The six best Doggie gadgets on the market
As Crufts rolls into Birmingham next Thursday, treat your four-legged friend to the best tech treats, writes Keeley Bolger.
CAUGHT ON CAMERA
ElectrIQ Wi-Fi pet monitoring camera with audio, £39.97 from £49.97, www.laptopsdirect.co.uk
If you’ve ever wondered what your pooch gets up to when you’re not at home, this camera might shed some light on the situation. Hook it up to your smartphone and the camera will provide live HD streaming to your device. And when you catch Fido hopping on the sofa — just as you suspected — you can call to him through the app (or offer reassurance if your dog is pining for you). You can also use the app to manoeuvre the camera so it focuses on another area in the room.
Drinkwell Platinum Pet Water Fountain, £46.99 from £49.99, Argos
This water fountain offers a tech hydration solution for thirsty pooches. All you do is add the filter, pour some tap water into the top of the device, put the lid back on and then plug into the mains. Adjust the speed at which the water flows to suit your pet and let them drink from the fountain. Because the water is constantly circulated, it stays cool and any nasties are removed as it filters. The fountain is also suitable for moggies and its parts are dishwasher safe.
FUR YOUR EYES ONLY
Vileda Cleaning Robot, £149.99, shop.vileda.co.uk
The reality of owning a dog is that their fur ends up everywhere. Skirting boards, cushions, in the hardest to reach nooks and crannies — if there’s even the teensiest space, you can guarantee fur will get in it. Take the detritus to task with an intelligent hoover. Being a robotic cleaner, this one by Vileda requires little from you, save a bit of programming beforehand. With two counter-rotating brushes, it makes short work of ridding hard floors and carpets of pooch hair. You can use it on stairs too; the drop sensor ensures it won’t crash down them.
DOG EAT DOG
TD Design 4.3L Automatic Pet Feeder for Dogs & Cats, £75.99 from £99.99, Amazon
Turn to tech to get you out of a tight spot with this automatic dog feeder. Although wet food is off the menu, you can add dry food to the dispenser and programme it to serve up meals to your dog at set times. You can also select how many portions — from one to 10 — you want your pooch to have throughout the meal. The device allows recording, so, if you like, you can add a message, which will play three times before the device starts dispensing the goods, calling to the pet in question and alerting him that grub’s up. Suitable for small to medium dogs and cats, a magnetic safety lid means your pet won’t be able to snaffle snacks from the top of the gadget. You’ll need three D batteries to keep it running.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
PitPat Pet Monitor, £39.99, Argos
Fitness tech is a trend that continues to grow, with trackers, monitors and apps all designed to keep us aware of our activity (or non-activity). And now you can get your four-legged friend in on the action too. This small device fits onto your dog’s collar and connects to an app on your phone to monitor their activity levels. There are 200 breeds on the app to ensure the data and guidelines on calories and activity are appropriate for your mutt.
GET THE BALL ROLLING
PetSafe Ball Launcher, £134.99, Argos
Throwing balls for a dog can get tiring if the dog in question has more energy and interest in fetching a ball than you do. This is where technology can help. The PetSafe Ball Launcher is an investment, but it does relieve the pressure on tired arms. Add the balls (it comes with two, but you can use ordinary tennis balls) to the device and programme it to launch them, either in your garden or at the park — you can choose up to nine different distances (of between 2.5-9m). To keep it going, either plug it in or add six D batteries so you can roam free. There’s also an automatic rest mode to ensure your dog doesn’t tire.