Just to warn you, this is half work related, half a shameless excuse to talk about my kitten, Dexter. Browsing the web for all manner of cat things for Dexter (pictured – isn’t he adorable), I kept coming across Pet Tech and this got me thinking about the world of Pet Wearables and the need for these.
I’ve grown up with animals all my life, way before mobiles and the internet and we managed just fine then – so what has changed in recent years? I was definitely skeptical when starting my research.
We’re without a doubt a nation of pet lovers. We’ve adorned our little furry babies with all the luxuries you can imagine, with some leading even more lavish lifestyles than their owners. From cat yurts, mini chaise lounges, homemade dinners to the latest haute couture for animals, we’re treating them to the finer things in life and the market is booming.
The selection of things you can buy is so vast, you can’t help but get some of the weird and wonderful things out there. But with all the pampering, it’s no surprise that a whopping 58% of cats and 54% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese according to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. And reportedly, another 4 million of the UK’s 9 million dogs are obese. There’s many ways you can help your pets to lose weight, but we need to acknowledge that these luxuries could well be part of the problem. But thankfully, our obsession with tech means we’re also becoming more invested in the health and well-being of our pets…which looking at those stats, is probably for the best.
FitBits are no longer just for humans and as we get obsessed with tracking every inch of our own lives and bodies, you can with your cat or dog now too. A recent report Global Pet Wearable Devices Market Research Report 2017 by Global Market Insights, states that the Pet wearables market is on track to grow at over 25% CAGR from 2017 to 2024, hitting the $8billion mark. So let’s take a look at some of the most popular tech dominating the market right now.
Thanks to accessible GPS tech, there has been a considerable demand for tracking where our pets are at all times. The Arden Collar is an advanced GPS tracker for your pets (and even human loved ones), an emergency mode for missing pets with alerts, Cloud pet medical record storage and wellness tracking amongst many other things. Tracking tech will help find your pets quicker if they were to go missing or stray far away on a walk. It’s complete control and peace of mind for owners of the more adventurous of pets.
FitBark allows you to assess the data of your dog’s overall well-being, you can monitor your pet’s weight, set fitness goals, compete in leaderboards, insights will allow you to see if they’re not feeling well and so on. With this sort of pet wearable is an investment for your pet, you can also look to reducing vet’s bills and combat any difficult behaviours. Not just for dogs, cats are getting in on the action with their own with brands offering smart collars that not only track their whereabouts but temperatures, activity levels and health with the data sent directly to your phone to monitor. This isn’t just limited to wearable tech, you can track your cat’s health through its litter box thanks to companies like Tailio and even monitor portion size, schedule your pet’s meals and nutrition with SmartBowls and SmartFeeders.
I don’t know about other pet-parents out there too, but leaving them in the mornings is simply the worst. I know cats especially are very self-sufficient but it does cross my mind that Dexter might be bored during the day. But, fear not – there are countless applications that allow you to spy on your pet while you’re out and about through your smartphone, and smart cameras have two-way audio, and laser toys. Tech like PetChatz allows you to facetime your cat or dog whilst you’re out, dispensing treats, emits calming scents and even plays them videos. Smart toys like Clever Pet can also help pets remain active even when you’re out and unable to give them the attention they need. Especially dogs, who can have boundless energy, these can be great for behaviour monitoring. Using light up pads and puzzle solving they’ll be awarded a treat.
You may even be handing over your iPad to your furry companion very soon with free apps popping up for cats like, Game for Cats where they can play for hours digitally. Possibly not the best for activity levels though!
The global value of the Internet of Things is set to reach $267B By 2020. Paired with growth in the pet tech market, the two are bound to integrate with pet wearables. Smart homes are a haven for pet owners. Connected heating and lighting, feeding and treat dispense sensors and even automated medicine administration should you not be home to do this gives you peace of mind on those days you might be out a bit longer.