A quick review of pet wearables you can use today
In today’s ultra-chic world of gadgets and toys, it is to be expected they will also be available to our furry friends. You might be surprised at how pervasive pet technology has become.
Most gadgets below will suit most dogs and many cats. But if shopping for a cat just check if they like the fitting style first. Some cats can dislike wearing foreign objects, but don’t rule it out if your moggy is comfortable with accessories.
From fitness trackers to mood collars, you can now follow your pet’s comings and goings and everything in between from heart rate to happiness; all from your smart phone. And we especially like the recovery feature of Trakapet for animals while on holiday.
Trakapet - GPS Pet Collar
This is our preferred piece of kit and it has a Version 2 on the way in the next month or two. This collar is perfect for tracking animals while you are on holidays in unfamiliar locations, for pets who might escape regularly or when they are being looked after by a pet sitter. The unit fits any collar so it can be used by professional pet sitters on various animals and has one of the best battery lives we have found.
To use the collar you simply set a perimeter for your location with your smart phone in seconds, and if the animal goes outside that perimeter you get an alert. You can then track the animal to within a metre or two, and at night you can even turn on a light on the collar!
Petcloud has worked with the makers of the collar for version 2 and it includes two way voice communication via the collar with anyone who recovers the animal, as well as an interactive LCD screen to display rescue messages.
One of the biggest requirements of any tech is that can communicate via mobile towers in Australia if required and that it is 3G compliant. The 2G network is being turned off in March 2017. So be sure to check that before buying any others, especially from overseas providers where they won't mention that.
The pick of the litter for GPS tracking collars and designed right here in Australia; https://www.gpspetcollar.com.au/
Whistle activity monitor
The Whistle unit attaches to your dog's collar also and it tracks its daily activities and reports on exercise, play time, and periods of rest. Tt connects with your smart phone and displays information on the progress of your dog against goals in a handy dashboard.
It was recently bought by Mars Pet Foods and we expect to see it integrated with their range of products in the near future. Things like sharing photos of your dog’s social and play activity with the other users would be great.
Fitbark lets you track your dog’s daily activity and have it compared with the specific guidelines particular to its breed. It is a small bone-shaped gadget that flags up the changes you might need to make your dog’s routines for them to get in shape.
Fitbark sends a simple and clear report on your activity to your smart phone. You can then share their info on health and activity levels with the vet or pet health practitioner.
OK, this dog collar cannot make your dog talk, but we are holding out for that. However, it can help you understand what’s going on inside your pet, health-wise. The collar measures key vital signs (heart and respiratory rates), and other wellness indicators.
The other signs you can check are periods of activity and rest, plus the calories burned. It can be a good puppy tracker checking on its physical developments or maybe let you see how your dog has shed some extra pounds.
And don’t forget on PetCloud.com.au we let you track all the reminders for your pets such as medication (worming, flea and tick treatments) and vaccinations, even set a reminder for a visit to the vet. This is all done in your pet's profile under the Health tab.
We love the pet technology coming onto the market and if you know of anything innovative that works for you let us know and we can share it with the rest of the community.