while you’re away from the house, this high-tech collar features GPS-enabled “geo-fencing” that emits a high-pitch sound when your dog hits one of your “pre-set” boundaries, indoors or out. Wag a virtual finger or calmly reassure using your voice to rein ‘em back in with a built-in speaker that connects your dog directly to you. There’s also a built-in wide-angle camera that can send 720p video directly to your smartphone. Again, all of this is possible thanks to Hubble. $200.
Yet another iteration of the pet cam, the Petcube functions as a remote interaction device via a 138° degree wide-angle camera that streams HD 720p video directly to your computer or mobile device (iOS & Android compatible). Not only can you scold or praise your dog using the two-way audio (built-in microphone and speaker), but you can also play cat and mouse (OK this monitor might be better for a cat) via a remote control laser pointer (built-in 5mW 3R class laser, certified safe). $199.
The sleek two-room ramped doghouse sports a futuristic oblong shape with a see-through front wall featuring a paw and bones patterns on the wall and plenty of elegant padding. Other highlights include a treadmill lined with fake grass, a hydrotherapy pool for instant rejuvenation, a paw-operated automatic feeder and a wall-mounted tablet display. Don’t get your hopes up too high though. Apparently Samsung UK already gave it away through a social-media contest. Word is there will be a “version” of it available, eventually.
Have an escape artist in the household? Well, it’s obviously not an uncommon problem, and explains why GPS trackers are one of THE most popular dog gadgets these days. The Tagg attaches to your dog’s collar; if they wander too far off the pre-set boundaries, an alert is sent directly to your mobile device. You also get maps and directions to your wandering pooch via a nationwide GPS and cellular tracking network. Bonus features: It also tracks your dog’s activity and rest (so presumably you’ll know how far to walk him or her when you get home), and also monitors the ambient temperature in your dog’s environment. $100. For $20 more you can purchase a neoprene cover for it.
Perfect for when you don’t have the time or energy to play fetch with your dog (or you’re elderly or disabled), this ball launcher offers a workaround. Set the launch distance for 10, 20 or 30 feet. The dog drops the ball in one end, and iFetch launches it from the other end—continuously. If your dog already loves to play fetch, it should be pretty easy for him or her to learn how to use it (tip: use reward training). Designed to work with standard miniature-sized tennis balls found in pet stores, things can go sideways with slobber-mouthed dogs. In which case you should use squash balls instead. $115.
Manage your dog’s dietary needs with this easy to use smartphone connected automated feeder. Combined with a smartphone or mobile device, you can track your dog’s calorie intake and compare it to other dogs of similar breed, age, weight, and level of activity. Manage feeding times, portion sizes, and food dispensing speed specifically for your dog’s needs from anywhere. Get notifications and alerts on meal confirmations, food inventory and battery life. At the moment, the feeder is in Spring 2015 beta mode, and it’ll cost you $249 to get in on it. Hopefully, the price will come down once the demand follows.
As witnessed by the number of humans that now own and use them, sonic toothbrushes are efficient tooth cleaners. Do they work for dogs? The science is still out on this one, but it likely could help reduce dogs’ teeth decay and gum disease. The effectiveness of a sonic brush relates to the amplitude of the brush head (the distance, up or down, it travels on each stroke) and the frequency (number of strokes per minute), and the fluid dynamics (the intense vibrational speed of the brush’s bristles as it agitate the fluids that surround the user’s teeth (water, saliva), to the degree that they disrupt dental plaque colonies. It takes a while for the gingiva to get used to the vibrations as it produces many more brush strokes per second than a human hand could. This has an amplitude of 20,000 bristle strokes per minute. So if you get such a brush, introduce it slowly, and wipe your dogs gums with chlorehexidine before you brush to reduce the risk of coaxing existing oral bacteria colonies under the gums and into the blood stream. Kroger makes a travel sonic brush that works on dogs that brushes at 31,000 bspm for $10. This one sells for $15-$20.