Tech Gadgets for Pups & Their People

How could we not pass this one on??  Thanks to ReadWriteWeb for this great article!

5 Tech Tools For Pet Lovers 

You won’t find dog-walking robots here, but there are plenty of other technologies pet lovers should, well, love.

5 Tech Tools For Pet Lovers

Remember the robot that walks a bunch of dogs in the movie I, Robot? How awesome would that be—for both the owner and the dogs? I mean, we do have iOS apps for animals now, but Hollywood has trained me to expect more.Just because dog-walking robots don’t yet exist, there’s no reason pets should be underdogs when it comes to technology. Naturally, I went looking for some cool pet tech and doggonit, I found some! (Now, if only iRobot made a Roomba-like automatic pooper scooper .)

A Fitness Tracker For Your Dog 

For humans, there’s Fitbit. For dogs, there’s Whistle , a sleek fitness monitor that attaches to your canine’s collar.

Whistle tracks activities like walks, playtime, sleep and even swims (yes, it’s waterproof). Whistle can even track who your dog has been hanging out with (friends or family, for instance).

As with human activity trackers, you can set goals and easily view activity in a sleek dashboard. If your dog exhibits any behavioral changes, Whistle can alert you so you can check it out. Another great feature? The ability to auto-generate reports for your vet.

Play With Your Pet Via Smartphone 

Petcube , currently a Kickstarter project that looks to have an excellent chance of reaching its funding goal, consists of three awesome components: a wide-angle HD camera, a microphone and speakers and, of course, a laser pointer. This means that while the cat—in this case, the human, meaning you—is away, the mice (your cats or dogs) will play. So will the cat. I mean, you.

Unlike that previous paragraph, the Petcube makes a lot of sense. I’m always curious what my pets do when I’m gone. Now I can see for myself and share the best photos and videos of my pet’s shenanigans online.

Talk To And Reward Your Pet Via Smartphone 

PetziConnect , which blew past its own crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo, has many similarities to the Petcube. It can take HD photos and videos of your animals and it will let you have a conversation (inasmuch as that is possible) with your pet via two-way audio.

The biggest difference here is that the PetziConnect forgoes a laser pointer for a treat dispenser. Additionally, the PetziConnect plugs directly into a wall outlet, so it isn’t as mobile as the Petcube. Which one is the best fit for you may depend on what excites your pet the most: chasing a red dot or receiving a treat.

Digital Pet ID Tags 

If you are still using a regular old “dumb” pet tag, it’s time to get with the times. The PetHub  embeds a QR code on the back of a normal metal engraved dog tag that others can scan should they find your lost pet.

Here’s what’s cool: when a person scans your pet’s tag with their phone, it will display your pet’s profile and information—plus, and this is the great part, it’ll immediately notify you, too. Perhaps this will help cut down on pet piracy (finding someone’s lost pet and not returning it). I mean, who can resist scanning a QR code on a pet tag to see what you might learn?

Find An Awesome Dog Sitter Near You 

DogVacay is like Airbnb, but for dogs. Next time you leave town and need someone to watch your pooch for awhile, don’t just drop Fido off at the nearest kennel. Instead, browse hosts online, read reviews, pick the perfect place, schedule it andhit the road with peace of mind.

That last part is important, and DogVacay takes it seriously by hand-approving all sitters (because even humans need to get vetted) and offering comprehensive protection. Additionally, each host must pass an online training course, for what it’s worth. Does your usual boarding location offer a 100% guarantee?

Lead image via Flickr user WB – CMH

 

Why you should teach your dog to use an iPad

Here is a terrific article from School for The Dogs about Why you should teach your dog to use an iPad. It’s a three-paws up Must-Read! I’ve re-posted some of it here, but read the entire article to learn more about the process and which apps are best for teaching nose touch to your pup!

Why you should teach your dog to use an iPad

 

At School For The Dogs , my training partner Kate and I have been doing something kind of silly recently: We’ve been teaching dogs to use iPads.

The idea of teaching dogs to use touchscreen devices came to me a few years ago after I read an a spoof article in TheAwl called The Most Emailed New York Times Article Ever, about an overachieving Ivy League college applicant girl whose hobbies included breeding ibexes, studying Borscht Belt comedy, learning Mandarin, and teaching her dog to use an iPad. Goats, Yiddish jokes and Chinese don’t interest me much, but I thought: “I could totally teach my dog to use an iPad.

Since then, we’ve shown several dozen dog owners how to manipulate touch screen Apple devices. Today, The Wall Street Journal put up an article and a video about our efforts.

Why Dogs Should Learn Tricks 

I love teaching silly stuff to dogs. It’s something that you can do to spend time with your dog and keep him mentally engaged without the need for a lot of space, time or money. And the more silly behaviors your dog can learn to do reliably on cue, the better he’ll be at understanding you when you need to teach important stuff.

“Touch” is one of the first “tricks” we teach dogs in our classes. It simply involves communicating to a dog that he can touch something with his nose, and something good will happen — usually that good thing is the sound of a clicker, which predicts the presence of a small food treat. Teaching a dog that he can affect the outcome of his environment simply by touching something with his nose is a way to build confidence and a way to clue him into the fact that he can get good things out of humans without having to resort to jumping or barking.

The Importance of teaching “Touch 

There are lots of applications for nose touches. If a dog will reliably touch his nose to your outstretched palm, you can quickly build a really good “come” — just hold out your hand, and your dog will go to it. It’s also a way to lead them around a space (they’ll follow your hand). And it’s a step towards teaching them to close doors, or drawers. My training partner Kate, for example, taught her dog Disco to close the door behind her when she is carrying out her laundry. Here he is closing the fridge.

Teaching a dog to use an iPad can be a first step towards generalizing the idea of “touch” — he can learn it can work on objects, not just hands.

TO READ MORE – Click here.

NOTE: If you are in the NYC area…

If you’d like to teach your dog to operate your touchscreen device, we will be holding our iDog clinic for four dogs on August 20th at our Gramercy studio. We recommend your dog have a solid hand “touch” prior to class. Signup on our site , or give us a call at 212-353-DOGS.

Photographer Helps Dogs in Need From Behind the Camera [PICS]

How is this adorable dog homeless?!?

We all get hit up from time to time to donate money to our favorite rescue or shelter.  Or, rather, we get the “ask” so much that sometimes you just have to start  ignoring the requests…  It’s furstrating (spelling error intended) because you want to help – but your wallet only opens so wide…

Here is a North Carolina based photographer who has come up with a unique way to help homeless animals find homes and is using her talent behind the camera to raise awareness for these pets in need.  Bravo to Shannon Johnstone!  You get 4 paws up!

Read the article on Mashable here:

Photographer Helps Dogs in Need From Behind the Camera [PICS].