Thanks to the fitness tracker you wear on your wrist, you know that taking your dog for a walk is an excellent way to meet your daily step goal. But what about your dog? Do you ever wish for dog technology that could tell you whether his fitness level is up to snuff? You may or may not be surprised to learn that such technology exists, and it's just one of many emerging trends in pet tech designed to make caring for your pet as easy as counting your steps.
Dog Technology Trends
In an age of smart homes, robots and self-driving cars, it should come as no surprise that pet care is also getting the high-tech treatment. Here are a few of the leading trends in pet tech:
Fitness monitors. With the popularity of human fitness tracking devices, it's not surprising that fitness trackers for dogs are on the rise. Typically worn on your dog's collar, these devices sync to your smartphone to let you monitor your dog's activity and fitness level, set goals, and track his progress. The accompanying apps connect you to social networks where you can compare your pup's progress to that of other dogs.
Tracking devices and apps. Tracking apps and wearables are a big trend in dog technology. Wearable GPS devices let you track your dog's whereabouts from your computer or smartphone so he never gets lost, and some can even alert you if your dog strays outside his designated boundaries. One such gadget that is still in development for commercial production, says Daily Treat, not only keeps tabs on your dog's whereabouts but also monitors his body temperature and alerts you when he's in danger of heat stress. It can monitor water levels for dogs that don't swim very well, and monitor your dog's mood to let you know if he's not feeling well.
Another not so new technology, but new to the world of pets, is facial recognition. FindingRover.com is a facial recognition app that you can download on your phone. You take an initial photo of your pup just in case he ever gets lost. Then, when you report him lost, the app contacts a number of organizations nationwide. If the person that finds your dog has the Finding Rover app, they can take a photo and it will use the facial recognition to match the two photos and help reunite you with your lost friend.
Pet surveillance. Do you wonder what your dog does all day while you're away at work? Thanks to pet surveillance technology, it's no longer a mystery! These gadgets are way more than just cameras that let you spy on your pup. They allow two-way interaction that lets you talk to your dog. Some devices let you video conference with your dog, get a dog's-eye-view of his activity through a collar-mounted webcam, and dispense treats. These devices could potentially be a great way to help ease separation anxiety, or to simply keep your dog from missing you too much (or you from missing him) during a long workday.
Food and water dispensers. Another highly desirable advancement in pet tech for busy dog guardians is automated food and water dispensers. One such dog food dispenser connects to your smartphone to let you feed your dog any time, from anywhere—no more rushing to get home by your pup's appointed meal time. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors will especially benefit from a motion-activated water fountain that turns itself on when your dog approaches and off again when he has his fill and walks away.
High-tech dog toys. Of course, one of the best things about living in the age of technology is all the ways it can keep us entertained, and with dogs it's no different. Some high-tech toys your pup will go nuts for include automated tennis ball launchers, light-up balls for games of nighttime fetch, interactive puzzle toys and treat-dispensing video games.
The Future of Pet Tech
While dog technology that simplifies basic pet care is certainly something to get excited about, one of the biggest game changers in pet tech is how it's impacting veterinary care. Phone apps and wearable tech are expected to increase communication between veterinarians and pet parents, help vets monitor their patients in real time, and even allow for virtual exams and long-distance diagnostics, says qSample.com.
Hill's is proud to be an innovator in this area with Hill's SmartCare powered by VetraxTM. Thanks to this device, you'll no longer have to wait for your dog's next vet checkup to learn about the effectiveness of the Hill's® Prescription Diet® dog food your vet placed him on. Whether your dog is on a special diet for weight control, arthritis or other mobility issues or skin and dermatological issues, Hill's SmartCare can not only let you observe his progress in each of these areas in real time, but also allow your vet to keep tabs on his condition so she can adjust his treatment plan accordingly.
The easy-to-use device attaches to your dog's collar and syncs with your smartphone to log such metrics as activity level, walking and running, scratching and head shaking, quality of sleep and how much rest your dog gets. The app has a journal feature that lets you make notes about your dog's condition or progress and set and track improvement goals. You can also use the app to ask your vet questions and send photos or videos of your dog's behavior. All these features make it easy for you and your vet to see from one day to the next how your dog is responding to treatment.
Unlike other pet health monitoring gadgets, Hill's SmartCare is designed specifically to work together with the clinically proven nutrition of Hill's Prescription Diet to improve the health and quality of life for your dog. It's affordable, too. When you purchase $50 or more of qualifying Prescription Diet products you'll receive a rebate on fees for monthly Vetrax monitoring services.
While your dog might not realize how much of an impact technology has on his life and health, for humans, it's an exciting time to be a pet parent. Thanks to continuing advances in dog technology, it's easier than ever to provide quality care for your dog.
Jean Marie Bauhaus
Jean Marie Bauhaus is a pet parent, pet blogger, and novelist from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she usually writes under the supervision of a lapful of fur babies.