If you or someone you know is looking for a gift to spoil the cuddliest creatures on the planet – our pets – there are several strong contenders that are worth checking out. From smart cameras that provide 24/7 surveillance on your mischievous pup to interactive toys, self-rolling balls and water fountains for cats, here are five tech pet gifts that will hopefully make pet owners’ lives easier and their pets’ lives more entertaining.
For nervous pet parents: PetCube Bites 2 Lite
It can be hard to leave your pet alone at home, especially when they have super convincing puppy eyes or a meow trained to break hearts. A smart camera may be your best bet to cope with the separation, and PetCube’s Bites 2 Lite camera is a good option.
PetCube Bites 2 Lite is equipped with a 1080p HD video, night vision, 160-degree lens, two-way audio and a treat dispenser where you can throw as many treats as you want from close-up or far away. The treat dispenser is the main differentiator from regular smart cameras that you use to monitor your pets. And while it might not be a necessary addition to your collection of pet goods, it can be a fun way to interact with your furkid and reward positive behavior.
For chatty doggos and kitty cats: FluentPet
For those who want to hop on the TikTok trend where dogs learn to “speak” certain words, investing in recordable talking buttons is the way to go.
Featured at last year’s CES, FluentPet (used by Bunny, the famous “talking” dog) is a system of foam hex tiles and recordable sound buttons designed to teach your pet how to communicate their wants and needs. Simply record a word or phrase, show your pet how to press the button and model how the word should be used. For instance, go to the door when they select “outside.” It’s also recommended to say the word out loud to let them know you understand. Plus, the company recently updated its product so users could receive a text when a button is pressed.
There are three kits to choose from, depending on whether the dog/cat is a beginner, proficient or expert at the communication method. The cheapest kit is $40 for two buttons, whereas the most expensive is $235 and comes with 32 buttons. You can also take an online quiz to determine if this learning style is right for your pet.
For non-stop players: Cheerble Ball
Cheerble is a self-rolling ball that comes with three interactive modes — roll, bounce, and light up — to (hopefully) provide mental stimulation, physical exercise and perhaps even stress relief for bored pets. The toy stays on for a maximum of four hours until it needs to be recharged. It also has a built-in collision sensor, meaning it will move backward if it hits something.
Interactive toys are a temporary yet helpful solution for busy pet owners who want to give their dog or cat the playtime they deserve. We say “temporary” because gadgets like these aren’t meant to replace one-on-one attention with your pet. Many vets agree that automatic machines (ball launchers, for instance) can promote an unhealthy obsession and cause behavioral issues. But, when used occasionally, Cheerble and other smart toys are a great time-consuming activity.
For escape artists: Fi Smart Dog Collar (Series 3)
It’s a terrifying thought to imagine your dog running away. There are plenty of GPS smart collars out there – in addition to using an Apple Airtag and attaching it to a collar. However, the Fi Smart Dog Collar offers more than just peace of mind.
The Fi Smart Dog Collar creates a geofence for your dog and uses algorithms to detect when your dog escapes and send alerts to the app. With a combination of Wi-Fi and GPS to track your dog’s location, Fi can also track the number of steps they’ve taken, as well as sleep tracking. There’s also a social feature that compares your dog’s activity to other users.
For the pampered fur babies: Petlibro Capsule Water Fountain
Due to those wild animal instincts, cats generally prefer to drink water directly from the running tap rather than a bowl sitting on the floor. Petlibro’s pet water fountain is designed to entice cats to embrace their ancestral background, with its quiet, flowing stream and filtered H2O — though it’s a little more luxurious than drinking straight from a river.
One downside about this is that it’s suggested the filter be replaced every two weeks to keep the water fresh, which some reviewers have said feels wasteful. However, PetLibro says the filter keeps the water clear of pet fur and saliva, so you might want to comply with the company’s guidance.
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