Constant innovations and improvements in technology are steadily making their way into the pet market. While some products are not necessarily beneficial to our relation- ships with our furry friends, here are five new products that have the potential to enhance our pet’s lives.
This self-cleaning litter box is the most advanced and well-designed version on the market. The three available models save money on litter, reduce odor and are great for multiple cat households. The newest Open Air model even boasts a “drawer full” indicator, adjustable cycle timer, an automatic nightlight and a lockout feature. $349-$449 on Amazon or at www.litter-robot.com
Do you remember Simon, the 1978 Hasbro game? Now there is a version for pets. CleverPet rewards your furry friend for solving puzzles based on lights, touch pads and sound cues. Pet owners can even record their voice into the device to solidify training and alleviate pet anxiety. You can also keep track of your pet’s activity and progress using an app. While marketed for dogs, this game could certainly keep food-motivated cats busy all day as well. $299 at www.clever.pet (save $40 with code CLEVER40)
Dog owners with busy lifestyles will appreciate the GoBone, a toy that keeps your pup entertained while you are busy or away. This toy moves around on its own, initiating play and satisfying a dog’s prey drive. The GoBone adjusts its performance based on your pup’s age, weight, breed and play style. Let the automatic mode keep Fido busy or utilize the app to take control of the GoBone and turn it into an interactive gaming device for you and your dog. The GoBone uses FDA food-grade materials, and the modular design allows for easy cleaning. Owners can choose between the Moderate Chewer or Heavy Chewer model. Available for pre-order for $169 at www.mygobone.com
(WonderMeow set to be released in 2017) This Fitbit-meets-Facebook device helps you ensure your pet is getting the right amount of exercise based on their breed and age. Simply clip this bowtie-shaped gadget onto your pooch’s collar, and it starts tracking their activity. Your dog’s data is available to you through an accompanying app, which includes a map-enabled social feature that allows you to connect with other local dog owners to set up puppy play dates. Ever wonder what your dog does all day while you are at work? A quick glance at the app allows you see how much exercise your dog is getting while you’re away from home. It even has reminders for medical, grooming or feeding times. $80-$95 at Petco, on Amazon or on www.wonderwoof.com
The PetBot is one of several webcam pet monitors available, but its “pet-selfie” feature makes it stand out. In addition to now-standard pet cam features like the ability to tap into a live video stream, talk to your pet through the built-in speakers and dispense treats for your fuzzy pal, the PetBot also recognizes your pet’s face and movement and takes photos and videos throughout the day. These snapshot notifications help you keep tabs on your fur kids while you are away. Pending release in 2017. Sign up for email updates at www.petbot.com
Beth McEwen, owner of Mind Your Manners Dog Training, has been working with dogs and their families for almost 20 years. Learn more at mindyourmannersdogs.com.