It’s stating the obvious to say that your pet’s health is very important. Just like their human companions, this includes mental health and stimulation – this last is really important in helping alleviate common problems for dogs such as boredom, loneliness, separation anxiety and lack of mental stimulation.
There is an ever growing choice of tech solutions and apps available to help in these increasingly important aspects of caring for your pet.
These typically fall under the five headings below. We have included a brief overview of a couple of market leaders in each category.
- Pet Sitting, Doggy DayCare, Dog Walking, Dog Boarding.
- Activity/Stimulation: this can range from automatic/interactive ball launchers to games or puzzles in how they access food and treats.
- Remote Cameras or Monitors: these are especially helpful in dealing with anxious dogs and/or separation anxiety in a dog.
- Dog Fitness/Activity Monitors & Health monitoring Apps: These do pretty much what they say on the tin, recording activity levels, distance, calories burned…. Some go including scheduling Vet appointments, sharing information with your Vet, dietary recommendations….
- ID Tags/Location Tracking Collars
1. Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Dog Boarding, Doggy DayCare
Rover.com is the largest network of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers in the USA. The service also includes in-home dog boarding and daycare. Rover recently bought competitor Dogvacay.
The free Rover app connects pet owners to dog sitters, dog walkers, pet boarders, house sitters, and allows the user to receive photo updates from their sitter directly to their phone.
Operating in 19 countries and 10 languages, the range of services offered by Pawshake includes:
- Pet Sitting
- Home Dog Boarding
- Dog Walking
- Doggy Day Care
- Home Visits
- Home Sitting
The service and app are free for users (sitters pay a commission to Pawshake) and includes Free “Meet & Greet” option before you decide on a sitter, Daily Photo Updates and free Premium Insurance on all bookings.
The iFetchInteractive Ball Launcher comes in three versions, with prices ranging from $39.95 to $199.99 plus shipping.
- Uses miniature tennis balls 1.6″ (40 mm) in diameter
- AC Adapter or battery-operated
- Three distance settings, 10, 20 or 30 feet
- Uses miniature tennis balls 1.6″ (40 mm) in diameter
- Gravity-operated, doesn’t require batteries/power
- Balls roll out of the base in a random direction
- For small dogs & small spaces.
- Rechargeable battery that lasts up to about 300 throws
- Four distance settings (10, 25, or 40 feet, or random)
- Normal or large tennis balls or Chuck-it balls
PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher: $159.99
- Uses D-Cell batteries or AC power
- 9 distance settings from 8 – 30 feet, and 6 angle settings (up to 45 degrees)
- Uses standard sized tennis balls
- Automatic sleep mode to make sure dog gets rest
K9 Connectables3D-Printed Interactive Dog Toys
These colorful toys are designed to utilize your dog’s natural instincts to hunt and work for food, challenging them to unlock the high-value treats placed inside.
The combination of shapes and sizes available means that you can increase the difficulty level as your dog gets better at the game by connecting more and different toys together.
3. Remote Cameras/Monitors
As a standard, these allow 2-way audio to talk to and hear your pets.
Some also dispense treats.
Some include a subscription element.
PetcubeInteractive Pet Camera
Owners can see, talk to, and play with pets in 1080 HD (including with night vision).
There are two devices:
Petcube play – interactive pet camera that lets you see, talk to, and play with your pet. $199.00 (device only, see below for optional subscription add-on).
Petcube bites (dispenses treats) $249.00.
Optional Monthly Subscription:
- 10 days video history: one device: $10/month, each additional device: $5/month
- 30 days video history: one device: $30/month, each additional device: $15/month
- Wide-angle camera with night vision
- High-quality audio and videoAllows you to speak to your pet
- Allows you to speak to your pet
- Treat dispenser: any dry, crunchy treat smaller than 1 inch
Cost: *Est. $169.99
4. Dog Fitness / Activity Monitors & Apps
Petpace is a smart wireless collar that continuously collects your pet’s vital signs and behavior patterns, analyzes the health data collected, alerting you and your vet immediately.
Data collected includes:
- PulseRespiration, Activity levels, HRV (heart rate variability), Body posture, Calories
- RespirationActivity levels, HRV (heart rate variability), Body posture, Calories
- Activity levelsHRV (heart rate variability), Body posture, Calories
- HRV (heart rate variability)Body posture, Calories
- Body postureCalories
- Calories burned
- Pet Starter: $159.95 Checks vitals every 120 minutes
- Pet: $169.96 Checks vitals every 30 minutes
- Pet Plus: $219.95 Checks vitals every 2 minutes
Fitbark is a Dog Activity & Sleep monitor providing actionable insights. It weighs 8 grams, works with collars not wider than 30 mm, and has a (rechargeable) battery life of 14 days.
The monitor tracks:
- Activity counts (BarkPoints)
- Rest, active and play time
- Nocturnal sleep score
- Overall health index
- Activity index
- Calorie burn
- Activity monitor: full price: $99.95, currently $69.95
- Wi-Fi Base Station (optional): full price: $79.95, right now $59.95
- Ship outside of the US free of charge
BabelBark is a mobile app and software platform with intelligent cloud analytics and marketing tools that connects owners, their dogs, veterinarians and pet businesses/pet service providers.
- Appointment scheduling
- Diet recommendations
- Targeted promotions
- Access and share information from vet
- Vaccinations and medication reminders
- Contact vet in emergencies, call pet poison helpline, locate vet hospitals
- 6-month battery life
- Store up to 30 days of activity
Fitness monitor pricing: $29.95
5. ID Tags / Trackable Collars
Pet Widget – Smart ID Tag
The Pet Widget “Badge” is an NFC & QR code-enabled intelligent pet ID tag, which is linked to pet profiles created in the Pet Widget app and stored in the cloud.
If your pet gets lost, the person who finds it can scan the Badge with their smartphone.
The app is free on the App Store. There are no subscription fees, pets’ information can be accessed 24/7, owners can offer rewards, and are in full control of the information presented in their pets’ online profile with the Pet Widget app.
Badges look like keychains that go on the dog’s collar.
Badge cost: $29.95
Kyon is a GPS location tracking collar that communicates with you and notifies you of the exact location of your pet.
The manufacturers say “Kyon is the thinnest GPS pet tracker collar today, that looks and feels like a regular collar.”
- Battery life up to 30 days.
- Sense technology determines your pet’s mood and tells if your pet is hot or cold.
- Water sensor alerts when your dog is in danger.
- Ultrasound is emitted from collar to stop your dog from barking.
WoofAdvisor is an Irish startup founded by Gerry Molloy with one aim: To help make travelling with your dog as easy – and as much fun – as possible.
Currently operating in Ireland & UK, with NYC in the pipeline.
Website: www.WoofAdvisor.com | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WoofAdvisor/