Every day, our tech becomes better and better at addressing our everyday needs. For animal lovers, that includes helping us care for our pets. Here are ten of our favorite mobile apps, gadgets, and other whats-its (and a few forthcoming ones that we’re excited about) that will help you out with various pet-related tasks, like feed, watching, tracking, monitoring, and first aid.
This rechargeable GPS tracking collar takes safety one step further than a microchip, sending you text messages and emails if your pet leaves the safety zone you establish. You can see where your furry friend has been, and find their exact location using a smartphone app. The collar also logs activity over 90-day periods, allowing you to see how much energy your pet is expending, or whether there are any changes in behavior that might signal illness or other irregularities. Available for cats or dogs, the device and first three months of tracking service costs $100, then $7.95 per month.
This one’s not available yet, but we’re looking forward to checking it out. With this small, bone-shaped Bluetooth collar attachment you can start keeping track of your dog’s exercise to make sure he or she is getting what they need. A smartphone app logs your dog’s activity and sends you reports that compare it with recommended levels. A base station connects to your home Wi-Fi network and uploads logged activity that you can access online while you’re out. The product is in its second round of Kickstarter funding and should be available in December 2013. Available in five colors, it’s currently available to Kickstarter pledge backers for $60.
Watch your pet from afar with this app for iOS and Android. Keep an eye on any pet in real-time, right on your smartphone or other mobile device. Take the anxiety out of long trips with a comforting glance — or enjoy catching your beloved animal doing what they do when you’re not around!
You and your pet can enjoy each other remotely with this camera, speakers, microphone and laser pointer all in one. The cube resembles a small speaker, fit with a 162-degree wide-angle camera that streams 720p video to your smartphone or computer. You can give access to family and friends and let everyone in on the fun, no matter where they are! The app also gives you the ability to interact with animals in shelters located around the world where PetCubes have been set up, bringing some joy to animals down on their luck. PetCube is currently available for pre-order and is expected to start shipping this fall.
This gadget also allows you to watch and speak to your pet from outside the home, with another handy feature: it drops a treat at the touch of a button on your smartphone. The device plugs into any wall outlet for a pet-level view and connects to your home Wi-Fi network. Talk to your companion via the smartphone app or Web portal, or take a picture or video and post it to any social network. Petziconnect is built for durability, the company says, in case your pet tries to access those treats without your help. The product is seeking backers on Indiegogo and is available to pre-order for $99, with first shipments slated for December 2013.
Want to see the world from your dog’s perspective? Sony’s HDR-AS15 Action Cam can make that happen in 1080p resolution video at 60 fps, with Steadyshot image stabilization for smooth shooting no matter how crazy your dog gets bounding along. The camera is designed to resist water, mud, dirt and dust. It mounts on a harness that best fits dogs 33 lbs and over. The camera weighs a little more than 4.5 ounces and won’t impede your dog’s playtime. You can fast-upload the videos via the built-in Wi-Fi connection, or with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app. The camera and harness ship later this month for $329.99, or if you already have an Action Cam, you can purchase the harness for $45.
Use this app from the ASPCA to help keep your pet safe from toxic plants. The agency’s Animal Poison Control Center handled more than 140,000 cases of pets in 2009. It’s team of toxicologists put together a comprehensive database of plants reported to have harmful effects on dogs, cats and horses. The searchable database includes plant names, images, potential symptoms if ingested, first-aid information and one-touch dialing to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for iPhone users. Use it in case of emergency, to ensure the safety of your regular walking routes, or when buying plants for your home and garden.
This app for iOS and Android puts first aid for your pet at your fingertips, complete with videos and illustrations demonstrating proper restraint, muzzling, bandaging, CPR and other emergency responses. Dozens of articles cover myriad maladies, from scratches to fractures to impaling. All content is bundled with the app, so the information is handy when you’re in the wild away from an internet connection. You can also use it to record their vaccinations, identifications, veterinarian contact info, medications, allergies and conditions, and any other reference notes for your visits to the vet.
Keep track of any important dates and events for your pet with this iOS app. Great for remembering vet visits, administering medication, changing food or water, or anything else involving your pet. Designed to be user-friendly, MyPetMinder keeps it all in one place.
You might already use it in your own life, but consider Foursquare to help organize your pet’s needs and activities as well. Find vet offices, pet stores and dog parks in your community, or locate friends with pets nearby for a playdate. The app is available on iOS, Android and Blackberry App World.
Bonus: Dog Whistler
Train your dog with this free app available for iOS. The whistle is fully customizable; you can set the frequency and pattern, and set it on a timer. Potentially useful for calling a lost dog, breaking up a canine fight or just getting your dog’s — or family and friends’ — attention.