Falling down the rabbit hole of pet technology

Lockdowns have made it easier than usual to fall down a rabbit hole on the internet, but I’ll admit even I was surprised where I ended up recently.

It started when I was looking for a solution to stop my dog barking at every single person who walked past our house, a constant irritant for family and neighbours.

What I thought would be some simple training exercises and videos soon led me down the path of weird and wonderful technology for pets.

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Before this, I thought the only piece of technology my pet needed was a microchip in case he managed to escape our house, or run off on a walk.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Here is just some of the technology to boost your pet-owning experience.

GPS trackers
I have had a number of dogs over the journey, and have never lost one. The closest I have come is when the dog I have now had to be retrieved by a neighbour when a different neighbour left the front door open to retrieve a tool to help me with a project in the backyard.

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I don’t feel I’m alone in keeping track of my dog either. It’s not as if it is a special skill.

However, there are enough people worried about losing their pets that GPS trackers are apparently a thing. And there are quite a few on the market.

While there are some available for a relatively small cost, practically all of them require a monthly subscription fee to make full use of it.

Still, I guess they do provide peace of mind for their owners, and these would obviously also provide much more information for cat owners, who at least have a pet that might regularly roam further than the backyard.

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Fitness trackers
If it is good enough for you, then apparently it is good enough for Fido!

You can have your FitBit and your dog can get around with the latest FitBark.

Just like your own fitness trackers, these devices can provide minute by minute updates on your pet’s activities, sleep quality, distance travelled, calories burned and overall health and behaviour.

You can even set fitness goals based on your pet’s breed, age and weight.

Smart pet beds
If you think your pooch is pampered, but you are not able to temperature control the bed for their comfort, are you even trying?

Seriously, these products are available and some of the more expensive models can be set to respond to your pet’s needs, while also tracking changes in your pet’s weight and behaviour.

Automatic feeders
While some of these look rather attractive and will serve a useful purpose, with simple dry-food dispensers hooked up to a timer, there are also mobile applications that can track food consumption and send you food automatically when they detect that you are running out.

Training devices
I did also find a heap of equipment relevant to what I originally started searching for, and those are training collars to help with barking.

It was possible to find collars that provided a shock, which I found a little unpalatable, but there were also devices that would emit an ultrasonic noise to control barking and others that were remote controlled to provide a deterrent, as well as collars that would spray a citronella mist to deter the dog from barking.

There are many different options to choose from, and I’ll probably need to do some more research before I decide which way to go.

Do you own any technology exclusively for your pets? What have your discovered? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben