The latest statistics place pets in over half of all homes in the United States. 63% of those pets are dogs. Dogs are, by far, the most popular pet, with cats coming in a distant second.
Many dog owners take their dogs with them on trips and local outings. Dog crates specifically for travel, like these, help keep beloved pets safe and secure while traveling. But what can dog owners do to improve the lives of their dogs while at home?
Smart tech has gone to the dogs… literally
Along with dogs, a large majority of homes own virtual assistants known as smart technology. The devices can perform such tasks as play music on request or give directions to a favorite recipe. Artificial intelligence is a huge factor in home security in many homes across the nation.
With smart technology cornering the market on meeting the demands of humans, investors are changing their focus to other niches. The dog owner niche is one of the most profitable and booming industries.
Smart tech is taking over the dog owner niche and improving every aspect of a dog’s life along the way. From smart collars that track your dog’s movements to pet cams that dispense treats, owners have access to their pet’s every waking — and sleeping — moment.
And they say dogs are the clingy ones!
6 ways smart tech improves your dog’s life
In the 1980s, we imagined the future would entail flying cars and robot maids. We were half right. While flying cars aren’t even on the horizon, robot vacuums are a sign that cleaning will soon be automated.
With automation on the rise, is it any surprise that increasing the ease of pet care is a high priority for the tech industry?
Smart tech for pets can reach every aspect of your pet’s life. Here are 6 of the most popular types of smart tech to improve your dog’s life.
1. Training tech
Many dog owners simply don’t have the money to send their dogs away for weeks of professional training. Nor do they find it necessary, as dogs can easily be trained in basic obedience at home with the proper tools.
Smart tech makes those tools easy to access and implement. Here are some of the ways smart technology can help in training.
Housetraining a dog is one of the most difficult tasks for dog owners. Automatic pet doors can help encourage your dog to go to the bathroom outside instead of in the house. And they are perfectly safe from would-be burglars.
A key fob attaches to your dog’s collar that activates the door to open or close when your dog is within a certain distance from the door. When the door is closed, it is impossible to open from the outside. This allows your dog to come and go as needed when potty training.
Nuisance barking is a real concern among dog owners. Especially those who live in rental units or in close proximity to their neighbors.
Certain types of smart collars can help control excessive barking. The collars can emit a vibration or citronella scent to deter your dog from barking. Both options are humane ways to train your dog not to bark non-stop.
2. Automatic food and water bowls
Automatic food and water products have been on the market for many years. The basic type uses gravity to replenish food and water as needed. With some dogs, automatic pet feeders can be problematic because the dog won’t stop eating.
Newer technology can help avoid that issue. Many automatic feeders now include technological advances such as voice recordings, timers and portion control to limit the amount of food consumed in a certain amount of time.
Dog owners can even activate the feeder remotely through a smartphone app.
3. Tracking your dog’s weight and activity level
Up to 30% of all dogs are overweight. That percentage increases drastically for dogs over the age of 5. Obesity is a huge problem for dogs, no pun intended. It can lead to a myriad of problems, including arthritis and heart disease. Obesity in dogs is often caused by overfeeding combined with a lack of physical activity.
Many dogs require up to at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, but their owners are slacking. Activity trackers are popular devices for humans to track their own activity and keep them accountable to meet daily goals.
That same device is now available for use with dogs. It often attaches to their collar and sends information about their weight, goal weight and activity level to a smartphone app. This allows the owner to track their dog’s progress remotely.
4. Finding lost pets with GPS
Ten million dogs wind up lost each year. That number is down significantly with the invention of the microchip. However, the microchip only works if a) your pet is found and b) it is taken to a vet to get scanned for the chip. In many cases, the lost pets are never recovered.
However, new tech products on the market use GPS to track your pup’s location. Many devices are connected to the owner’s smartphone, sending updates directly to your phone if your dog changes locations.
5. Virtual playtime when you can’t be there
One of the reasons dogs aren’t getting enough exercise is that their owners are simply not home to walk or play with their pets. However, the technology now exists that allows dog owners to play and interact with their pup remotely.
The automatic dog toys range from one that is activated from a smartphone to a device that can be programmed to play fetch with your pup. And you can track it all with the activity tracker mentioned up above.
6. Surprise, you’re on canine candid camera
Many dog owners miss their dogs when they are at work or out running errands. The dogs also miss their owners, which can sometimes lead to destructive separation anxiety. Doggie cameras are the new trend for dog owners.
The most basic camera allows dog owners to watch their dogs either through a smartphone app or from a computer. Technology advances cameras allow owners to verbally communicate with their dogs. That can help with training, as owners are able to correct unwanted behavior as they see it happening.
The most advanced type of canine camera includes a treat-dispenser. The treats can be given remotely or programmed to dispense at specific times. With any luck, dog owners will see their dogs snoozing away on the couch instead of eating it.
Smart tech won’t replace your bond with your pup
Most people get dogs because they are loyal companions. Using technology geared toward pets won’t affect your bond with your dog as long as you spend time together unplugged, too.