Wearables have come to the animal kingdom: The language of the Internet of Things now includes barks and meows. And our tech-heavy world increasingly offers distinct advantages for our beloved four-legged creatures.
Today, the world of wearable pet tech is exploding with wearable gadgets for animals to monitor their health, keep track of their whereabouts or facilitate watching, interacting and sharing their activities.
We look at nine pet trackers, monitors and recorders that help you keep tabs on your creature — where they are, what they’re doing and who they’re with, from wherever you are.
Whistle makes a pair of electronic trackers that monitor where and how active your dog is. The Tagg GPS Plus pet tracker — a 1.5 x 4.2 x 0.8-inch, 1.3-ounce device — ensures that your pet will not get lost, while at the same time measuring his activity level.
Attach the device to your dog’s collar and GPS coverage will track their steps. If you use the tracker to create a virtual boundary around your home, you can receive live GPS tracking and notifications via text, email, or notification if your pet leaves the safe zone. A web app is also available for desktop and mobile browsers.
Don’t need GPS? You can still use the Whistle Activity Monitor. Designed by the man who designed the Fitbit Flex, it syncs with your smartphone to alert you to changes in your pet’s activity levels.
Use this information to set goals based on the age, breed and weight of your dog. It’s also useful for tracking long-term health to detect subtle changes, delivering notifications that might signal more attention. A temperature sensor — coming this fall — will alert you when your buddy gets too hot or cold.
Price: The activity monitor with the GPS Tracker costs $99, with a service plan of $6.95 to $9.95 per month. The first month is free. The activity monitor by itself is $79.
Not so long ago, if you were the office-slave guardian of a furry being, you could spend up to 10 hours a day away from home, leaving your loved one to her lonely devices. With Petcube, neither of you has to suffer that kind of separation.
This versatile four-inch square aluminum device lets you stay connected to your pets while you’re away from home. Not only does the Petcube provide home surveillance in the form of a 138-degree wide angle camera streaming HD 720p video, it lets you play with your pet at various scheduled intervals using a built-in laser toy to keep your pet fit.
Communicate directly with your friend via a two-way audio stream and built-in microphone and speaker.
A nice addition is that friends and family can pitch in and have fun helping you care for your pet. You can share access to your Petcube Camera via an iOS or Android app and play with other shared pets anywhere in the world, even if you don’t have your own Petcube. And now, everything you could do on your phone can be done on the Apple watch.
Your animals already love you. But sometimes you have to love them back from afar. Petzi Treat Cam is a Wi-Fi connected camera that not only lets you watch, talk and snap photos, but also dispenses treats remotely.
The wide-angle camera lets you interact with your little darling as well as dispense the snacks. The wide-angle camera, which features night vision and high-quality audio has a “treat launcher” for sharing any dry, crunchy treat smaller than one inch.
Don’t worry that your pet will no longer love or need you when you get home, just because they’re not hungry. They’ll love you more — and be in play mode as soon as you walk in the door.
Even the most responsible pet owners can lose a pet on the street or while hiking in the state park or on a camping trip. Pet loss is always tragic, but today technology makes it easier than ever to avoid it.
G-Paws Track helps you discover how far your cat has wandered or how fast your dog can run and then shares — and even compares with others on G-Paws or social networks.
A lightweight GPS data recorder that is designed to fit unobtrusively in any cat or dog collar, the unit includes a motion sensor that only records when your pet is moving — to save on battery life, which is about eight hours.
The device, which uses a multi-channel GPS chip, records wherever your pet goes and uploads this information to the pet profile you set up on the G-Paws website. You can choose to upload, view and share the routes or view via aerial photography or street level mapping.
You can track, view and share Fluffy or Fido’s adventures on your desktop, tablet or smartphone, make pet friends with others in the community or on social networks and build up a group for play dates and walks.
With a small lightweight Tag weighing only 5 grams, the Loc8tor Finder tells you which way to walk to find your lost (or hiding) pet or indeed any other item (keys, smartphone, TV remote). It works indoors or out up to 400 feet (line of sight) and even through doors, walls, cupboards and other hiding places cats are known to hide out in.
The huge thing is that Loc8tor guides where you should to go to find your pet via audio and visual cues on the handset and tag.
You can use the Locate mode to find your pet with the Handheld guiding you to within one inch of the spot. The Alert mode warns if your pet has stepped past a pre-defined boundary — or escaped out the front door or from the garden like a bad, bad girl.
The handset — which is about the size of a credit card — makes it easy to use, picking up the signal from your pet’s collar as soon as you press the Locate button, if you are in range. RF-based technology promises to offers greater range and accuracy than other kinds of tech.
Pod is a small and light real-time GPS tracker that attaches to any collar. It lets you find your pal on demand, as well as monitor and record his activities — and set up escape alerts — on your smartphone or computer.
Pod’s barrel design is created for comfort, and a custom strap mechanism gives Pod a flexible fit for all kinds of collars. Unlike other trackers, the waterproof Pod ships with two batteries so you never have to remove the unit from the collar or worry about downtime while one is charging.
Pod is interoperable with both Web and mobile apps for iOS and Android for syncing and viewing activity and traveling data. A Windows Phone version is coming soon. Pod’s web app runs on most smartphones on the Chrome browser.
The Voyce Health Monitor, developed in collaboration with biomedical engineers, veterinary experts and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, expertly gathers health information about your dog. In addition to activity metrics, the monitor tracks resting heart and respiratory rates and more. But it’s not all numbers.
The online Voyce Wellness Management Center lets you plan for your dog’s future by detecting changes in health and behavior. You can set goals and find advice from pet experts tailored to you and your dog.
FitBark is a different kind of tracker in that it quantifies and evaluates the stats it collects while monitoring your dog’s everyday activity and sleep. In addition to the raw numbers, you get BarkPoints to help you track your dog’s progress.
While you’re looking after you dog’s health, you can also note behavioral changes, share cute moments with with friends and family and use that information as a reference point for vet consultations.
You’ll be able to tell whether your dog has a similar level of activity and fitness as compared to other dogs and you’ll get information about anything that’s not quite right, such as a lack of sleep. Updates go directly to your phone — there’s an iOS app available now, with Android in private beta. Share results on Facebook or Twitter.
Besides, the little bone-shaped tracker looks cute on any dog.
One of the biggest problems for pets and humans is the sedentary lifestyle. As pets age they get lazier — just like humans. There’s a device for that, which weighing in at 7 grams, tracks your pet’s activity 24 hours a day.
Attach Tractive Motion to the collar of your dog or cat and get the data you’re looking for on your smartphone.
Tractive Motion tracks the daily activity of your pet, classifying movements as ‘lazy’, ‘active’ and ‘dynamic’ and providing information to you and your vet. Through the integrated high-resolution display you can easily see the collected Pet Points for the day and check the progress toward your daily goals.
Caring for pets in every environment can get complex. But the app-connected, tracking and fitness wearables on the market today can make life longer and more fun for everyone. Do you have a favorite tracker or health monitor? Let us know in the comments.