The pet industry has seen rapid change over the last few years. The rise of social media, increased use of voice-activated technology and a desire for experiences instead of things have been big drivers. But the pace of innovation isn’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, a study by the American Humane Association found that people spend roughly 63 minutes a day with their pets. Humans are becoming increasingly reliant on technology to complete our daily tasks, but what about our pets? In fact, thanks to new technologies like virtual reality and artificial intelligence, pet products and services will continue to get more interesting in the coming years. There are plenty of great options if you’re looking for a new pet, but these 10 pet technologies will improve your life whether you have an animal companion or not.
A brief history of pet tech
The first pet product to utilize technology was the flea collar back in the 1930s, followed by the pet door in the '40s and the pet stroller in the '50s. The '60s brought about pet shampoo and pet shampoos, and the '70s saw the advent of pet vitamins. The '80s brought pet insurance and pet scanning technology, and the '90s brought pet headphones. The 21st century has seen the rise of pet apps and pet GPS trackers, as well as wearable health monitors and activity trackers for pets. As pet owners have become more tech-savvy, the options have grown far beyond the standard plastic tags and metal ID tags of the past.
1. Virtual Reality for Dogs
Virtual reality (VR) has become more common in human-focused products, but only recently has it been explored for dogs. Specifically, VR can be used as a training tool to help dogs overcome their fears. VR can also be used to exercise a dog’s brain and encourage problem-solving skills. And finally, it can be used to create positive associations with everyday situations — like visiting the vet. While VR isn’t the right choice for all dogs, it can be a helpful tool for those with specific needs, like puppies who are afraid of noises or anxiety around other dogs. Real-life experiences can be difficult for a dog to learn from; VR can allow them to practice in a virtual environment and make connections much more easily.
2. GPS Tracking Collars
Dog lovers have been tracking and monitoring their animals for years, but the technology has evolved to the point where it can be extremely useful. While a traditional GPS collar may be helpful for getting back to your pet’s last location, new models provide much more. Some of these tracking collars give you information about your dog’s heart rate, how much they’ve rested and even how much water they’ve consumed. Other models give you an idea of how stressed your dog is throughout the day with a bar graph that updates in real time. There’s also new tech that can alert you when your dog is barking, to help you avoid those false alarms. And some models even offer a “find my pup” feature that calls your pet to help you locate them.
3. Voice-Activated Technologies
Voice assistants are everywhere these days — and pet lovers are taking advantage of them. In fact, a survey found that 30% of pet owners now use voice-activated technology for their animals. From playing music to providing information, these assistants can be helpful for anyone with animals in the home. The most useful features of these assistants are being able to set a timer and have reminders, as well as playing music.
4. Smart Feeders
Automatic feeders aren’t new, but new tech is making them more intelligent and able to accommodate lots of different feeding options. Many of these feeders offer options for portion and frequency controls, as well as the ability to create custom feeding schedules. If you travel frequently, a smart feeder can help you avoid missed feedings and deliver a more consistent diet for your pet. These feeders can be programmed to release food at certain times both manually and automatically using a schedule.
5. Artificial Intelligence Pet Care
As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to grow, there are more and more ideas being explored in the pet care space. One of the latest ideas is the AI-powered robot that can help care for your pets. These robots are designed to help with feeding, watering and even playing with your pets. The feeding function can be used to dispense prescribed amounts of food for animals with dietary restrictions and can be set for specific times. The watering function can be used to water plants. The playing function can be used in a variety of ways, including with interactive toys or by playing a sound for a cat or dog to chase.
6. Pet Cameras
Pet cameras are a great way to keep tabs on your pets when you’re not home. They can allow you to see your pets’ environment and even interact with them using the two-way audio. You can choose from wired or wireless versions. Most pet cameras are designed to look like houseplants or other objects that blend in with your interior décor. They range from around $30 to over $200, depending on the features you’re looking for. Some pet cameras can be accessed through mobile apps, and others can be viewed via a web browser. If you like the idea of pet cameras but don’t want the hassle of installing wiring, you might want to consider a Wi-Fi camera that connects to your existing network. Some Wi-Fi cameras have special pet features, but others are more general home security cameras. Be sure to double-check the feature list so you know what you’re getting. Check out Top 5 Pets Cameras of 2022!
If you’ve ever been to a hotel with a pet-friendly room, you know it’s typically a tiny space with fewer amenities than other rooms. But new tech is making pet-friendly rooms a lot more interesting. AI-powered technology is used to provide real-time information like noise level, temperature and whether there are other pets in the room. And lights can be set to come on at certain times to help your pet’s circadian rhythm. Room service can be ordered by your pet through a treat dispenser at the door. Other features include a “walk me” button your pet can push to have a staff member walk them, a “play with me” button that can trigger a game of fetch with a robotic toy and an “I’m lonely” button that calls a staff member to play with your pet.
8. Co-bot Companions
Robots have become a lot more sophisticated, and pet owners are taking advantage of that. Many hotels are now using robotic assistants to help with basic pet services and keep their rooms clean. These co-bot companions can help with walking, play and other basic services. And they can also be used to help manage pet waste so it doesn’t get on hotel grounds or in your room. More sophisticated robots can also be used to help with basic pet care or monitoring. You can even find robots that can dispense medication at certain times or send notifications if your pet is unwell.
9. Electronic Toys For Pets
Electronic toys and puzzles for pets have been available for years, but they’re only becoming more popular as a growing number of pet owners realize the benefits of keeping their pets busy and entertained. These toys generally come with different levels of difficulty and can be customized as your pet advances. Many of them can be programmed to play a certain number of times per day, and some even have special functions like sleep modes. Prices vary greatly depending on the type of toy you’re looking for and the extra features it includes, ranging from $15 to over $100. If you have a dog or cat who loves to play with toys, but you don’t want to spend lots of money, there are plenty of toys that are designed for pets on a budget. Most of them are self-cleaning and don’t require any special batteries or charging, so you can just toss them in the closet when they’re done.
10. Robotic vacuum cleaners
If you want the most versatile vacuum cleaner for your pets, the Dyson V15 is the one to get. This pet vacuum is designed specifically for pet owners to handle stubborn dirt and pet hair. It comes with a detachable extension hose and a pet hair tool with rotating bristles that swivel so that you can easily target pet hair without wasting any time on places with less hair. The Dyson V15 is also super easy to empty. You can just unplug the unit and empty the dirt container. It can also handle other surfaces like hard floors, tile, and wood surfaces. You can even use its attachments to clean your car, your boat, and your bike. If you have a messy pet who rids your home of crumbs every day, the V15 will come in handy every day!
Keeping your pets entertained isn’t just about providing them with basic necessities. It’s about tending to their emotional and mental needs. There are plenty of tools and gadgets that can help you better care for your pets. With these devices, you can provide your pets with entertainment, remotely monitor your home, dispense food at specific times, keep track of your pet’s activities throughout the day and much more.