by Beth McEwen
Technology continues to evolve and improve the daily lives of those willing to try it, and our pet’s lives are no exception! Here are five tech items to treat your furry friend to this year.
1.Lowest Maintenance Litter Box Ever
Cat owners know how important it is to keep a clean litter box to maintain litter training! The PetSafe Scoopfree Self Cleaning Litter Box lets you avoid having to manually clean a dirty litter box every day, making it much more low-maintenance than traditional litter boxes. Once a cat is finished doing its business in the special crystal litter (no more litter dust!), a rake-like mechanism automatically sweeps the mess away into a hidden compartment. Cat owners only need to change the entire litter tray/trap monthly (for a single-cat household). This low-maintenance litter box costs $130, and a 3-pack of the disposable litter trays costs about $50.
2.Feline Enrichment, Sans Effort
The FroliCat BOLT Laser Pet Toy promises hours of fun for your cat (or curious dog) by keeping it occupied with lasers. Essentially a table-top version of the common laser pointer, this device projects a spot of light on the floor and automatically moves it around. As it zig-zags all over the place, your cat will be able to exercise her prey drive, stalking and pouncing to her heart’s content. This $18 investment may be a great way to enrich your pet’s life; however, pet owners will want to ensure that the space is clear of hazardous obstacles while playing with this toy. It may also be advisable to limit play to 15 minutes at a time to prevent your kitty from becoming bored and walking away.
3. Spot Clean Your Dog
Bathing your dog, especially if he’s not a fan of the bathtub, can be a chore. For canines that hate getting soaked, the Bissell BarkBath Portable Dog Bath System may be a great alternative. It works similarly to a carpet cleaner. To shampoo your dog, drag the attached nozzle across its fur. The vacuum dispenses a soapy water solution, then sucks up the residue. The BarkBath may not be completely mess-free, as your pooch will likely still try to “shake it off” when he feels the water touch his skin. It also may be stressful for dogs that dislike vacuums or loud noises. It is, however, a reasonable alternative to a full bath – especially for “spot cleaning” mud from soggy spring rains! The portable dog bath costs $150.
4. Dog and Fitness Tracker Combined
Like the other tracking devices, the LINK AKC collar works with a smartphone app and logs doggy data such as location, activity, health and so much more. It even offers temperature alerts to let you know when your pup is in an environment that may be too hot or cold for them – important information on exceptionally hot or frigid days! Digital safe zones are set by proximity to the charging base, and timely notifications alert owners when their pup has left the safe zone. Nationwide coverage using AT&T cellular connection means LINK AKC works across the U.S. Activity tracking identifies and logs moderate and intense movement throughout your dog’s day, allowing owners to more accurately identify how much exercise their pooch is getting. The LINK AKC collar costs $150 plus a monthly fee of $10 (discounted rates available for annual billing).
5. Pet Tracking Tags
Traditional plastic or metal pet tags are functional enough for providing a pet’s name and its owner’s phone number. Pawscout’s web-connected tag takes the idea to a super-connected level. The tag, which costs $20, connects to a corresponding smartphone app to let people track their pets using a Bluetooth signal within a 300-foot radius on a digital map. If a dog happens to venture outside that range, the app notifies the owner that the canine is too far away. When your precocious pet decides to go for a walk on his own, you can mark him/her as lost and any Pawscout user who comes within 300-feet of your pet will be notified and urged to contact you with the information you provided in your profile.