The latest tech for cats and dogs
These hot new products for 2021 use technology to enhance your pets' health and well-being
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Pets deserve the utmost care and consideration from their owners, which is why we were thrilled to see several innovations in pet care at CES 2021. From a smart doggy door to a kitty water fountain to a collar that analyzes your dog’s emotions, these products promise to keep your pets healthy and safe at home and away.
KittySpring cat water fountain
To keep a cat in top-notch health, you’ll want to make sure they drink about a cup of water a day. However, as a pet owner, it can be difficult to monitor how much your feline friend is drinking—let alone keeping the water bowl clean and slime-free. In comes Desimore’s new KittySpring, a water fountain that uses gravity—not electricity—to keep fresh, clean water at your cat’s disposal 24/7. The glass tank holds two days’ worth of water, which flows through an easy-to-clean stainless steel filter that never needs replacing. The wide saucer-like bowl is “whisker-friendly” as those sensitive hairs won’t brush the sides while lapping, and it's wide enough that more than one cat can hydrate at the same time (assuming they permit that sort of sharing). Finally, the whole thing sits on a nonslip, no-tip pad that extends out around the perimeter enough to catch any water drops from vigorous lapping.
KittySpring hasn't hit stores or online retailers yet but is currently available for preorders on Indiegogo for $55. The company expects to ship units out this month.
PetPuls AI-Powered Dog Collar
Ever wondered what your dog is thinking or feeling? The Petpuls AI-Powered Dog Collar may be the closest thing to getting inside your pooch’s mind. The silicone collar has a small device attached to it that detects, tracks, and analyzes five different emotional states—happy, anxious, angry, sad, or relaxed—based on the analysis “of more than 10K bark samples from 50 breeds of dogs.” (Yes, you read that right.) It also records your dog’s activity and rest. All that info syncs via wifi to the iOS or Android companion app. The aim: to help owners “better understand and manage their dog’s emotional and physical well-being.”
The $99 PetPuls collar began shipping last year and was on backorder at the time of publication.
MyQ Pet Portal
The days of feeling guilty over leaving your dog stuck inside all day while you’re at work or out running errands are gone. The MyQPet Portal is the doggy door upgrade you’ve been dreaming of. It’s a full-size, custom-fitted door that contains a hidden smart panel that you can open and close from anywhere using the companion app. The MyQ Pet Portal comes with a device that attaches to your dog’s collar and when your pup is near the door with the attachment on, the door automatically opens to let the dog in or out, or alternatively, alerts you to open the sliding doggy door.
All this technology comes at a price: The smart door costs $3,000 and is currently available for preorder.
Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar
The best part of a pooch’s day—aside from snuggling in your arms, of course—is going for walks to sniff around the outdoors. To give your dog a new sense of freedom without more worry for you, there’s the Wagz Freedom Smart Dog Collar. Like other connected collars, the smart accessory features real-time GPS so you can stay on top of your pup’s whereabouts. But its novelty comes with the companion app, which allows you to set a geofence of your yard, while also adding “off-limit” areas inside and outside the perimeters to keep your pet safe and out of things like a garden or pool. If the pet attempts to go beyond its limits, the device uses audible and ultrasonic noises and vibration to alert the dog instead of an electric shock.
The collar is sold on Wagz.com for $200 (though it was sold out at the time of publication).
Link GPS Smart Collar
Smart dog collars are nothing new, as this roundup clearly attests. But Link aims to be the most comprehensive offering in the category, by combining the “typical” features of activity tracking and GPS location with health and training features. For health and safety, Link includes an LED light that may be remotely triggered so your dog is more visible at night, a temperature sensor to determine if the weather is too hot for your dog to be safely romping outside, and a cloud database in which to store health records and communicate with your vet regarding routine vaccinations and other medical issues. Its training options include light and sound (to use as feedback when your dog accomplishes the task), as well as online resources for how to train your dog. Finally, Link offers “adventure” features for recording long walks and hikes with GPS and even a pet concierge you can call for assistance finding pet-friendly restaurants and hotels when you travel (for when you do that again, that is).
To use Link, you purchase the tracker itself for $59.99 in the classic leather or sports neoprene model to affix to your dog’s own collar or to any of Link’s own collars and harnesses, which range from $5.95 for a basic nylon strap to $79.99 for a “long walk” harness. You also must commit to a service plan at $9.95 a month, with discounts for pre-paying for longer terms. Link trackers are currently sold out, but more are expected soon.
Sniffy Labs dog training app
Whether you have a new puppy or an old dog, there often arises situations where you need to teach them new tricks. Finding a local dog trainer can be challenging and expensive. The Sniffy Labs app puts you in touch with trainers who can create customized plans for getting your dog to do (or not do) the things you want. The app also allows you to log your dog’s progress, offers helpful articles for troubleshooting, and lets you ask questions or raise concerns if you hit any snags.
After a successful beta test, Sniffy is currently crowdfunding to bring it to full fruition. It’s expected to cost $20 a month or $120 a year to access its library of resources, and $20 an hour should you want to hire one of its trainers virtually.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.