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In addition to being the year of the smart home, 2018 is the year of connected gadgets for your pet. After all, who says wearables and other connected devices are reserved for humans?
A dog or cat is just like a member of the family. It only makes sense that tech companies would target our love for them with connected pet toys. If there’s something you regularly use for your dog or cat, there’s probably a smart version at CES.
Actijoy Pet Tracking System
Just like people, dogs can be overweight. If you leave food out all day, your dog will often eat more than it needs. The Actijoy line of devices aims to fix that with two parts — an activity tracker and a connected food dish. Actijoy’s systems uses scales to measure food and water intake, and it keeps track of the freshness of the dog’s water. It looks like a normal dog dish from the outside, so you’re not drawing too much attention to it.
For this one, you’ll have to enter your information on Actijoy’s website and they’ll contact you when it’s available in the spring of 2018.
As much as our dogs would like us to spend every waking moment playing with them, that’s just not realistic. Pebby is an internet-connected pet game. It’s a ball that comes with a camera and smart collar that lets you interact with your dog while you’re away. If you can’t be by your phone to move it, you can set it to play with your pup automatically. And if you have a cat, there’s a laser that’ll keep your feline active and playing.
You can preorder Pebby right now through Indiegogo for $189. That includes the ball, connected collar, and charger. The team plans to ship the devices in March 2018, so you won’t have to wait too long to get your hands on it.
Petcube is one of the first pet cameras, and its new one is quite cool. When your dog walks into the scene, it can automatically take a video. It’s like selfies for your dog!
You can communicate with your furry friend no matter where you are via the included two-way call feature. The PetCube camera is available right on Amazon, and the new features will be added through a firmware upgrade in the Spring.
Petrics Smart Pet Bed
This might have been my favorite pet gadget from CES this year. It’s a bed and activity tracker that helps you make sure your pet is receiving the optimal level of comfort. The connected features allow you to adjust the temperature of the bed via heating and cooling so your furry friend sleeps well at night. The included scale will even keep track of your pet’s weight.
Petrics plans to officially release its bed and tracker in the fall. For small dogs, the bed is $100. For medium, the price jumps to $200, and for large dogs, the package sells for $300.
The Mousr is a really cool AI-controlled pet toy for cats that’ll drive and spin around for hours on end. If you have an energetic cat (or one you wish was more active), this could be the perfect pet toy for them. It comes with multiple “tails” that attach to the back depending on how the cat likes to play. There’s a shorter tail for more aggressive cats, and a longer tail for lazier ones. The connected app lets pet parents choose different routines that’ll work best for your feline friend.
Mousr is available for preorder directly from the Petronics website for $149. It plans to ship to purchasers in March 2018.
PetWALK Pet Door
This thing is like the Rolls Royce of pet doors. It lets you control when your pets can come in and out thanks to connected features. Not only that, but it’s fully sealed and airtight, so it won’t negatively impact your heating and cooling. It has support for deliveries, allowing the driver to scan a barcode and open the door.
This door might be a little on the expensive side for most. With installation, the company said the cost will be close to $2,000. As of this writing, PetWALK plans to release its connected door in this year.
Tractive Pet Wearables
Tractive is all about keeping a virtual eye on your dog. It will help you to keep track of your pet and automatically alert you if they leave a specific area. For dogs, you simply clip the tracker to their existing collar, and for cats, there’s a built-in collar. If you’re interested in how much your dog or cat is moving around each day and whether they’re being active enough, this system could be just what you need.
For the new Tractive collars, we don’t have an exact release date, with the company promising they’ll roll them out in Europe first later this year. The price has yet to be determined.
Wagz Dog Collar and Pet System
In terms of full systems, Wagz might be the most robust, as it offers a tracking collar, smart feeder, pet door, and more. If you’re looking to get a full system of connected products for your furry friend, this might be the one to look at. However, only the collar is available right now, and the rest of the system will be available in the near future. One thing that makes this product stand out over the others is a partnership with Black & Decker, which should give you a bit of confidence about the longevity of the brand.
The collar is available for preorder right now. It sells for $295 with just the tracker or $495 for the tracker and camera. The rest of the devices will roll out at a later date.
Sony’s Aibo Robotic Dog
One of the devices Sony was touting at CES this year was smart robot dog that behaves in many of the same ways a real dog would. The robotic pup is named Aibo, and will retail for around $1700, which is about the same price as you’d pay for some of the popular breeds of living, breathing dogs. And just like a real dog, there’s a monthly expense of around $25 in order to keep your pup updated (of course, a real dog’s monthly expenses come in the form of food, medicine, and the like).
As someone who owns a dog and fosters puppies, I can say there’s nothing like the actual love given by a living breathing pet. On the other hand, fostering puppies means spending a lot more time cleaning poop than I’d like, so maybe a robot dog really wouldn’t be so bad.
We actually sat down and had a brief demo of Aibo, and it’s quite impressive. It has an array of sensors and it reacts to your movements and actions. Like a real dog, it enjoys head pets, and it even dislikes people who don’t give it the required amount of attention. For more information on the hands-on experience of playing with Aibo, have a look at Tina’s article about our Sony booth tour at CES 2018.
You and Your Pet Just Got Smarter
If there’s one exciting thing to take away from CES this year, it’s that smart devices are coming for your pet! Whether you’re looking for pet toys, pet feeders, pet doors, or just about anything else, you’ll find a way to leverage the power of the internet to keep your pet happy and healthy.
While you’re at it, make sure to check out the superpowers you can get from the devices shown at CES and why CES 2018 was actually a little disappointing (with the exception of these awesome pet products).
Are you interested in smart devices for your pets? Do you think they’re just dumb gimmicks that aren’t worth your time? Let’s talk dogs and cats in the comments below!