What’s better than seeing the look on your pup’s face when you give him a treat and you’re not even there? Or knowing that your pooch can get the correct amount of exercise, even with those long days when you’re at the office? We’ve rounded up some awesome gadgets for busy dog lovers everywhere.
it’s hard to be stuck in your office when you’d rather be taking a nice stroll or playing fetch with your dog, but these products can give you the comfort you need to carry through the day. Stop worrying about whether Rover is lost, or if he’s hungry or bored. These high-tech gizmos will make your life easier and your dog’s life more luxurious.
Best Tracking Collar: Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker ($80)
Putting up flyers to locate your lost dog is an old school and inefficient way to go about it. If you’ve got an escape artist on your hands, consider purchasing a Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor in order to not only find your dog if he gets lost (a worst case scenario) but track his activity levels day to day.
Even though you have to pay a subscription fee ($84/year), this is one of the only products that successfully tracks down a lost dog—the vast majority of dog tracking products on the market are simply glorified Bluetooth fobs or rely on Wi-Fi whereas Whistle uses GPS and cellular connectivity to ensure you can actually get a lock on your lost pal.
The setup is easy— first, you have to attach the GPS holder to the collar and clip the lightweight and small Whistle 3 GPS to the holder. Then you download the app on your phone, connect the Whistle 3 to Wi-Fi, and set your home as your safe space. You can track where exactly where your pet is from your phone, and you can even get alerts if your pet leaves the safe space. The device holds a charge for a week, but many people report getting more battery life out of it—the more your pooch is home in the Wi-Fi zone the less battery it uses.
If you don’t want to spend as much money or you don’t want the subscription fee (even though we’re off the strong opinion that what Whistle offers is worth the price of admission), consider the Anki HappiGo Smart Tag Bluetooth Anti-lost Pet Finder. It’s essentially like putting a Bluetooth car-key locator on your dog’s collar (so it only works when the paired device is nearby) but if your main concern is that your dog tries to escape when you’re at home and nearby then it offers an easy alert that he’s made an escape.
Best Feeding Device: Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder ($80)
What do you do when you’re at work for hours at a time, but your pup is a growing boy who needs his kibble several times a day? You get the Arf Pets Automatic Pet Feeder. It automatically dispenses anywhere from one to ten portions of dry food per meal (a portion is 24 ml of kibble). All you need to do is set the clock on the feeder so that the device will alert your dog and dispense the food up to four times a day. You can even customize the serving size if you have a bigger (or smaller) mouth to feed.
If you’re at work all day or away from the weekend, it’s the perfect way to make sure your dog is being fed and getting the correct amount of kibble without requiring your dog walker or house sitter to fuss with a feeding schedule and portions. The Arf Feeder can be plugged into a wall or it can use 3 “D” batteries so even in a power outage your hungry pup still gets lunch. The lid has a sturdy magnetic latch to keep even the most industrious of kibble thieves out.
The feeder even features a little recording option, reminiscent of those voice greeting cards, that allows you to record a short mealtime message for your dog.
Best Dog Monitor: Furbo Dog Camera ($199)
Stop worrying about your dog during the day while you’re away or at work and start doting on him like a new parent with a baby cam. The Furbo Dog Camera doubles as a fun dog treat dispenser and a camera that lets you see what your dog is up to. Place the camera in the location your pooch hangs out the most, plug it into an outlet, download the app, then connect to your Wi-Fi. Once you’ve set everything up you can tune in any time. The camera has a 1080p camera and night vision, and will live stream your pup with a wide-angle view of 160 degrees.
Not only can you tune in any time, but you’ll always know what your dog is up to with the Smart Dog Alerts system. The alert system notifies you when your dog is playing near the camera. You can then toss your pup a treat with the app, letting you to play fetch with your dog as much as you want (or until the 100 treats that it can hold are all eaten). The alert system is currently on an extended free trial (the company hasn’t announced when they are rolling out their subscription model or what the price will be, as of now) but even if you opt not to subscribe to the alerts, the tune-in and treat-toss features still work if you use them manually.
The final feature is a two-way chat system that allows you to listen to your dog and talk to them, allowing you to link a verbal cue with the treat. While that’s somewhat a novelty, we can certainly envision dedicated dog owners even squeezing in some training time and reinforcing training on their lunch break via the intercom and camera system.
Best Fetch Machine: iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher ($115)
Worried about your dog being bored or not getting enough exercise during the day? Worry no more with the iFetch Interactive Ball Launcher. It’s an automatic tennis ball launcher that lets dogs play fetch until they finally tire of feeding the balls back into the machine. The iFetch comes with 3 mini tennis balls for your smaller dog, but if you want an automatic fetch machine for your bigger dog, try the iFetch Too.
The iFetch Launcher not only gets your dog running and fetching, but it can teach your dog to initiate his own game of fetch. You can set your launching distance to 10, 20, or even 30 feet by simply pressing a button on the machine. The iFetch can be used inside or outside, so whether you’re home and you enjoy watching your dog play fetch without wearing your own arm out, or you’re at work and can’t actually play fetch, this device is perfect for you.
If you are home and you want a more engaging way to reward your dog, try this Pet Snack Launcher, which will let your dog eat a treat AND play fetch.