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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How Technology Can Make You a Better Pet Owner!

Ok, so maybe technology can’t make you a better pet owner. That’s because what our pets really need is our time, love and commitment and no gadget or bit of tech can offer that. However it can certainly make us more efficient pet owners, make life easier for us and keep our pets entertained, safe and healthy.

Microchip Pet Flap
The cat flap is a fantastic invention- we all know cats are independent and like to do their own thing. A cat flap means they can go in and out as they please, so if you’re at work or have popped out in the evening there’s no worry about your cat getting locked in or out. The problem many cat owners have faced though is other cats, and often other wildlife too letting themselves into their home with the cat flap. Rats, foxes and even badgers have been known to get in this way which does pose a dilemma. However you can now buy cat flaps which are activated by your cat’s microchip. The perfect solution for giving your cat freedom while keeping uninvited guests out! You can get dog flaps too, as these can only be activated with the microchip they’re a good way to keep burglars out. Because dog flaps tend to be larger, this was previously a concern. If your dog is constantly in and out and barking at the door, something like this can certainly make your life easier.

Wireless Dog Fence
Keeping our dogs safe when they’re outside is crucial as an owner. The last thing we want is for them to wander off, whether it’s off our property or into a part of the yard that’s dangerous for them. Having physical fences and barriers built isn’t always practical, however one thing that you can invest in is a wireless dog fence. Here your dog will wear a collar and if they pass a certain wireless boundary they receive a small correction. Being intelligent creatures, dogs quickly learn to stay within the boundaries and it can help to keep them safe and contained in a set space. Since they can be plugged in anywhere they’re simple and easy to travel with and are the perfect choice for some dogs- BestPetReviews has more information on how they work. If you have a very large garden but want to keep your dog to one area, perhaps you have a pool, pond, flowerbeds, a play area for your kids or another separate zone, something like this would be perfect as it keeps them to their own section of the garden without boundaries or barriers.

Automatic Pet Feeder
Just like people, some pets are particularly keen on their food. ‘Free feeding’ is a good option for some pets, as they will simply eat what they want and then leave the rest, meaning you can just fill up their bowl when you see it getting low. Other pets will eat excessively until they make themselves sick or become overweight. One way to get around this is to weigh out their food, but you can make it easier for yourself by using an automatic pet feeder. Particularly ones which work over the space of a week, that way you can fill it up on a Sunday and know your pet is being fed at the right time, the right amount all through the week. It’s convenient and ensures that there’s no error and you’re not messing around at 6am before work weighing things out. You can even get automatic feeders for fish too, this is useful if you’re going on holiday or you’re just not good at remembering to feed fish. Dogs or cats who will let you know when they’re hungry and be very clear about it! Of course, this isn't the case with fish.

Smart Bowl
Another clever feeding gadget if an automatic feeder doesn't appeal is a smart bowl. Using your pet's age and weight it monitors their intake, and can recommend recipes that will work best for your specific pet. It can even send alerts to your phone if something is out of the ordinary, such as they’re not eating or drinking enough. Another smart way to keep tabs on your pet’s health and ensure they’re getting everything they need.

Automatic Ball Launcher
Most dogs love a good game of fetch. And let's be honest, you’re going to get bored far quicker than they will. Some dogs will happily chase a ball for hours on end which isn’t the most practical. But one thing you can buy is an automatic ball thrower, here you can teach your dog how to drop the ball into the device and then it launches it for them. This would be a good one to set up during the summer, when you’re sat outside with the family. It’s something the dog can play with and tire themselves out with and is bound to create a few laughs as well. There’s a very heartwarming video of a dog playing with one of these, while they might not be suitable in every case for the right dog it could be lots of fun and fantastic exercise.

Electronic Toys
As well as the ball launcher there are tonnes of other toys on the market too. Dogs need a lot of mental stimulation, certain breeds and younger dogs particularly. Without this they can become bored and exhibit destructive behaviour. While you should be making time to play with and fuss your dog and give them attention, there are toys you can get these days to help you out. These can be useful if you’re out at work, or if your dog has simply tired you out and isn’t ready to settle! From puzzles to interactive balls that dispense treats, there are loads to choose from these days. If your dog is high energy and you’re struggling wearing them out, this is a great option. There are versions for cats too, there are even ipad games for cats which are funny to watch and can give a bored housecat some much needed mental stimulation.

Smart Cameras
Smart home technology has grown massively in popularity over the last few years. You can now get voice activated smart speakers, smart lightbulbs, cctv, heating and so much more. But one thing you can get on board with as a pet owner is a wireless smart camera. Many of these have functions which detect motion, some even allow you to speak to your pet via a speaker and can dispense treats! If you work full time and your pet is alone during the day this can be an issue as an owner, while this doesn't compare to being there in person it can give you peace of mind that everything is ok and allows you to keep an eye on things.

GPS Tracking Collars
One of the biggest fears for most dog owners is their dog running off on a walk. Even if your dog is normally very well behaved, they could become spooked or run off after an animal out of the blue. The trouble is, letting them off the lead for a proper run is fantastic exercise and allows them to wear themselves out far better than walking on a lead. One thing you can do for peace of mind is use a GPS tracking collar with your dog. At least that way, worst case scenario you can follow them via the app and get them back. GPS collars are becoming sleeker and more efficient, and is a fantastic bit of equipment that’s well worth getting on board with if you let your dogs off the lead. Hopefully they never do bolt off, but if they do you’ll be so glad they had it on.

Activity Monitor
Fitness trackers which monitor our steps, heart rate, sleep and more have become increasingly popular in the past couple of years and are a great way we can track and improve our health. Now you can get something similar for your pets! They’re not quite as in depth of course, but they can tell you how your pet is sleeping and how much activity they’re clocking up and use this date to improve their life and help them live a happier and healthier lifestyle. All of the data syncs up to your phone in easy to read charts and graphs in the same way your own fitness tracker does.

There are lots of fun, cool and unique gadgets and tech items that can make life better for both you and your pet, have a browse in your local pet store online. A squeaky bone for a dog or a ball of string for a kitten might provide hours of fun still, but there are other more advanced options out there too!

What’s the coolest or most unusual pet gadget you’ve ever seen? Of the items listed above, which interests you the most or would you be most likely to buy?

Author Amber Higgins

Author Amber Higgins
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Welcome UK and Worldwide Visitors

Welcome UK and worldwide visitors and friends to Family Disaster Dogs online! Although I'm an American author and dog professional the worldwide web has given me the opportunity to connect with some wonderful folks who have contributed pictures for my books. The "Start Mantrailing" book features RRI K9 North Scotland trained Search and Rescue Dog "Amber" on the cover and her teammates training in the book, plus American dogs using my training methods. A portion of sales of the Start Mantrailing book or copies were donated to RRI North Scotland. The children's picture book "My Puppy Can Find Me" has my daughter and bloodhound as illustrations by UK cartoonist Scotty King. You can find the books on Amazon UK or use the contact page to order from me. When you click the links will take you to your own county pages of this site.

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