The Modern Dog: How Wearables Are Changing the Way We Look After Our Pets

June 13, 2018

The rise of wearable tech is ongoing and it’s not just for the benefit of humans — it’s for the welfare of our pets too. The last few years have witnessed some headway in the innovation of pet accessories. These accessories allow humans to feel more connected to their furry friends. From trackers to sensors to health monitors, collecting this data helps owners take better care of their pets.

Here are some of the top tech items for dogs:

GPS Tracking

Collars are now more than just a simple fabric band around a dog or a cat’s neck for control, identification, or fashion. Many have been transformed into tracking devices so your four-legged companion will never get lost.  

The Link AKC smart collar addresses the problem of lost pets with a built-in GPS tracker and phone connectivity. You can hook up the device to a smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi.  The device will then send data detailing your pet’s activity and location to a companion app. Digital Trends discussed the alert feature, which notifies the receiver should a pet escape. Ultimately, this saves you the trouble of running frantically around the neighborhood in search of Fido.

The geo-fencing capabilities in smart collars such as the Link AKC, Whistle series, and Nuzzle provide another layer in ensuring pets are safe and confined within your backyard. Another example is the Kyon Pet Tracker. In addition to the previously mentioned features, it also has a water sensor.  This feature alerts the owner if a dog or a cat is in any danger of drowning.

Health Tracking

dog running

The benefits of wearable tech go beyond knowing where your pet is. Owners also want to be informed of their pet’s vitals and other medical insights that can be interpreted easily without having to consult a veterinarian. FitBark, is the FitBit for dogs. It monitors a dog’s daily activity, sleep quality, walking or running distance, and the number of calories burned. 

Embark explains that pets need to be moving for at least 30 minutes to an hour every day. Tracking a dog’s mobility also gives clues on their anxiety levels. The data available from apps like FitBark ensures that dog-sitters fulfill their job by taking a dog on its daily walk in order to stay active and healthy. Data on their energy levels will give you an idea of a dog’s current state. For instance, a sudden decline can indicate that they are getting sick and you can take the necessary action. 

Emotion Sensor?
embark dog tech

Most pet owners would love to know what their beloved animal is thinking. Dug the dog from the Pixar movie Up certainly gave us all hope that maybe one day there would be a possibility of dogs translating their thoughts into our language.

Wearable tech hasn’t exactly put that dream within our reach yet. The closest we have is a crowdfunded project called DogStar TailTalk. It aims to translate a dog’s tail wags into human terms with a device that wraps around the animal’s tail. Seeker claims the designers’ theory that measures how dogs wag their tails is indicative of specific emotions. Wag to the left and it signals fear and anxiety; wag to the right and they’re showing excitement. The product is still in the initial stages of development and there are no updates yet as to when it will be released.

Pets are certainly precious creatures that, for many people, are part of the family. Keeping an eye out for the latest technology s can help owners be more responsible and more caring. These wearable devices ensure that we show how important our pets are to us. 

By: Jade Blake