While gadgets for tech-savvy humans proliferate and—get smarter—there are home tech options for our furry friends, too. Meant to help humans feed, play, and interact with their pets in our fast-paced digital times, these products include surveillance cameras, food dispensers, and more.
And while our pets likely don’t care how technologically advanced their toys and water bowls are, new tech will surely make life a little easier on their humans.
Here are four categories of products that both you and your furry (or feathered) friends will appreciate.
Smart food and water dispensers
Smart food bowls come with integrated digital scales that keep track of how much food your pet eats, so you can make sure they always get a healthy amount.
The RolliPet is a smart food dispenser designed for cats and small- to medium-sized dogs. It’s simple and straightforward, allowing you to use its accompanying app to automate the amount of food your pet needs and what time of day the food should be dispensed. It also comes equipped with a camera so you can see your pet while you’re away from home.
Another smart food option is Petnet’s SmartBowl, which lets you create a profile for your pets online and monitor their food intake to make sure they’re eating a healthy amount. The lights on the bowl guide you so you only give your pet an appropriate amount of food (no over or under feeding!) and the app will remind you when it’s time to feed your pets so you can keep them on a steady schedule.
Pet surveillance systems
While lots of pet food dispensers include cameras, there are also devices on the market dedicated solely to keeping an eye on and interacting with owners’ pets, no matter where an owner is.
The Furbo Dog Camera, is one such pet surveillance system that also lets you interact with your dog via treat tossing and a two-way “talk” system. Use its accompanying app to see what your dog is up to while you’re away from home or take a video of your pet, remotely. One feature of the Furbo camera that any dog owner will especially love is this gadget’s “bark alert” feature, which detects when your dog is barking and pushes and alert to your phone.
If your pet is a bit more elusive (we’re looking at you, cats), you might not be able to keep tabs on them with a stationary camera. For these types of animals, you may want something like the Eyenimal Cat Videocam, a small, GoPro-style camera that fastens to your pet’s collar. Hook up the Eyenimal, and it’ll start shooting video.
It also features a motion-activated mode that records video only when your pet is on the move. When your cat comes home, you can check out the footage to see what they’ve gotten into that day.
Smart pet toys
Thanks to a number of gadgets, pet owners can play with their furry friends from anywhere. Want to encourage your pet to be active and have fun during the day? There’s a connected bone or ball for that.
The GoBone, which launched on KickStarter, automatically moves around during the day to get your pet to play. You can take control of the device with your smartphone for interactive play whether you’re at home or not. The GoBone even learns your pet’s play habits and adjusts accordingly to create the optimal experience. It’s also, of course, durable to stand up against playtime wear and tear.
Shoppers can also opt for a cube that plays with your pet when you are too busy. The Petcube has a laser toy your animals will go nuts over. Or try the SHRU, which keeps your cat pouncing by mimicking the sounds and movements of a small animal.
Smart dog houses
People have smart houses, so why can’t dogs? Apparently, someone at Samsung wondered the same, so the company created the Samsung Dream Doghouse. Samsung debuted the $30,000 prototype at a dog show in the U.K. in June and it featured a treadmill, automatic food dispenser, a hydrotherapy pool, and a Samsung tablet mounted on the wall.
If you don’t have $30K to drop, and your dog, like most, gets anxious during thunderstorms and fireworks displays, the ZenCrate could be right for your pup. The ZenCrate features sensors that let owners know when a dog is in the crate and a camera that lets users keep an eye on their pets. The ZenCrate will even sends text messages that let you know when your dog enters the crate.
When the sensors detect a dog is entering the crate, ZenCrate begins playing music chosen to calm dogs and starts running a fan to keep the pup cool. It’s also designed to minimize the vibrations caused by thunder and fireworks.