With pets in more than six out of every 10 American households, it is easy to see why the American Pet Products Association estimated that US pet owners would spend $60 billion on their domestic animals in 2015. The association predicted that pet owners would spend more than $1,600, on average, on each of their 163.6 million cats and dogs over the year. More than a third of that would go to food, but an increasing portion of spending on pets is going toward gadgets, wearables and other technology made for our furry friends.
As we outline in our Pet Technology report, smartphones, apps and wearables now allow owners to remotely monitor, feed and track their pets. The use of technology for pets will continue to grow as owners seek to care for their animals’ health in new and unique ways. Here, we highlight five popular pet tech products:
1. Petzi is an interactive device that allows the absent owner to activate a camera, and watch and talk to a pet via a smartphone app and the Petzi speaker. Owners can also take photographs if desired, and tap their smartphone to trigger the Petzi to dispense small treats. The system is $169.99.
2. Whistle is a device that attaches to a dog’s collar and allows owners to track walks, playtime and periods of rest. An accompanying app allows users to set goals and track their pet’s progress over time. The activity monitor is priced at $79.95 at Whistle.com. Whistle acquired Tagg early in 2015, and incorporated many of Tagg’s features into its Whistle device, which functions as an activity tracker, location tracker and ambient temperature sensor all in one. The device’s GPS system alerts the owner when the dog is not where it is supposed to be, and the activity tracker allows the owner to see how much exercise the dog had during the day.
3. GoPro Fetch is a comfortable, durable harness that secures a GoPro camera to a dog, enabling the owner to see the world from the dog’s point of view. It is priced at $59.99 at Gopro.com.
4. Binatone, a maker of home-monitoring products, has a smart collar for dogs that allows owners to track, train and communicate with their pets remotely. Named the Scout 5000, the collar users its cellular connection to remotely sync with the owner’s smartphone and provide live data. The built-in GPS, speakers and camera allow owners to monitor their pets’ location, talk to their animals remotely or stream live video. The collar can also function as a training device and emit a high-pitched, ultrasonic sound that dogs can hear to correct bad behavior. Binatone developed the smart collar for Lenovo subsidiary Motorola Mobility, which sells it under the Motorola brand for $199.99, including a year of service.
5. Pet Tunes help dogs with separation anxiety, fear of thunderstorms or barking issues find solace. A mobile Bluetooth speaker, Pet Tunes is preloaded with special-frequency original music by Pet Acoustics. The music is tuned specifically for sensitive canine ears, and the four-inch cube features an easy click-and-play function with a built-in repeat mode. This is different from a gas bark collar, but works pretty much the same when it comes to your do’gs barking issues. The music, designed by composer and researcher Janet Marlow, is clinically proven and endorsed by veterinarians. Pet Tunes sells for $54–$59.
Want to know more? Read more about pet technology in our report.