Our contemporary landscape is enriched by a panoply of digital tools. They help make our lives more efficient and connect with each other over great distances. Some help improve our physical and mental health, including things like watches that include ECG and blood pressure monitoring. While technology for humans is widely discussed, many of us forget how gadgets and technology can also help the animals in our lives.
Yet it is a booming technology field. Hardware and software systems are being developed to ensure that the animals we interact with receive the level of care they deserve. Digital tools help us enrich and entertain our pets and strengthen our relationships with them. Indeed, thanks in part to social media posts demonstrating some of these tools, many gadgets have started trending among animal lovers. This is an interesting area that provides positive experiences for pets and owners.
Let’s take a closer look at this area to identify current trends in gadgets for pet lovers and what could be a predominant part of pet ownership in the near future.
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Dogs are among the most common pets in the United States, and they have long been considered a close companion to humans. As such, it should come as no surprise that there are gadgets people can use to strengthen that relationship. The articles available for dog parents and their canine family members cover all aspects of life, from wellness to travel.
Some of the most practical dog gadget trends involve vehicles. One of the joys of owning a dog is being able to take a pet on trips. However, it is important for owners to ensure that they use tools and methods to keep dogs safe throughout car journeys. It can start with a sturdy, portable ramp system to help older or disabled dogs get in and out of the car. Owners can also use the growing number of car seats and harnesses tested specifically for dogs.
There is also a growing trend of keeping dogs safe when there is no choice but to leave them in an unattended vehicle. Climate control systems are emerging that monitor a dog’s movements alongside vehicle conditions. The technology then adjusts the climate automatically. Some systems also send the owner alerts and messages regarding the dog’s behavior and well-being. These tools are still in their early stages of development, and implementations such as The “dog mode” can be considered controversial. However, it is likely that such systems will be part of more automated pet trends in the near future.
Apart from safety, some trending gadgets are also designed to help dogs stay fit. People are already used to incorporating fitness trackers into their workouts and sports activities. Now a growing range of trackers can be attached to a dog’s collar. Some of them are as simple as monitoring a dog’s daily step count. Others provide a wider range of data, such as sleep patterns and activity levels, through connected apps. This gives owners a better understanding of their pet’s ongoing well-being.
Horses may not be the most common form of pet. Yet, they still play a major role in the lives of many people. There are, of course, different ways people incorporate horses into their activities – and there’s a growing range of gadgets that help support this.
Some members of the equestrian community are already starting to use their personal fitness trackers to keep their horses’ training levels high. Although these gadgets are intended for use by humans, the motion of riding means that these wearable devices can still follow a horse’s footsteps. That said, there are already indications that riding technology will involve more fitness tracking tools in the future. The companies have developed sensors that riders can attach to a horse’s girth and share real-time exercise data through apps. There are also suits for monitoring vital signs such as heart rate, which can give owners early indications of potential problems.
One of the most exciting emerging technologies is for owners and trainers to monitor the condition of their horses when they are not around. After all, the animal’s resting rates and behaviors influence its comfort, performance in activities and general well-being. There are smart halters on the market that track a horse’s behavior. These are programmed to recognize potential signs of distress or injury. The technology then alerts owners or trainers via text or email with real-time details of these issues. This means the horse is able to get the vital care it needs as soon as possible.
Cats have a reputation for being both agents of chaos and perpetual sleepers. So, it might seem like they aren’t the most obvious targets for gadgets. Nevertheless, there has been an enthusiastic development and adoption of tools that make life as a cat owner both more convenient and fun.
Some of the most popular cat gadgets are designed to respond to exercise with enrichment. At the moment, it’s hard to browse social media without seeing a video of a cat running on a giant wheel. These cat wheels are designed to ensure cats have a high level of activity that helps them reduce the stress of indoor living. Cat owners can also use live monitoring devices to control toys and talk to their pets remotely. This can be especially helpful in dealing with separation anxiety when owners are working or on vacation.
When it comes to surveillance, humans aren’t the only ones technology follows. There are also watchful gadgets that owners can use to help maintain cat well-being. Right now, a key trend here is automated cat litter boxes. These litter boxes detect when the cat has left the unit, rotate the box and filter the used litter into a separate box below. However, some options come with built-in AI software. These provide cat owners with information about the cat’s weight and grooming habits, which can provide insight into the health of the animal.
Our bond with animals can result in some of the most important relationships in our lives. As such, it makes perfect sense for developers to commit to creating gadgets to improve owners’ and pets’ experiences. Dogs and horses are getting fitness trackers – with more efficient smart technology likely to appear in the near future. Cat enrichment and welfare are enhanced with technological toys and health monitoring devices. Our digital landscape is rapidly becoming more sophisticated. It looks like the animals we bond with will continue to benefit from these advancements for years to come.
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Last updated September 9, 2022.