High Tech Pet Gear You'll Wish You Knew About Sooner
The information age has not only brought us many new inventions but also substantially changed the way we live our everyday lives. Watches are now being called "smart" because they do much more than just tell the time; smartphones are getting even thinner, but the images they capture are reaching the quality of professional-grade cameras; VR is becoming increasingly more popular and evolving every day; Self-driving cars are just around the corner. It seems like exciting new tech is everywhere - becoming a part of all industries and revolutionizing them to the core.
The pet industry is no exception, with E-commerce giants like Amazon recognizing its potential. While they are only focusing on pet food, for now, we are surely in store for some exciting new gadgets for our furry family members. So what about high tech pet gear we currently have on the market and available for purchase? Is anybody actually spending money on them? Well, according to the American Pet Products Association(APPA), in 2017, Americans spent 69 billion dollars on their pets. Around 15 billion of that sum was spent on beds, collars, leashes, toys, travel items, clothing, food, water bowls and various gadgets that are quality of life improvements.
While some of these items are more of a gimmick than they are functional, others serve a real purpose and - after reading our list - you'll wish you knew about them much sooner.
1. Automatic Ball Launcher
A simple yet effective toy, an automatic ball launcher is a lifesaver for owners who lead a busy lifestyle but own an active dog breed that needs all the exercise it can get. Thirty minutes of fetch just doesn't cut it for these tireless animals and a lack of physical activity often translates into unwanted behavior. In order to avoid coming home to a complete mess in the living room, get an automatic ball launcher. The concept behind this device is very straightforward - the ball is placed in the opening on the top and launched into the air so your canine can go fetch it. It's fully automatic in the sense that it detects the weight of the ball and launches it after a few seconds. Your smart canine pal will quickly figure out how it works and will enjoy hours of playtime while you finish that important assignment or just sit back and relax in your armchair. There are a lot of automatic ball launchers on the market right now, iFetch being just one of them.
2. Automatic Laser Toy For Cats
While dogs love their balls, cats have a shorter attention span and need a different type of entertainment to keep them busy. You know those cheap laser toys that can fit on your keychain? Cats love those! But we're stepping it up a notch with the automatic laser toy. These devices serve a similar purpose as the ball launcher in the sense that your pet gets to have its playtime without you having to participate. There are plenty of models on the market but they usually all work on the same principal - randomly emitting laser beams in different directions so that your cat never gets bored. PetSafe makes a wide range of these and they are pretty affordable.
3. Dog Treadmills
While regular treadmills for humans have been around for a while, doggy treadmills are still considered somewhat of a novelty. While these devices were over-the-top expensive when they first appeared on the market, the prices have dropped substantially in the past few years, with a lot of new models and brands coming out. GoPet has a model that is actually a treadwheel which doesn't even require electricity to run. Dog treadmills can never - and should never - replace regular walks but serve as a great tool to exercise your pet indoors when the weather conditions are not fit for outdoor recreation.
4. GPS trackers
Speaking of outdoor activities, GPS trackers are a great way to keep track of your pet's movement and ensure he never gets lost. These trackers come in all shapes and sizes, the best of them utilize different satellite navigation systems and offer additional information like distance traveled, timings and more. Garmin is a household name in the world of GPS devices and offers a huge range of models specially designed for pets.
5. Wi-Fi Pet Cameras
So what about when you're away on a business trip or just stuck at the office doing long hours? You can still show some love and let your furry friends know you're thinking about them by installing a Wi-Fi camera in your home. Petcube designed one specifically with pets in mind so that you can not just see and "talk" to your best friends through a two-way microphone, but also hurl them a treat whenever you want to reward them. The camera is controlled by an app on your smartphone, you can even record video and share it instantly with friends and family.
6. Self Cleaning Litter Box
While felines tend to conduct their business in a very neat and clean fashion, cleaning a litter box is one the least favorite chores a pet owner can have. This is especially the case with multiple-cat homes where you would have a dozen of litter boxes all over the place. Like everything else on this list, improving quality of life is the idea so instead of cleaning after your cat, get a self-cleaning litter box and save yourself the trouble of worrying about emptying it every single day. These devices come in all shapes and sizes and utilize different methods to get the job done. Some are based on the mostly standard rake-scooping method, others rely on unique design and utilize a spherical litter chamber, and some are even fully automatic. Our top pick would be the Litter-Robot III, but like we already mentioned, there are a lot of products out there. For more information check out KobiPets' self cleaning litter box reviews and find the one that suits your needs and budget.
These are our top picks right now but there is a lot more high tech pet gear out there for you to explore. With the industry booming and new technology on the horizon, it's safe to say that we can expect a number of new innovations that will make being a pet owner even better - if that's even possible. If you were hesitant about having a furry companion, maybe some of these devices will convince you that it doesn't have to be as time-consuming or stressful as you might have imagined. Equip yourself with a bunch of gadgets, but remember that nothing beats a good old walk with your best pal.