The Best Tech and Gadgets for Your Dog
Dog’s Life 2.0
Last month when Pooper, the “Uber for dog poop,” was announced it caused quite a stir. For a small monthly fee, the app makers promised on-demand poop pick up. Hundreds of people signed up for the service and the founders were approached by investors. But it seems dog owners are going to have to do their own scooping for now. The app was fake, but there are plenty of gadgets and apps that really cater to dogs and their owners’ every other need.
Here are some of our favorite dog gadgets and apps:
Casper, the startup that ships mattresses in a box, wants the whole household getting a good night’s sleep. That includes dogs, who on average spend half their lives snoozing. The company put nearly as much effort into creating their new released dog mattress as they did for their human one – they made 110 prototypes, held 115 unique tests, and spent 11 months researching dog’s sleeping habits. The company calls this a “universally comfortable sleep surface for your four-legged friends.” Just don’t call it a dog bed. It’s a dog mattress.
For the few hours your dog is awake, you’ll want to let her know you care, even if you’re not around. Hook up your old phone to ICPooch, an internet enabled stand that allows you to Facetime with your dog and feed him a treat.
Playdate, a bright orange ball covered in shatterproof plastic that’s moveable via an iOS or Android app, let’s you play with your pup over your lunch break or any time you’re not around. When PlayDate co-founder Kevin Li first adopted his dog Hulk he wanted to make sure he was getting proper exercise, enough socialization, and sniffing new things every day, so Li built an activity tracker for Hulk. But “I realized he didn’t need more tracking; he needed more time with his best friend,” Li said in the company’s promotional video.
But maybe an activity tracker is what your dog needs. Whistle, an activity tracking collar, allows dog parents to keep tabs on how much exercise your pet is getting and set fitness goals based on age, weight, and breed through the company’s app. If you’re a Jawbone user, you can sync your pet’s activity to your own. The Whistle collar also includes a GPS to help you keep a virtual eye on your dog. If your main concern is a runaway pup, keep a photo of your dog on file with Finding Rover. Should your dog ever go missing, the company uses facial recognition and a network of dog owners, vets, and shelters to help get your dog back home.
Dogs don’t understand why you have to leave, but we do. Thankfully, there are plenty of startups to help walk and care for your dog while you’re out. Find and pay a dog walker through Wag – it’s like Uber for pups – and watch your dog on the move through the app’s location tracker. Rover and Swifto (NYC only) offer similar services.
If you need a caretaker for longer than a 30-minute, try DogVacay. The team prides itself on setting up dogs and their owners with hosts for boarding and overnight stays in much the same way dating apps do. DogVacay’s matchmaking tool uses a combination of human input and algorithms to match a guest and host – about 1/3 of the DogVacay tech team comes from dating sites like Match.com and eHarmony.
Has all this great dog-focused tech got you wishing you had your own pup? There’s an app for that too. Bark’N’Borrow matches dog-deprived folks with dogs looking for some quality human interactions. Fill out your dog dating profiles, and get matched with a local pooch. Please note you are required to give the dog back.
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