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Exploring the benefits of pet-focused tech innovations

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Who could have imagined such pet-focused tech innovations?

It can be mind-boggling to keep up with high-technology innovations that are developing at lightning speed and changing the way we live. Your pet’s world is no exception. Who would have guessed that pet-focused science and technology developments could have come such a long way in such a short period of time? This article explores the benefits of exciting new pet-focused innovations, from geolocating and pet DNA analysis to automatic pet feeders and litter solutions to home security cameras and robotic vacuums. It will definitely motivate you and your pet to go for a walk down Easy Street. 

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Things we do for Pets

Exploring pet-focused tech innovations

Welcome pet owners and to all of you aspiring pet owners out there! You’ve come to the right place to learn about how exciting advancements in science and technology can help you and your pet go for a walk down Easy Street. These aren’t crazy pie-in-the-sky, futuristic ideas. Nope.

These innovations are already being used by tens of thousands of pets and their owners around the world to make life safer, easier and more fun every day.

From geolocating to pet DNA solutions… let’s take a closer look at some of these exciting developments and how they can help you and your pet right now.

Laboratory test for the manufacture of a molecular animal. The image suggests a dog as example
Laboratory testing (Photo by Nexusplexus | Dreamstime.com)

Tracking devices

We’ll start off with Apple AirTags, which are my favourite. AirTags are battery-operated tracking devices about the diameter of a quarter, and about as thick as three. Once you purchase AirTags, there’s no fee to use them, as they use Bluetooth technology and your Wi-Fi or cell data.

If you lose a device with an AirTag attached to it, any time another person with an iPhone passes near it – anywhere in the world – it will show up precisely on a map on your phone.

This is called geolocation and crowdsourcing, and with your permission, these nice people can help reunite you with your item. I use an AirTag on my keychain and in my backpack. With Apple’s free, handy “Find My” app on your smartphone, I can see the location of each item at a glance, at any time. Very cool, and very helpful, because I tend to (ahem) “misplace” my keys a lot!

Until recently, I’d never thought of attaching one to my cat’s, dog’s or rabbit’s collar. Wow, what a great idea that turned out to be!

I have a rambunctious outdoor cat, and I never really knew where she was. Before bed at night, I’d just open the back door and call her name – and cross my fingers she’d come back to me. And my dog and rabbit sometimes dig under the back fence and disappear for hours. Sometimes together

Now with AirTags, I know exactly where my pets are at all times, and let me tell you: the feeling of calmness and confidence I have now is second to none. And how’s this for a side benefit? It provides hours of entertainment to track my pets’ neighbourhood adventures on my phone, while they’re out and about – it seems that they get around more than I do!

A similar tracking device for Android and Apple phones is available from Tile, and Samsung also offers their Galaxy SmartTag2 .

Pet’s DNA test

Now let’s move on to how science and technology can help you gain deeper insight into your pet. By now we’ve all heard of human DNA kits, but did you know they’re available for pets too? DNA is what carries unique genetic information in all humans and animals.

You might ask why you would want to get a DNA test for your pet??

There are two simple reasons. First, it can help you understand the animal’s unique breed characteristics, and second, it can help you screen for any important health issues they may be vulnerable to, such as genetic diseases (including kidney, liver, heart, or skeletal).

DNA testing is especially important if you decide to spend a lot of money on a presumably purebred animal, and you want to be as certain as possible about your prospective purchase.

🎁 Shop Amazon.ca – Dog DNA Test, Dog Breeds ID Kit with Ancestry & Family Tree

An article by Reviewed Product Testing states that their top 2023 pick for pet DNA kits is “Wisdom Panel (available at Amazon), whose reports have become known for their pinpoint accuracy and exhaustive detail.”

Pet litter

For all you cat people out there, did you know that even simple kitty litter is rife with scientific and technical innovation these days? To start with, we all know about the basic good old kitty litter, that’s also versatile around the home, workshop and car for spills, snowstorms and more. It’s a cheap and cheerful clay-based solution, but not one without challenges. I’m looking at you, messy, smelly and dusty! That’s where silica crystals come in.

Besides lending an air of glam to an otherwise unglamourous situation, these crystal beads are almost dust free, release less odor and due to their larger size, are much less likely to get tracked around your home (and sofa, and bed… eww!).

Sure, they cost a bit more, but they need to be changed less frequently and I like that trade-off.

Another recent innovation is called ‘Pretty Litter’, as advertised on tv by Martha Stewart. The added benefit of this silica crystal product is that the litter changes color to identify diseases in your feline, like kidney disease or urinary tract infections. Then we get to the creme-de-la-creme of litter solution technology: Automatic power-operated litter boxes. If you’ve got a few extra hundred dollars to spare, this might be for you! According to independent testing from thesprucepets.com, their top choice is called Whisker Litter Robot 4, which features an intuitive interface, is easy to clean, operates quietly, and has a useful app. It even has a little cat night light! 

pet-focused tech innovations
Pet-focused tech innovations.

Automated cat and dog feeders

Do you ever need to travel overnight or for a short weekend getaway, but struggle because you can’t bring your pet with you? Or find out at the last minute you can’t get a friend, relative or neighbour to stop by to feed them while you’re away? Well, I’m happy to report there are some very impressive high-tech solutions on the market that can help you achieve peace of mind, knowing that your pet’s basic needs are taken care of even if you’re not home.

Amazon features an extremely wide variety of automated cat and dog feeders, which include such innovative features as the ability to record and play your voice, so you can automatically call out to your pet at meal time!

Some have the ability to release small snacks between meals, and some even have motion-activated cameras in the feeders, like the Wi-Fi enabled cat and dog feeder you can find on Amazon. cat and dog feeder from DoHonest. It has a high-definition camera so you can even see (and hear!) your pets eating. They claim their built-in camera “supports night vision, enabling you to see your pets clearly in the dark.”

Tech feeding options exist for tropical fish and turtle owners, too. So you never need to worry about your pet’s food situation again.

Simple-to-use home Wi-Fi cameras

And speaking of being away from home, either at work or on a quick getaway, do you ever wonder what your pet friends are up to around the rest of the house when you’re not around? Are they wreaking havoc with your furniture, or are they curled up resting in their pet beds? Do you ever want to speak to them from your remote location, to keep them company, comfort them and let them know you’re still there for them? Well get this, that’s all possible with today’s simple-to-use home Wi-Fi cameras, most of which feature excellent sound for two-way communication.

They can be accessed from your cell phone and tablet, and can easily be set to record events to the cloud.

Even better, they can act as part of your home security system, and can send you instant alerts whenever your pets (or intruders!) walk nearby. Affordable offerings from Nest, Wyze, Arlo and more companies abound, including many wireless and water-resistant versions that can work outdoors. So why not start a remote conversation with your pet today – so what if your co-workers think you’ve gone off the deep end. 

Robot Vacuum

And last on my list, here’s something especially for you pet parents who are keen on keeping sparkling clean floors throughout your home, with as little effort as possible: Today’s robotic vacuums are specifically designed to quickly and easily rid your home of tough, unwanted pet hair. Some actually feature excrement avoidance technology(!) using radar and small cameras, and even have wet floor cleaning/mopping capabilities for those unexpected little accidents.

Most are programmable directly via an app on your phone, from anywhere you are.

Vacuumwars.com features video tests on most of the latest models. They particularly like the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, which can vacuum carpets and wet scrub hard surfaces during the same cleaning event, and which they call “The Most Feature-Rich Robot Vacuum Yet.” My friend loves her robotic vacuum – sometimes her pet ferret even hops on for a ride.

Wow! Just when you thought you had a handle on your own tech, along comes new short-cuts, new toys and new ways to spend your money on your furry pals. I hope this info has been helpful. Do you already use any of these products with your pets? Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!

So that’s it for today. Gotta go replace my neighbour’s flower garden.


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Things we do for Pets


Podcast: Things We Do For Pets
Made possible with the support of Ontario Creates

Directed by: Teresa Botelho
Content writing: Lauri Richardson
Pre-production & research: Ana Carolina Botelho
Recording / Editing / Social Media: Christian Pedersen
Host: Eric Major
Vignettes & special effects: Robson DJ Estudio 
Website & Digital Marketing: Creative Team Canada


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