Over the course of the last couple of decades our lives on the digital landscape has shifted into high gear as we hopscotch from one new shiny thing to another. But what about our pets? Have they also acclimated to our brave new world of techie gadgets and innovative wizardry? Does technology add to their life experience or are they still perfectly content with that soothing bowl of milk or the next opportunity to bury that steak bone in the backyard?
The jury's out on that one. However with the release of the American Pet Products Association's most recent pet-owner survey, it does point to two-thirds of American households housing pets. So, it shouldn't be a shocker that a lot of us are considering more high tech items for our furry roommates. Here's a list of five latest gadgets you might want to try out with your little friends.
1- The Woofer™
The Woofer™ is a dog coat that comes equipped with built-in speakers, so you can share your music with your dog by inserting your iPod, Smartphone or MP3 player, Attached with a headphone jack and 3-watt speakers, now you can share your favorites tunes with man's best friend. Ranging in price from $100 to $120, based on the dog's size, a portion of each Woofer sold is donated to pet charities and the apparel is certified by Veterinary specialist, Dr. Stephens Meister. Great for a jog in the park or you might even consider assigning your dog the responsibility of DJ'ing at your next house party!
2- GoGo Dog Pals
is advertised as the "next generation interactive dog toy." Designed as a cartoonish looking robot for dogs to chase, this high-tech toy can travel as fast as 22 mph. Allowing for long range operation (up to 350 feet), GoGo Dog Pals comes with a durable finish and long battery life. Priced at $229.99 (includes free shipping), this is one of few new techie-items that can operate on any surface, such as backyards, parks and/or dirt ranges. Included is a remote control which features a simple trigger mechanism and the small steering wheel provides for super-easy maneuvering. Great for pet owners who want to take a rest while their dogs are exercising.
3- Stimulo Cat Feeder
Since hunting as an activity appeals to felines, the Stimulo Cat Feeder allows cats to tap into their primal nature, simarly as to how they would search for a mouse in a hole. The unique design of this feeder prompts cats to use their paws to retrieve food. With 9 different openings that are adjustable with different tube lengths, pet owners can hide food in different sections to make meal times more of fun game-like activity. This process also reduces the speed of ingestion which in turn can help with overfeeding and vomiting issues. Priced at $28.95, the Stimulo can be purchased online.
4- Tagg's Pet Tracker
Tagg's Pet Tracker was initially meant to help owners find lost pets with global geolocation technology when it was first sold in 2011. Since then, a tracking feature that charts a pet’s daily activity has been added. The system ranging from $99.95 (3 months of service) to $179.95 (12 months of service) includes an iPhone app and notification system that allows users to push notifications, emails and text messages, and the service will even alert you when the device needs recharging. Should your pets get lost, the app can provide you with a map and driving directions to locate them in short order.
5- Whistle Activity Monitor
is another pet-monitoring device. However, this one measures your dog's activities including walks, play, and rest, giving you a new perspective on their day-to-day behavior and long-term health trends. Pet owners can check-in from their smart phones, share memorable moments with family and friends, and send detailed reports to their veterinarians. The half-ounce device, which costs $100, clips to a dog’s collar and can tell the master whether the dog has been asleep all afternoon or is in the process of chasing its tail.
So that's the short list. I'm sure if you search the Web, you might find Google working on some new pet technology as well. For instance, after doing some research on another related blog post pertaining to the Big G's latest invention, the thought did cross my mind, they may have something in the works? While gadget lovers await the commercial release of Google Glass this Christmas, could the tech giant also be preparing a modified device for our pets? It's a brave-new-world indeed!