These days, we track our health and fitness through wearables, we are connected to smart homes and the Internet of Things, and use Augmented and Virtual Reality in different daily activities. There are also apps for everything to make life more convenient, including banking, travelling, working and playing at high-quality online casinos.
In short, all aspects of our lives are more connected. If there is anything we want to achieve, we can tap into technological support to do so.
The fact that this has started to extend to our pets shouldn’t really surprise us. Emotional connection to four-legged friends isn’t new, and since the world can be quite lonely and isolating, the bonds we have with our animals are actually stronger than ever. Often when people find a product that they enjoy, they look for similar options for their pets. We’ve seen this trend in food – think salmon sashimi cat food or prime rib dog pellets- and now we’re seeing it in wearables!
Electronic tagging of wild animals to track them, and ingestibles that analyse what happens in cows’ stomachs to help maximise milk production are just 2 examples of how technology has been used in our interactions with animals for a long time. With developments in technology, however, this has started to reach an all-time high. Exciting new applications for farm animal wearables are definitely still being seen, but the biggest explosion of animal-centred technology is definitely in the pets we keep at home.
Why Wearable Tech for Pets Is So Big
Aside from people considering their pets children and wanting to humanise them as much as possible, there are plenty of really useful applications for wearable technology in pets. Most of us are away from home for a lot of the day and so can’t really monitor what they’re doing, and even if we were there we wouldn’t know their heart rate, how many calories they were burning, or other important statistics. Being able to track and report these to your vet could well save your pet’s life. Keeping them healthier in the long run is better for them too, and will drive down your insurance premiums.
Being away from your animals also means that you don’t know when and if they stray, but a wearable device can let you know when they leave a certain area. In addition to the desire to keep pets happy, well and safe, wearables are growing exponentially because technology is becoming so much more affordable and because, thanks largely to social media, we live in an age where people want to feel connected to every aspect of their lives at all times – their pets included.
A Tech-Filled Future
Of course, development never stops and technology is advancing every day. For pet wearables, this means you can look forward to smart vests that will help service dogs get help for humans in need, and products to read dogs’ brain waves and then translate them into human language.
Ideas for pet emotion sensors are also in incubation, and futurologist Ian Pearson thinks programmes similar to Amazon’s Alexa will be able to be used with pets. They’ll get to know pet sounds so that they can tell you if they’re hungry or in pain, and will even be able to remotely guide your dog on a walk using wearables and GPS. The days when we strapped a GoPro camera to our dogs back to see the world from their perspective have changed fast, and soon it seems, dogs will be walking us.
Virtual Reality has also been a hot topic and now, some games are even building the pets in the physical environment into their overlays, so you can play with them at the same time! This rather changes tossing a stick or a ball and makes it far more hi-tech.
When it comes to wearables for pets, it seems that the sky is the limit as much as in any other area of technology, and that Fido and Fluffy are stepping into a brave new world alongside us!