1/3/2022 | By Kari Smith

As much as people love technology and their pets, a pairing of the two was inevitable. Today’s technology for pets keeps our furry buddies safer, healthier, and happier, while easing our responsibilities as pet owners.

Our favorite technology for pets

Of the many technological wonders for our dogs and cats, some are practical, and some are simply fun. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. Microchip tracking

Finding a lost pet – or a lost owner – used to be a daunting task. You could post fliers around the neighborhood, place a “lost pet” ad, or call the dog shelter – then cross your fingers that the right person would see it. Likewise, those who found a pet would have to hope they could find the random messages put out by the owner. Now, using microchip tracking, a shelter or veterinarian can easily match a found pet with its owner!

Microchips are tiny circuits, the size of a grain of a rice, placed under a pet’s skin. When a stray pet is brought to a veterinary office or animal shelter, the pet can be scanned for owner identification information.

Responsible pet owners are urged to have their pets microchipped, as it is the easiest and most reliable way to identify a lost pet. Collar tags with owners’ information can be removed or fall off, or a pet could escape from a house without them. It is important to note: pet owners must register their chipped animal with their current information, and update the information with any change in phone number or address.

2. GPS collars

Another way of keeping up with your pooch is attaching a GPS collar in situations where it may be important to track your animal. For example, many hunters use GPS collars to track their hunting dogs, which, of course, cannot be kept leashed when working.

3. Treat-tossing dog cameras

Really? Yup! Indeed, you can check in on your pup while you’re away, and even reward good behavior with a treat tossed by a camera – all controlled by an app on your phone. With a treat-tossing dog camera, owners can enjoy the ability to not only see their pup when they’re away, but to hear and communicate with them as well as to give them a treat.

4. Automatic ball tossers

Does your energetic pup never tire of chasing a ball? Visualize batting cages where baseballs are tossed out to a waiting batter – except on a smaller scale and with less velocity. Some dogs can even be trained to refill the automatic ball launcher themselves. So save that arm for more important tasks – like controlling your pup on a leash!

5. Automatic litter boxes

Scooping cat poop is unlikely on anyone’s list of favorite things, cat lovers included, so this bit of technology for pets is especially welcome. Smart litter boxes can have a range of features, including Wi-Fi connection that lets you know when your kitty visits and reminds you when to empty the box. These boxes are programmed to remove waste from litter after your kitty leaves the box, and then deposit it into a separate container. This reduces household odors and makes cleanup much less unpleasant.

6. Smart feeders and water dispensers

Not there to feed your pet? Or perhaps your pet needs a little assistance in not eating too much at a time. There are many ways to automatically dispense food and water to your pets, including pet feeders that open up when approached by your pet due to a microchip in their collar, programable dispensers that hold pre-filled amounts of food, and stainless-steel water fountains that provide running water for your pet.

7. Cleaning up after your pet

Dust, dirt, and hair – pets leave traces of themselves all over! As the owner of multiple dogs, I love today’s automated robotic vacuums. I can push a button and let the robot cleaner do its work or program it to run while I’m away or involved in other chores or pleasures. Robotic vacuums may not remove every speck of dust from corners or against walls, they keep the floor much cleaner between vacuuming – and even extend the time between vacuuming. This technology can be especially invaluable during times of excessive shedding.

Now if only someone would create an automated pooper scooper!

8. Smart pet doors

If you’d like to give your pet unfettered access to the outdoors but you can’t leave a door (or doggy door) open, consider a smart pet door. These doors are opened with – a key, of course. If you’re trying hopelessly to imagine Fido with a little key ring, fear not: the key is in his collar. When your pet approaches the door, the door will open automatically upon sensing its key. You can even purchase additional keys for additional pets.

9. Electronic collars

A well-trained dog is a happy dog – and makes for a happy owner. When used properly, electronic training collars and containment systems help dogs to learn and respect their boundaries.

Technology for pets allows us to pamper them and ourselves while helping to ensure health and happiness all around.

Related: The 10 best pet care products for pet owners

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Kari Smith

Kari Smith is a frequent contributor to Seniors Guide, helping to keep those in the senior industry informed and up-to-date. She's a Virginia native whose love of writing began as a songwriter recording her own music. In addition to teaching music and performing in the Richmond area, Kari also enjoys riding horses and farming.

Kari Smith