With the holidays coming up, families are working on putting their Christmas wish lists together (likely with their pet curled up fast asleep right next to them). As they work on these lists, one thing in common may be that many of the items are tech-related including laptops, televisions, software programs, or tablets. No matter what the product is, there's no doubt that people have tech on the mind. So much so in fact, that it seems to be spreading over to our beloved pet industry.
With modern society demanding for everything to be more efficient, more connected, it's no wonder tech start ups for pets are starting to pop up all over the place. Everything from "social petworking" apps to a "smart" electronic dog treat feeder are being offered to give pets and their owners opportunities to stay connected and bonded, even if it's just with electronics.
Although many pet supply stores aren't rushing to stock these more "early adopter" innovative items on their shelves just yet, there may be an opportunity to stay on top of some of the newest and most popular trends in pet tech. Who knows, it may very well be part of the future for the mass pet industry. So, without further ado, here are some of the latest and greatest start ups and trends in the pet technology industry.
1. Bauwow Social "Petwork"
Bauwow is a new social networking app for dogs, dog owners, dog businesses, and...well pretty much anyone and anything related to dogs. The app allows dog owners to connect and become friends, find local pet-related businesses such as groomers, vets, and dog walkers, and discover dog-friendly shops and restaurants.
Those who download the free app have a wide range of options to put it to use. App users will be able to build up a network of fellow dog owners in the area so they can get together for play dates with their dogs. Training & therapy allows the owner to educate themselves on tricks and training tips for their pets, and the care section allows them to keep up with vet and grooming visits, vaccinations, and even medical history. There's a directory of dog-friendly restaurants and shops built into the app, and so much more.
The app is currently not available in the United States, and is based in the U.K. However, we hope that in the future this app, or something similar, will come across the pond and allow American dog (and cat?) enthusiasts to connect on this side of the world!
2. Whistle GPS Pet Tracker
For many dog owners, the reality of losing a pet or having him run away is very real. Too often will our furry pals see an open door, or dig a hole under a fence, and make a run for it. This reality is unfortunately never a fun one, and can be one of the hardest parts of owning a very active dog. However, Whistle GPS may just have a solution for dog owners who just can't keep their dog in one spot, or at least within reach.
This brand has designed a collar that tracks where your dog goes at all times (you can use it for your kids too but I doubt they will be as compliant). Not only will you be able to access your pet's location at any time using an app on your smart phone, but you'll also receive a notification any time they've left the address you've set as home (or wherever they are supposed to be at a point in time). Not only does Whistle's GPS tell you where your dog is at any time, but it also keeps you up to date on their activity levels, so you know whether your pet is staying in tip-top shape. It's like a Fitbit, but for your dog!
Although we have yet to see this collar on many dogs as of now, we expect products like this will become the norm in a few years as pet owners discover how easy it is to keep track of their pets throughout the day. With the stress of losing your dog gone, the pet ownership experience can be just that much more impactful.
3. Sureflap Microchip Pet Door
Have you ever experienced the problem where you have a strange cat or dog in your house that doesn't belong to you? While we personally haven't run into that, we know some have. This might be because your pet door currently doesn't track who is coming and going or who it's letting in. That's where SureFlap comes in.
SureFlap has developed a number of products which work based on your pet's microchip. The SureFlap Pet Door doesn't unlock unless the pet whose microchip it's assigned to wants to get in or out. This prevents any unwanted strays or neighborhood pets and pests from getting into your house. The award-winning company has also designed pet bowls and feeders which are secured by a lid to keep the pet's food fresh, and doesn't open until it senses motion around it.
The SureFlap pet door is actually more technologically advanced than many of our own human doors. Not only can it hold the identification of up to 32 pets at one time (although if you have that many, there might be another problem that needs to be addressed here...), but there's also a curfew mode which locks and unlocks it at certain times to keep your dog or cat from leaving in the middle of the night.
Although these are just a few of the innovative products we've seen recently, there are plenty other pet technology start ups and companies out there that are doing their best to send technology to the dogs. These products may not be commonly found on store shelves yet, but within the coming years we have a feeling they are going to rise in popularity as pet consumers strive to find products that match their desire for efficiency.
*Please note, none of the products mentioned in this article are represented by All Points Marketing at the time of writing, and are simply being promoted as examples of the way pet technology has grown in the past few years. Images of products are courtesy of the brands themselves.
Pet technology trends aren't the only thing we know. We have been keeping up with pet food trends, and so have our manufacturers. Download the free eBook below to find out how our brands are measuring up to today's top trends in the pet food industry.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashley Hoffman – E-Commerce & Digital Marketing Manager joined the All Points family in April of 2015. Ashley brings a fresh outlook to the marketing industry as well as a constant desire for learning something new. She is dedicated to consistently improving her skills and efficiency in the marketing industry and using those skills to promote APM and all brands we represent. Ashley has grown up with many animals throughout her life and is currently the loving owner of two cats.
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