Americans are crazy for their pets … and we sure have a lot of them. According to a 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, the U.S. is home to 84.6 million pet owners. That’s 68 percent of the population! Today’s pampered pets are now a central part of the family, more often than not sleeping right in mom and dad’s bedroom (if not the bed itself). No surprise, as our pets have become more “fur kids” and less outdoor pets, we’ve become increasingly concerned about their wellbeing and safety. And with the latest technology, we can keep them safer and happier then ever before.
Today, many pet owners have their pooch or cat micro-chipped. With a quick injection, a chip the size of a grain of rice is inserted under the skin. If the dog is lost, a scanner at a shelter reads the chip and helps reconnect the pup with its owner. For those who want to know their dog’s exact location if they get lost, there’s Whistle, a GPS monitor and exercise tracker in one. Owners sign up for a monthly service via a cell phone to track the device via an app. Mostly concerned about exercise? FitBark, a FitBit for dogs, will track their activity each day to see if you need to increase walk time. Both devices strap onto the collar.
Want to keep an eye on Fluffy while you’re at work? Monitors allow you to see and talk to your pup via Wi-Fi in case they are lonely. For city dwellers that want to take their pup out with them on errands, a new service called the Dog Parker allows you to leave your dog in an air-conditioned doghouse on the sidewalk, safe and secure. You can find a Dog Parker location via the app (currently only in New York City).
For those just looking to connect with other dogs in your area, download the Bark Happy app, which maps local dogs, pet stores, and vets near you. And for the pooch that stays home alone a lot, there’s DogTV, special television programming for dogs to help them deal with boredom and stress. The company provides scientific evidence supporting the idea that dogs can benefit from the programming to help battle loneliness and separation anxiety.
Our final doggy tech find? You can now check the DNA of your pet with a simple swab of their cheek to learn your dog’s breed and what diseases your pooch might be prone to. Now that’s something to bark about!