Our contemporary landscape is enhanced by a range of digital tools. They help to make our lives more efficient and connect with one another over vast distances. Some are instrumental in improving our physical and mental health, including things like watches that include ECG and blood pressure monitoring. While tech for humans is widely discussed, many of us overlook how gadgets and technology can also help the animals in our lives.
Yet, this is a growing technological field. There are hardware and software systems being developed to ensure the animals we interact with get the level of care they deserve. Digital tools are helping us to enrich and entertain our pets and strengthen our relationships with them. Indeed, thanks in part to social media posts demonstrating some of these tools, many gadgets have started to trend among animal lovers. It’s an interesting field that provides positive experiences for pets and owners alike.
Let’s take a closer look at this area to identify current trends in gadgets for animal lovers and what might be a prevalent part of pet ownership in the near future.
Dogs are among the most common pets in the U.S., and they’ve long been considered a close companion to humans. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are gadgets people can use to bolster this relationship. The items available for dog parents and their canine family members span every aspect of life — from wellness to travel.
Some of the most practical gadget trends for dogs involve vehicles. One of the joys of being a dog owner is the ability to take a pet on trips. But, it’s important for owners to make sure they’re utilizing tools and methods to keep dogs safe throughout car journeys. This can begin with a strong and portable ramp system to help senior or disabled dogs in and out of the car. Owners can also utilize the growing number of crash-tested car seats and harnesses designed specifically for dogs.
There is also a growing trend to keep dogs safe on occasions when there is no option but to leave them in an unattended vehicle. Climate control systems are emerging that monitor a dog’s motions alongside the conditions of the vehicle. The tech then adjusts the climate automatically. Some systems also send the owner alerts and messages regarding the dog’s behavior and wellness. These tools are still very much in the early days of development, and implementations like “dog mode” can be considered controversial. However, it’s likely such systems will be part of more automated pet trends in the near future.
Aside from safety, some trending gadgets are also designed to help dogs stay fit. People are already used to incorporating fitness trackers into their workouts and sports activities. Now, an increasing range of trackers can attach to a dog’s collar. Some of these are as simple as monitoring a dog’s daily step count. Others provide a wider range of data, such as sleep patterns and activity levels, via connected applications. This allows owners to understand their pet’s ongoing wellness better.
Horses may not be the most common form of pet. Yet, they still play a major role in many people’s lives. There are, of course, various ways in which people incorporate horses into their activities — and there is a growing range of gadgets that help to support this.
Some equestrian community members are already starting to use their personal fitness trackers to keep their horses’ training levels at a high standard. Though these gadgets are intended for use by humans, the motion of riding means these wearables can still track a horse’s steps. This said, there are already indications that equestrian technology will involve more fitness tracking tools in the future. Companies have developed sensors riders can attach to a horse’s girth and share real-time exercise data via applications. There are also bodysuits to monitor vital signs such as heart rates, which can give owners early indications of potential issues.
One of the most interesting emerging ranges of technology is for owners and trainers to monitor their horses’ condition when they’re not present. After all, the animal’s resting rates and behaviors influence the animal’s comfort, performance in activities, and overall well-being. There are smart halters on the market that track a horse’s behavior. These are programmed to recognize potential signs of distress or injuries. The technology then alerts owners or trainers via text message or email with real-time details of these issues. This means the horse is able to get the vital care it needs at the earliest opportunity.
Cats have a reputation for being both agents of chaos and perpetual sleepers. So, it can seem as though they’re not the most obvious targets for gadgetry. Nevertheless, there has been enthusiastic development and adoption of tools that make life as a cat owner both more practical and entertaining.
Some of the most popular cat gadgets are designed to meet exercise with enrichment. At the moment, it’s difficult to swipe through social media without seeing a video of a cat running on a giant wheel. These cat wheels are designed to ensure cats get a high level of activity that helps them reduce the stress of living indoors. Cat owners can also utilize live monitoring devices to control toys and speak to their animals remotely. This can be particularly valuable for addressing separation anxiety when owners work or on vacation.
On the subject of monitoring, humans aren’t the only ones whom tech is tracking. There are also watchful gadgets owners can use to help maintain cats’ well-being. At the moment, one key trend here is automated cat litter boxes. These litter boxes sense when the cat has left the device, rotate the box, and filter used litter into a separate tray below. However, there are some options that come with artificial intelligence software built in. These provide cat owners with information about the cat’s weight and toilet habits, which can offer insights into the pet’s health.
Our connection to animals can result in some of the most important relationships in our lives. As such, it’s perfectly sensible that developers are committed to creating gadgets to enhance experiences for both owners and pets. Both dogs and horses are being provided with fitness trackers — with more effective smart technology likely to arise in the near future. Cats’ enrichment and wellness are being improved with tech toys and health monitoring devices. Our digital landscape is quickly becoming more sophisticated. It certainly looks as though the animals we bond with are going to continue to benefit from these advances in the years ahead.
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