In the movie “Back to The Future”, Doc Brown creates an automatic dog feeding contraption for his pet sheepdog. It was one of those cinematic moments that accurately predicted how the future was going to turn out.
Automatic feeders are not only becoming more ubiquitous but other tech devices are flooding the pet market.
From the Nest camera, you can use to watch your pet while you are at work to small video conference systems your pet can use to call you too bulky Fitbit-like health trackers they can wear on their collars, this list of devices is sure to make any pet feel like Einstein.
YaDoggie Smart Scoop
A few weeks ago at the 2018 CES convention, YaDoggie showed off their new dog scoop. This scoop has a small light on it that turns green when your pet has not yet been fed and red, once someone in the household has picked up the scoop and fed them.
It also pairs with your phone and records which phone is closest to the scoop when you pick it up to the feed the pooch. That way you can make sure the hubby and not, say, the neighbor kid, just fed your dog.
I see some clear advantages with the device. At least once a day I have to ask if the animals got fed. This would answer that.
But they have tied this innovative device in as an exclusive offer for subscribers to their pet food subscription service. And that is where the idea breaks down. They have underestimated how many pet owners spend their days reviewing dog food on sites like dogsbynina.com.
When you have companies like Chewy, Petsmart, and Amazon, who are willing to ship any food you desire to your front door, well, it’s going to require more than a cool food scoop to get pet owners to switch.
Vet On A Leash: The PetPace
We had a little Shih Tzu who was quite the wanderer. He’d always come home, but sometimes he’d be gone for a little while.
I often researched GPS collars, but they were so bulky and had such limited battery life that it wasn’t worth the expenses.
Recently these devices have been getting smaller. And now, they are adding more features.
Taking on a similar design of the GPS collars used four or five years ago, the PetPace measures everything from your pet’s heart rate to their posture. These measurements give you an instant alert if they fall outside of normal ranges.
Sometimes in the hustle of life, it is easy to miss the fact that your pet is having a bad day — or that he hasn’t had his daily walk.
With the PetPace, you always know your dog’s physical condition. Faster treatment leads to less suffering for your pet. Sure, the collar is bulky, but for the benefit, I think this is one you could talk me into buying.
PetNet Pet Feeder
There is an “arms race” going on right now as the tech companies race to invent the most forward-thinking pet feeding station.
(That’s right, we don’t call them “automatic food dispensers anymore).
The PetNet seems to have the best of all of the features. It connects to your phone and Amazon to automatically order new food when it starts getting low.
Low food alerts remind you to reload it when you get home, but, other than that, this is the most hands-off feeder that exists. It takes any concern you could have about automatic feeders and solves them.
Sure, there are some feeders with extra features. Bells and whistles like built-in video conferencing, so you can talk to your pet while you are at work.
For the most part, though, these added features just add another potential failure point.
The Petnet manages to combine simplicity with functionality, and the result is that this is the top pick for 2018’s lineup of pet tech.
Pawcall Video Conferencing
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the Pawcall.
This is a fun, flashing button that entices the dog to press it. There is the game mode where the button delivers a treat when the dog presses the button. This is excellent for training the dog on how the button works.
Then, while you are at work, you can schedule the button to flash during your work break. The dog presses it, and it calls you.
There’s nothing like a call from home to make the workday better.
It’s a little gimmicky, but I love it.
The next thing we need these pet companies to invent is a button they can use to let us know when they want to go outside.
I look forward to the 2019 roundup.