Check out our top smart pet tech, interactive, app-controlled gadgets that not only help you keep you furry friend safe, but also enhance their quality of life
Updated: even the most vigilant of dog owners can find themselves losing Fido in the nearby woods, only to find him three hours later taking a nap in next door’s shed. And as for cats – we know they’re prone to slinking off for a second dinner a few doors down. Check out our round up of the tech that can make any pet safer and more secure:
Best tech for: housesitting your pet when you are away
Banish the guilt you feel when you have to leave your dog home alone with this inspired device that lets you interact with it from wherever you are.
PetChatz is a small unit that fixes to your wall and enables you to video chat with your dog on a colour screen, and even award it treats and sniffs.
Log onto the app from your phone, tablet, or PC, and a special ringtone will tell your dog you’re there. Say hello and give him a wave and a smile from your desk at work, the bus home, or even from outside the country.
Have PetChatz dispense a treat, and let him sniff the his favourite scents with pads that can be customised with essential oils.
The PetChatz starter bundle, including the unit, essential oil drops, pads, and a four month supply of treats, is $399 (about £260) from PetChatz.com.
Best tech for: keeping your pet healthy
2. iQ Pet StarWalk
Never mind activity trackers for humans – keep your dog in shape with its very own fitness wearable.
StarWalk attaches to your dog’s collar to monitor its total steps, calories burned, active time, distance travelled, and even body temperature. With an app on your smartphone, you can keep track of its progress and help reach its goals.
StarWalk’s StepLight system shows your dog’s progress too. Each of the six lights represents 20% of its daily goal, and you’ll know your pooch is done for the day when it greets you will a fully illuminated collar.
You can also set up alerts within the app for important dates and medication times, so you’ll be reminded when your dog greats you with a flashing collar.
$79.95 (around £52) from iQPet.com.
Best tech for: helping you track your pet
If your pet is one of the 10 million that gets lost every year, Tagg can help you out. This GPS tracker attaches to your pet’s collar and lets you see where they are at all times from an app on your smartphone.
You can set their home base within the app and receive alerts if they wander off, and even receive information about their surroundings, like whether they’re too hot or cold.
Should you ever need to go and fetch your pet from a far-off hiding place, the Tagg app will give you directions on how to get there so you can find your little escape artist quickly and easily.
$79.95 (around £52) from PetTracker.com.
This is another great wearable GPS tracker that will give you peace of mind that your furry friend is safe and sound from wthin an app on your smartphone.
If your dog or moggy wanders off, you can text PawTrax and it will wake up and send you a text using its built-in sim card. This enables you to see your pet’s location on Google Maps.
You can view a historical snail trail of your pet’s movements by setting PawTrax to record your its location at intervals, which will be represented on the map by a paw icon.
PawTrax is available for both cats and dogs, with a comfortable collar suitable for your pet’s size.
£85 from Pawtrax.co.uk.
The SticknFind does exactly what it says on the tin. Simply stick this 10p-sized sticker to your cat’s collar, and you can see if it’s within radar using an app on your phone that connects to the sticker via Bluetooth,
The SticknFind isn’t limited to locating meandering moggies. It’s useful for finding all sorts of bits and bobs we’re constantly losing, like keys and wallets. That’s why there’s a function in the app which makes the disc buzz or light up when you need to find it.
We’ll leave it to you to discover what your feline friends think about that bit.
6. Kippy GPS tracker
This neat little tracker is both dog and cat friendly. Simply attach Kippy to their collar to enjoy surveillance of their every move.
The free Kippy app lets you track their exact location on Google Maps using your smartphone or tablet, so you’ll feel reassured even whilst on the move.
Much like your pet, Kippy has some clever tricks up its sleeve. It lets you set up a virtual fence on Maps and notifies you if your pet crosses the boundaries, and uses motion sensors to save battery life by going into energy saving mode when your pet is asleep.
It’s also shock proof and waterproof, so it won’t disrupt Fido’s busy and important schedule of puddle jumping and fervent tail wagging.
PetCube lets you watch, talk and play with your pet when you’re out of the house via an app on you smartphone.
Pop PetCube where its wide-angle camera can see your furry friend and enjoy having footage of their frolics streamed to your smartphone wherever you are.
There’s even a function in the app to let you direct a safe laser pointer for them to chase, and a speaker built in so you can keep them comforted with the sound of your voice.
The PetCube app also lets you interact and play with PetCube pets around the world – even if you don’t have a PetCube.
$199 (£130) PetCube.com.
8. GoPro Fetch
Give your dog the chance to film its own dog-umentary with the GoPro Fetch.
The Fetch harness enables you to strap your GoPro safely and securely to your dog’s head or neck to capture a unique dog-eye-view film.
And whether it be at the beach, in a windswept meadow, or just in a giant puddle of mud, the washable, water-friendly harness can go anywhere your dog – and your GoPro – can.
It adjusts to fit dogs of all sizes, and has padded construction so your pooch can capture all of its playful moments in complete comfort.
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Best tech for: cleaning your dog
Not being dog owners ourselves, we weren’t sure if this was for real but apparently vacuuming your dog is a socially acceptable thing. Or if it’s not, Dyson intends it to be. This attachment plugs into your Dyson’s hand tool socket and let you – well, vacuum the dog. Remove hair, dead skin cells and lord knows what else, that’s accumulated in the coat of the average canine. It’s yours for £38.99 from John Lewis, but won’t work with the Dyson’s DC01, Motorhead models or cordless models.