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Tech and pets

Tech and pets DogTech.jpg

Real-world advice on devices that work

By Debbie Gardner

      We’re all aware of how technology makes our everyday lives easier – from the convenient apps on our cell phones to the smart speakers in our homes that give us the weather and news (and appointment and pill reminders) to the programmable DVRs in our TVs that make sure we don’t miss the next episode of “The Gilded Age” or “American Pickers.”

      But what about our pets? How has technology changed our lives as pet parents? Prime polled a group of fellow Reminder Publishing employees – all pet parents – about their experiences with different tech and devices they’ve employed in the care of their pets. Here’s their real-world advice:

      Dog walking apps – The apps Wag and Rover let you “set your dog up with someone who can walk, run, check-in on, take outside to feed and play, etc. – even arrange an overnight stay,” explained one Reminder pet owner. “Both the dog walkers that I worked with for my pet did hour long walks, and I believe both the apps let you live-follow the path your dog is walking on. At the end your dog gets a report card for how they did, and you see photos! It’s worked super well for my family.”

      Check these apps out at WagWalking - and Rover -

      Pet cameras – Several pet parents said they do use in-home cameras to check up on their dogs when they are at work or otherwise not at home. Some employed their Google Home cameras to check up on their pet; one used a specific camera and app combo called Tapo.

      The Tapo user indicated that her family “find[s] it helpful and comforting especially because my dog likes to cause trouble. We can watch right from the app on our phones and can even talk to him through the app. It’s nice to be able to check on him and make sure he’s settled when we leave him alone. In case he is anxious or barking we can talk to him to calm him down.”

      Find more info about the Tapo camera and app at -

      Electronic fences – Several pet parents called installing an electric fence “the best investment they every made” when it came to keeping their dog safe and on their property. There are multiple models available, but one pet parent said they had purchased the PetSafe Stay & Play wireless fence on Amazon, and “after some trial and error with the setup, it’s worked fantastic.” The dog never leaves the perimeter transmitted by the wireless fence.

      Find more information on the PetSafe Stay & Play electronic fence at-

      Training collarsReminder pet parents said they had mixed results with training collars; some found the devices had little effect on their dog’s behavior- they virtually ignored it – and others found the collars useful.

      One Reminder pet parent explained the training collar this way: “For one of our dogs, we have a shock collar that is controlled manually by a remote. It is designed by PatPet and has options, to vibrate the collar, beep the collar or shock the collar. It also gives you the option to link up to two collars to the controller if you have multiple dogs.” He said the collar woks very well for their female dog, who responds to the beep as a warning that she was straying too far from home. However, the family’s other dog “either disregards anything the collar does or gets scared and runs away faster,” as had been the experience of other Reminder pet owners.

      Find more info on PatPet training collars at -

      Timed feeding dishes – Though there was no response from dog parents, one cat parent did say she used a timed feeding dish for her cat, to keep her pet from wolfing down all the food and vomiting it back up. “It was the Cat Mate C200 Automated feeder. It had two compartments for multiple meals. Each compartment had a dial-type timer that could be set from 2 hours to 48 hours. When ready, the lid would pop open, allowing her to access the food. There was also a compartment under the bowls for an included ice pack. This was meant to keep wet food at a safe temp for several hours,” the pet parent said. She added that in three years of use, she only had to change the AA batteries once.

      Similar automatic feeders are available for dogs to dispense treats and food.

      For more info on automatic pet feeders  -

      Medical devices – A cat pet parent had experience with a glucose monitor that helped get her cat’s diabetes under control. The device, similar to the continuous glucose monitors worn by human diabetics, had to be applied by a vet and monitored every two to three hours while the pet’s blood glucose was stabilized. The pet parent called the device a “lifesaver” for her cat, especially when her pet experienced a severe low blood sugar.

      For more info on this technology: