The importance of technology in our society and our daily lives cannot be underestimated. From health, business, communication, comfort and entertainment, technology has made our lives easier and – dare we say – more complete. But there is one part of modern society that technology also considerably affected, yet it’s rarely talked about: the pet world. Technology has allowed our four-legged family members to live longer, better and happier, and perhaps most importantly of all, it also allowed us to strengthen our bonds with them.
How Technology Improves Pet Lives
When we talk about the lives of our dogs, cats and other pets, we cannot talk about them in isolation, as if they’re separate from our own lives. After all, how good or bad of a life a pet has depends almost entirely on how good or bad of a life their owner has. Think about it – if you don’t have enough money to feed and house yourself properly, how on earth are you supposed to do it for your pet!? Indeed, the quality of a pet’s life is intrinsically connected to the quality of its owner’s life. In fact, it’s safe to say that to improve your pet’s life, you first need to improve your own. And that’s where technology comes in. From automatic pet feeders and auto-cleaning litter boxes, to veterinary telemedicine and robotic animal companions, technology is rapidly becoming a part of our and our furry friends’ lives, improving and enhancing both along the way.
Automatic pet feeders
Anyone who has ever owned a dog or a cat, knows that animals know when it’s their mealtime or treat time. And if you're behind on their feeding schedule? Oh, they’ll let you know you’re late! Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to feed your pet on time, especially if you’re a super-busy pet parent. Thankfully, this is where technology or - to be more precise - automatic pet feeders can help.
Whether you work long hours, have last-minute errands to do or are stuck in traffic on a daily, an automatic feeder will ensure your pet never misses a meal. Today, the market is full of various types of automatic cat and dog feeders, including basic and cheaper models, and top-performing, versatile and pricier types, and frankly, we couldn’t be happier. Dependable feeders allow you to manage both your time and your pet’s needs easily and more efficiently.
Self-cleaning litter boxes
Another fantastic product of pet technology, a self-cleaning litter box simplifies the management of your cat’s waste. It’s the gadget to have if you wish to spend less time scooping and cleaning, but still ensure your kitty has clean and pleasant bathroom experiences. And you don’t even have to invest a lot of money on a self-cleaning litter box! Sure, there are plenty of fully automatic, pricy models, but if you’re working within a tight budget, there are also lots of simple, cheaper (albeit not fully self-cleaning) models.
While automatic feeders and self-cleaning litter boxes are becoming ubiquitous nowadays, there is one piece of pet technology that is still in its infancy but is, nevertheless, fascinating: pet translators. Yes, we may be able to actually talk to and understand our dogs and cats soon! Scientists have been working on devices that can be used as pet translators for a couple of years now, and most of them use some form of artificial intelligence. And if you don’t want to wait? No problem, there are quite a few human-to-cat and human-to-dog apps already available, although how true and precise they are is up for debate.
Speaking of pet apps, there are literally hundreds of super-useful apps you can use to make both your and your furry companion’s life a little easier. Here are some we used and loved.
- Pet First Aid: no pet parent wants to deal with an emergency, but it’s good to know what to do in case there is one. The app is super-simple to use and offers great basic info on what to do in everyday emergencies.
- DogVacay: if you need to find a dog sitter or a walker, this app is a good choice. It’s easy to use as you can browse sitters/walkers and book and pay them via the app. If you’re super-picky with whom you leave your pup with (as you should be!) though, it’s a good idea to have interviews with several candidates so you can hire the right one. Don't worry, you don't have to call every single person you interviewed - that's what text messages are for!
- Catbook: keep a dairy of your kitty’s life and activities, find other cats by location and breed and even "friend" those you like. The app can also be invaluable if you lose your cat, as you can use its “meow alerts” to let other people near you know and how they can contact you.