Pet product automation is everywhere! Busy pet parents can take better care of their pets today through conveniences borne through technology.
Feeding, drinking, treating, walking, and even communicating with your pet is now possible through automation. Mostly this is beneficial for pets and their busy people, but at some point, does convenience subtract quality from pet care?
Sometimes, too much of a good thing is — well, not a good thing! Below are some important points to think about when you’re tempted to purchase or download a cool new pet care ‘robot’.
Before “Purr”-chasing an Automated Pet Care Product, Ask Yourself These Questions
1. How Does This Product Make My Life Better?
Automation can free up valuable time. Instead of filling food and water bowls and scooping a litter box, new techie pet tools can do that work for you so you have more time to spend more quality time with your pet. I particularly love that these products offer peace of mind if you have to spend hours at work or running errands during the day. You can be assured that they are entertained, fed, and even watered when you can’t be there to care for them in person.
However, If an automated product is allowing you to skimp on time that should be spent with Fido or Fluffy, then you may need to reevaluate your priorities as a pet parent. Ideally, these products should allow you to be a better, more relaxed, and more consistent pet parent.
2. How Does This Product Make My Pet’s Life Better?
Our furry companions benefit greatly from our interactions and quality time together. Nothing can replace the one-on-one time so be cautious about over-automating your pet’s care. Take advantage of techie conveniences, for sure, but use the time saved through automation to invest back into your pet for grooming, exercise, cuddles or outings.
Be particularly cautious about over-automating your pet’s exercise. Toys that play with your dog or cat while you’re away are fine – they can prevent boredom or destructive behavior by engaging them in your absence. But no self-propelled ball or mouse will substitute that time spent with his favorite human!
Products That Can Paw-timate and Simplify Pet Care
1. SmartFeed. Trying to control Bosco’s food intake? This feeding system by PetSafe lets you control and monitor your dog or cat’s meals using your smartphone!
2. Treat dispensers with cameras. There are a number of these available. And many of them (like PetCube)also include two-way video and audio. That way you can check in with kitty or pups, let her hear your voice, and give her a tasty treat to enjoy!
3. Pet Fountains. Drinking plenty of water is super important to your pet’s health! A drinking fountain is a great way to make sure she always has access to all the clean fresh water she needs! Studies show that pets will actually drink more water from a fountain than they will from a regular dish. My cat, Olivia, loves this one by PetSafe!
4. Automated toys with timers. When you have to leave home for work or to run errands during the day, toys like this one from SmartyKatthis one from SmartyKat are great for keeping kitty active and entertained.
5. VitusVet is a veterinary app that helps you keep track of your pett’s medical records, vet appointments, medications, and even exercise and feeding!
6. Petplan pet insurance offers an app that will help you locate a vet, learn about health risks, and submit and track claims.
7. PetHub. If your beloved furball somehow gets lost, smart ID tags from PetHub will allow anyone with a phone to scan her tag, view her profile, and contact you.
8. Self-cleaning litter box. Why spend extra time cleaning the litter box when you could be playing or snuggling your favorite furry friend? An automatic litter box by Litter Robot will save you time, and it will stay cleaner for your cat since it senses when it’s been used and immediately cleans up after your cat is finished.
9. Brilliant Pad is a self-cleaning puppy pad and dog potty. It handles #1 and #2, wraps and seals waste! Need I say more?
10. ZenCrateis a beautifully designed, anti-anxiety dog crate using multiple technologies to calm dogs experiencing fear, stress and anxiety.
Automation is for busy pet parents, not lazy ones! The additional minutes and hours you gain through convenience of automation amount to extra bonding time for your pet!