Most pets make use of modern technology as either a chew toy or a warm place to nap, but our furry loved ones can also benefit from gadgets in other ways. The life of a pet mostly revolves around eating, sleeping, and playing; and there are plenty of gadgets to assist pets in all three areas. TechnologyGuide has gathered up some of the most interesting gadgets for pets and pet owners currently on the market.
Sunbeam Pets Dog Treat Maker
Most pet owners are aware that commercial pet food can include quite a few dubious ingredients, but many of us do not have the time (nor the money) to make pet food from scratch. But every now and then, it would be nice to whip up a treat for Fido; that is where the Sunbeam Pets Dog Treat Maker comes in.
Sold in Petsmart stores for $29.99 at the time of this writing, the Dog Treat Maker resembles a waffle maker, but with dog bone shapes, and works quite similarly to a waffle iron. It comes complete with healthy treat recipes, which can be made in minutes. While it isn’t feasible for most people to hire a personal pet chef or to whip up gourmet pet food each day, pet owners can still create treats without ingredients with head scratching pronunciations.
Feed and Go Remote Pet Feeder
Getting to work and realizing that no one fed the family pet that morning is never a good feeling, especially when seeing that said pet has remedied the situation via a torn bag of food upon arriving home (ingenuity no one can deny they would exercise in the same situation). To keep household pets full and content, FeedAndGo.com offers a remote pet feeder. Thanks to the Wi-Fi feature of the device, owners can schedule up to 6 feedings of wet or dry food, which holds six one cup servings.
Users can also prompt the device to dispense food from their smartphone or via the website. The Feed and Go could be especially helpful for owners wishing to limit how much chow their pet indulges at one time. Owners can also record their voice so that the device will call the pet over for snack time in a familiar voice. The device is also useful for pets that need medications throughout the day, since owners can either prompt the device or schedule timed feedings, with the medication in the food, from a smartphone or from the web. The Feed and Go device sells for $199.99 at the time of this writing.
Heated Cat Bed and Hut
A widely known fact about cats is that they love to be warm, whether it’s by basking in rays of sunlight or by sitting directly on top of a vent, absorbing the heat before it can warm the house. These are great solutions for cats, but what about comfort? Nothing is worse than trying to get some shut eye on your favorite heating vent, only to have people keep moving you off of it, claiming it has to warm the entire house, or something.
To let the heat reach the rest of the house, owners can now get the Thermo Kitty Hut. It heats to a comfortable 102 degrees; a safe heat for cats, and has a half shell that can be adjusted for added warmth. This is just one of the many heated beds available for cats currently on the market; a quick search reveals heated cat beds are a popular purchase. It gives cats the comfort of direct heat, without robbing it from those paying the bills. However, we can’t make any promises about the electricity bill. The Thermo Kitty Hut can be purchased at PetCo for $69.99 at the time of this writing.
Twitter has given internet-enabled humans the ability to express their every thought and emotion at the touch of a smartphone — within 140 characters, that is. Now, dogs can share their thoughts throughout the day with their owners, and adoring followers, via Twitter. Puppy Tweets claims it can analyze a dog’s activity level, movement, sound, as well as the time of day and the day of the week, and will populate a pre-canned tweet to send out periodically throughout the day.
The frequency of tweets is set by the user, and there are about 500 pre-canned tweets that can be sent out. Five hundred tweets for a dog is actually a few hundred too few, but developers have promised download packs in the near future so that dog owners can avoid seeing repeat tweets from their canine pals. Cats declined an interview with TechnologyGuide, but a representative for the species did tell us cats feel their Internet presence is strong enough as is. Puppy Tweets is currently on sale at Amazon for $14.99 USD, at the time of this writing.
PetZen Doggy Treadmill
One would hope that any dog owner has the means and time to get out for a daily walk with their dog. It is a great opportunity to get exercise (for both species) and it can help create bonds between owner and pet. That being said, there are always weather patterns or certain circumstances that can keep both man and dog inside. Also, some dog breeds, as well as some humans, are notorious for laziness, and dragging them off the couch for a bout of exercise can be nearly impossible.
This is where the PetZen doggy treadmill can help. Well, for the dog at least. After a quick gait measurement and a bit of training, dogs can easily master the treadmill, a trick that still eludes many humans today. And, as cartoons have taught us, a well-positioned treat can motivate the most stubborn of dogs to get up and get their blood circulating. The PetZen doggy treadmill is highly recommended by vets, and comes in sizes suited for small dogs, priced at $599, medium dogs at $799, and large dogs at $999, at the time of this writing. Each treadmill comes with instructions on how to train a pup to get running. Important to note: for dogs that find this form of exercise isn’t for them, the treadmill can always be used as a drying rack for his or her clothes.
Laser Chase Toy
Cats love lasers, and they also love to seek attention when owners are at their most preoccupied. The ultimate laziness comes when holding a laser pointer feels too strenuous, but it’s safe to say most cat owners have been there; more often than not it’s a choice between wearing the cat out, and attempting to finish work with a furry heating pad on the keyboard.
With the Laser Chase Toy, though, no longer do cat owners need to decide between entertaining their cat and finishing that business proposal due by 9am the next morning. Sold by Sharper Image for $29.99 at the time of this writing, it features 16 different play combinations, a timer that will turn the device off after 15-20 minutes, and four different speeds. Dogs also love this toy, making it a device to keep both family pets entertained and tuckered out.
Cat Mate Elite Super Selective Cat Flap
For the outdoor cat or toy sized dog without thumbs, getting inside and outside is an age-old problem. Sure, there are regular cat flaps, but in an attempt to avoid a Home Alone-type scenario (or more likely, raccoons), most people prefer to keep their front door intact. Now, thanks to the Cat Mate Elite Super Selective Cat Flap, cat owners and small dog owners can utilize RFID tags to dictate which pets have access to the cat flap.
With its four way locking system, owners can program up to eight tags that will activate the automatic pet door. Only animals with a programmed RFID tag can be let in or out of the house this way, eliminating the possibility of a raccoon, squirrel, or Joe Pesci’s head entering. The device also gives owners the option to set a timer, locking the pet door, so pets will stay inside at night. An LCD display with controls can inform owners if a pet is outside or inside, when the last time the flap was activated, and allows them to set individual limits per animal. Currently, the Cat Mate Elite Super Selective Cat Flap is on sale at Amazon for $115.25.
There is another model, the Cat Mate Elite Selective Cat Flap (notice the lack of Super), which offers similar features with slightly less functionality and is currently on sale for $79.13 USD on Amazon. Pet owners everywhere will rejoice, as they finally get to sit down and finish a book, without getting up five times to let an indecisive pet in and out.