Pet technology has evolved tremendously over the past few years, and while some of it may be considered silly or unnecessary, the vast majority of these new products provide a valuable service to dogs and dog owners.
The main categories of pet technology products are as follows:
- Video Surveillance
- health monitoring
Many of the exciting new dog tech products fall into multiple categories, so instead of making a list, we’ll highlight some of the most innovative and useful products that are hitting the market.
GPS Tracking Wearables for Dogs
In recent years, the market for GPS devices that track dogs has expanded, and competition has spawned further innovation. Despite advances in technology, the market is still figuring out what consumers want and what they are willing to pay for it.
KYON Smart Collar
The KYON Smart Collar is a full-featured, all-rounder at a price to match. The collar includes a heat sensor to prevent heatstroke, a water sensor to prevent your dog from swimming, a 9-axis accelerometer to measure your dog’s activity, and a feature that sends ultrasonic waves that only dogs can hear. Plus, it includes an altimeter and an LED display that can be programmed to let strangers know your dog is lost, or let you know what the device thinks is going on in your dog’s brain.
This collar may seem like overkill, and maybe it is, but it’s also a pretty incredible product because it can save your dog’s life in so many ways.
KYON is not yet available, but you can pre-order here.
LINK AKC is similar to KYON in many ways, only slightly inferior. Here’s how it compares:
- 3-axis accelerometer compared to 9-axis KYON
- Battery life is 3 days compared to KYON’s 30 days
- A patent-pending algorithm that learns your dog’s more vigorous activity measures daily exercise.
- Activity level recommendations are provided based on your dog’s age, breed or mixed breed, behavior and size.
- Temperature alerts let you know if your dog is too hot or too cold.
One aspect of LINK AKC that differentiates it from KYON is a “virtual scrapbook” that shows a map of where you’ve been and how far you’ve come. Calling it a “virtual scrapbook” might be a little far-fetched, but it’s not bad.
Another feature of the LINK AKC is that it can be used as a training tool as the collar makes a unique sound when opened.
LINK isn’t as high-tech as KYON, lacking an LED display that may or may not be useful to you. LINK AKC may be more affordable at $99, but if you sign up for two years, the monthly service plan is $6.95 per month, the annual plan is $7.95 per month, and if you buy it monthly, it goes up to $9.95. Compared to KYON’s advertised $4.99 per month cellular fee, LINK’s value suddenly vanished over the long term.
Smart collar bottom line:
Collars have innovative aspects when it comes to smart, GPS-enabled trackers, but overall, it feels wiser to wait for a more comprehensive offering, rather than being an early buyer in this market.
Whistle is the first GPS tracking device for dogs, and it works more like a simple step tracker than a jack-of-all-trades like LINK and KYON. Still, Whistle retails for $99 and has the same monthly subscription plan as LINK AKC.
The Whistle 3 doesn’t do anything that the other two smarter trackers don’t, it requires a separate collar to connect. What you get is the peace of mind that Whistle was the first to market and should provide consistent updates in the future.
Whistle feels like an Apple product. It’s sleek and easy to use, but more expensive than its counterparts that don’t have as many features.
Findster is a tracking and fitness device for your dog without a monthly subscription. However, its base price is competitive on Amazon at $150.
Findster has a more robust social environment, including badges, leaderboards, and connectivity to others who own the app.
Another smart tracking device, the FitBark, ups the ante by monitoring your dog’s sleep quality, calories burned, and overall health and behavioral indices.
Plus, the new FitBark 2 has the longest six-month battery life we’ve seen.
FitBark 2 was built in partnership with over 45 veterinary schools and research institutes. FitBark claims its Holistic Health Index guide can help you spot early signs of illness. With FitBark, you can also share its information with your veterinarian to aid in diagnosis.
With what the FitBark 2 offers, you’d expect a higher-end price tag, but the FitBark 2 retails for $70.
Dog Tracker Bottom Line:
The FitBark 2 is the clear winner here. It’s the cheapest, but still feature-rich and doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee.
Petrics is one of the most innovative companies when it comes to pet technology, and their goal is to design an ecosystem of which you want your dog to be a part. Just as people tend to stick to their ecosystems when it comes to personal tech, Petrics is designing multiple products that will all work together on their phone app.
smart pet bed
Petrics claims to have developed the world’s first smart pet bed that features a built-in scale, climate control to manage your dog’s health and comfort at the same time.
With washable and replaceable comforters, there’s nothing this bed can’t do. However, you won’t have it until the middle of next year. Pricing has also not been announced.
Petrics Activity Tracker
As with the smart pet bed, Petrics’ activity tracker impresses again. With more than four months of battery life, it beats the competition in this category. It is fully submersible and perfect for dogs who love water.
Petrics Health and Nutrition App
Using the app, owners can view advanced nutrition plans tailored specifically for their dogs based on information gathered from Petric’s products. It also offers food recommendations, and medication reminders, and allows you to set up veterinary appointments directly from the app.
While you can’t buy a tracker or smart bed just yet, you can download the app for free and build your dog’s profile to get free nutritional advice. If you already own one, you can also link the app to different brands of tracking devices.
video surveillance of dogs
It only makes sense that there are multiple video surveillance devices for dogs on the market today. Who doesn’t miss their dog and doesn’t want to check in and say hi when they leave?
At least some of these devices come with the ultimate trump card, the snack dispenser.
The Furbo has a camera and an integrated snack starter that you can control from your phone.
The Furbo also has an alarm system that can recognize when your dog or person is moving and can take pictures of your dog when you’re away.
Alexa integration also makes it easy to use your Furbo at home. It’s fun for training and convenient for you if you don’t have snacks on hand.
You can get the Furbo on Amazon for $135.
PetCube is Furbo’s main competitor in the dog camera market. They offer two products, one with a snack dispenser and one without.
The PetCube has the same functionality as the Furbo, but the problem is that it’s currently overpriced. The Furbo originally retailed for $250, but now costs $135 less than the PetCube No Snack Dispenser, $149 at Amazon. If you want a snack dispenser, Amazon has it for $179, also down from its original retail price of $250.
Dog Camera Bottom Line:
Both products are well-reviewed and have the same features. Furbo vs. PetCube should come down to personal preference for style of equipment.
tech toys for dogs
The Furbo vs PetCube debate can be settled with one of the following products, which combines a camera and a ball.
PlayDate Pet Camera Smart Ball
Similar to previous video devices, PlayDate has two-way audio but also remote control. So whenever you want to check on your dog, you can do it remotely. It’s no surprise that pre-orders for this device are sold out, but you can submit your email to be notified when PlayDate is back in stock.
PupPod is a Kong Wobbler with “PupPod Technology”. The technology uses sounds that harmonize with a swinging ball to design the game. The ball connects to an app on your phone and lets you play together, offering treats when prompted, and the game gets harder as your dog gets smarter.
The PupPod can also be paired with a personal snack dispenser that works with Wobbler and doesn’t require your involvement.
Some dogs love to play and some dogs love to play. Sometimes, those insatiable dogs can be annoying. Enter Auto Pickup Toys.
Dog tech that lets you go, eh…?
DogSpot by Dog in action can be seen in this YouTube video.
It’s designed to allow people to walk their dogs on the sidewalk outside the store and then park them in the dog house when you enter the store. It sounds like a great concept where your dog can do activities he wouldn’t normally do and you can do errands while walking your dog.
DogSpot is air-conditioned, with 100% fresh air, and you can check your dog’s real-time feeding through the mobile app.
It’s an innovative and useful concept that should make life more convenient for dog owners in cities that have adopted it so far.
While this new technology does give me pause, it’s a step in the right direction, allowing dogs and their owners to spend more time together.
The Bottom Line on Pet Technology
We live in a fast-paced world where new technologies are produced at a rate that even the biggest nerd can’t keep up. It’s both exciting and irresistible for owners who want the very best for their dogs.
Are some new technologies a little ridiculous? Yes, probably. But after you sift through the excess, what’s left is a variety of innovative products that can help dogs live longer and happier. I think we can all agree on this no matter how many or few of these innovations we adopt in our own lives.
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