The future doesn’t look like flying cars and teleportation, but there are still some nifty gadgets out there that can protect your pets when you’re not home. These devices can help you keep an eye on your pets from a remote camera or dispense treats. You can even engage your pet in playtime remotely.
Automation is the innovation of the future, a rise of the machines predicated in the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991. Virtual assistance devices are becoming increasingly common in homes. They offer hands-free assistance in areas such as playing music, controlling the room’s temperature and turning off appliances.
Smart home technology isn’t just to meet the needs of humans in the house. More and more products are hitting the store shelves that are created to assist pet owners in caring for their beloved furry family members when no one is home. Of course, the devices aren’t meant to be used for absences longer than a few hours.
Smart Home Technology for Pet Owners
Pets are often treated as members of the family. However, many pet owners spend significant portions of the day away from home. Now pet owners can take advantage of the strides made in smart home technology to ease their pet’s loneliness or boredom.
Some types of pets are more self-sufficient than others. There are a vast number of smart technology products for dogs because of their neediness and their perchance for getting into trouble. However, the devices can be used with cats and other pets, too. Some of the smart home technology items geared for pets and their owners include:
1. Automatic Feeders and Waterers
Automatic water dishes provide pets with clean, fresh water at their disposal. Many pets, especially dogs, tend to spill freestanding water dishes. The water is automatically refilled when the pressure line reaches a certain threshold.
Automatic kibble feeders are best for pets who won’t consume all of the available food in one sitting. Rather than scooping out cups of your dog’s favorite dry food, let gravity do the job for you with an automatic feeder.
2. Cameras and Smartphone Camera Apps
Cameras that stream directly to a smartphone app are increasingly popular amongst pet owners. They provide peace of mind and a quick verbal correction to your pet if needed. Many of the smart technology cameras have microphones so owners can speak to their pets.
If you find yourself always wondering what your pet is up to when you’re not home, pet cameras can set your mind at ease. They are easy to install and use.
3. Treat Dispensers
High-tech cameras often come with the option of dispensing treats directly to the pet as the owner watches. Other products can be set on a schedule to provide your pet treats at specific times if you aren’t interested in the camera part.
An automatic treat dispenser can help keep your pet from raiding your pantry. However, the treats should be given sparingly to prevent weight problems and issues with their regular kibble.
4. Automatic Pet Doors
There are dogs that prefer to exercise outside rather than spend the whole day in their beds. A pet door for dogs and cats give you and your pet more freedom and independence. However, many pet owners are wary of pet doors that are unlocked and accessible to anyone when they aren’t home.
To ease concerns, smart technology created a pet door that opens automatically when it is triggered by a device attached to the pet’s collar. Once the pet moves away from the door, it safely closes until they approach the door again.
5. Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Boxes
If you’re a busy pet owner who doesn’t have time to routinely clean the litter box or simply don’t like the chore, this device is for you. Self-cleaning litter boxes have been around for ages, but the newer versions are sleek, quiet and easier to train your cat to use.
6. GPS Pet Trackers
Every pet owner has had a terrifying moment when they couldn’t find their pet. Maybe the dog jumped the fence or the cat got out an unlatched door.
Some people may prefer not to insert an invasive microchip in their pet’s skin. The GPS tracker attaches to their collar and sends their location to an application on the owner’s phone. Never lose track of your pet again.
7. Remotely Operated Pet Toys
Some dogs can be happy playing fetch for hours on end. But what if no one is home to throw the ball? Smart technology allows owners to remotely throw or control toys to interactively play with their pets, no matter how far away they are.
8. Smart Thermostats
A smart thermostat is a great addition for any home, but especially for those with pets. The smart thermostat allows the homeowner to remotely set and control the temperature. This smart technology is especially useful in climates where the weather can change drastically in just a few hours.
9. Pet Motion Detectors
Pet motion detectors aren’t meant to inform owners when their pets are moving. (There are cameras for that.) Rather, pet motion detectors are programmed to IGNORE a pet’s movement. This prevents false alarms and embarrassing visits from your local police.
10. Activity Trackers
Activity trackers for humans are all the rage. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the technology was replicated to make a pet activity tracker. If your pet is overweight, an activity tracker can help determine if you need to hire a dog walker to exercise your pet when you aren’t home.
Tracking your pet’s physical exercise can help keep them from developing diabetes and other health issues that ultimately shorten their already-short life spans.
Peace of Mind is Priceless
Smart technology is still relatively new and getting more advanced every day. That means it can be pricey to install some of the items on this list into your home. However, many of the devices provide peace of mind for pet owners that can’t be labeled with a price tag.
The sense of security for owners and the increased quality of life for pets is priceless. Consider upgrading your home and your life with smart technology today. Your pet is worth it.
Leo Wilson graduated from a university major in animal health and behavior. He had over a decade of experience working in the pet industry and has contributed many dogs and pet-related articles to several websites before he decided to start sharing his knowledge on his own blog. And when he is not busy working, he and his wonderful wife love spending time at home with their 3 dogs and 2 cats.