We all know you secretly prefer your border collie to your younger siblings and definitely to most of your extended family, so it’s no real surprise that the pet industry grossed over $86 billion in 2017, according to research by Packaged Facts, a consumer goods and services market research firm. So yeah, we get it. You love your pet.
There’s a constant demand for new and innovative products within the pet tech industry, as millennials have realized something baby boomers haven’t: Pet babies are cheaper and less stressful than human babies.
And it’s no surprise millennials are using apps and online shopping to fuel their needs — online stores offer more personalized and varied products for their pets. I decided to take a look at ways technology is making your and your pets’ lives easier.
Though maybe it is too easy, as a whopping 37 percent of pet owners say that they’re spending more than ever due to the range of choices available online.
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Monthly Treat Boxes
Monthly boxes are becoming extremely popular with everyone, but it’s not just for makeup anymore.
Yep, your doggo needs a canine Birchbox because, well, she’s worth it.
Getting these treat boxes delivered right to your door for your pup is exactly where these companies help you. I mean, why expose your pup’s precious paws to the pavement and walk to a pet store?
Pupbox: Starting at $29 a month, Pupbox brings you toys, treats, accessories, and puppy training info. Not only that, but each box is customizable to your pet by age and physical characteristics. Shipping is free in the U.S.
Barkbox: From $21.99 a month, Barkbox brings you a different theme of treats every month. This month, it’s going Christmassy by celebrating the new Grinch movie! The box includes toys, all-natural treats, and a chew that follow the same theme. Shipping is also free.
The best part? Barkbox donates $3 from every box sold so be sure to check them out.
Always Be “With” Your Pet
Going to work every day is bad enough without having to leave your fur baby at home alone. Wars have been fought over lesser travesties. Well, fear no more! Technology has finally become useful and has provided us with a way to make sure our pets know we’ll never really leave them.
Petcube: The guys behind this have it nailed. Their “Play” cube allows you to not only see your pet remotely through a webcam but hear and speak to them, too.
As if that wasn’t enough, the “Bite” cube allows you to “fling” treats at them from a dispenser whenever you please using the app on your phone to control it, as well as see them at any time. Technology is amazing.
Whistle Labs: Does your pup have a habit of running off? With the Whistle Labs GPS tracker, this will never be a problem again.
You’ll always know where your beloved is, even with distances up to 3,000 miles.
You can set up safe places and get alerts if your pet leaves that area. It also monitors your pet’s activity levels. No chubby pups up in here!
PetPace: This health monitoring collar lets you know something’s wrong when your pets can’t. Monitor their vitals, get an alert when something goes awry such as rising blood pressure or heart rate, and make sure they’re getting enough exercise. And this one isn’t just for dogs; your cat can benefit, too! Think Fitbit for pets.
Tractive: Like some of the above, Tractive offers GPS 3G tracking across 150 countries, straight from your smartphone. With multiple subscription plans offered from $6.99 a month, you can choose the perfect plan to keep track of your pet, with real-time updates and location history.
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Pet Tech Apps for Every Situation
Honestly, there’s very little you can’t do with the apps available to you today. Your pet has never known life like this.
Wag!: This is the perfect way to find a dog sitter or walker for times when you’re just too busy or you can’t bring your pup with you. With GPS tracking of the walk and an activity report at the end, you’ll feel like you were practically there with them. The first walk is free!
Rover: Similar to Wag, Rover offers you another way of finding the sitter or walker for your pet and even encourages you to meet with the walker in person before making a decision. It’s a cashless system, no tipping required, and the walker gets paid two days after a completed walk.
For the Pampered Pooch
The Farmer’s Dog: Homemade dog treats, DIY or delivered, because sometimes your pet needs tummy-loving care, too. The makers are “guided by science and driven by love” to create these organic meals, delivered to your door so you never have to stop streaming Netflix and actually walk to the store.
Wild Frontier: In a slightly different approach to your pet’s food, Wild Frontier offers a prey-based diet, inspired by how pets’ ancestors thrived in the wild. The company has a Zero Waste to Landfill policy that makes it environmentally friendly, too.
Bonus: Do you even love your pet if you don’t dress them up in fun and ridiculous outfits?
Amazon has the run of the market — 55 percent of all pet supplies bought online, in fact — offering thousands of pet products, toys, and more importantly, outfits for all types of pets. You can even create a pet profile and build a custom order around it.
You can also find handmade pet treats and accessories on Etsy. I can’t handle the cuteness.
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High-Tech Pet Tech Products
Litter Robot: This might be one of my favorites on the list. It’s an automatic self-cleaning litter box for cats! That’s right — you don’t even have to clean up after your pets anymore; robot slaves will do it for you. It runs at a cool $598.76 CAD ($456.55 USD) and comes ready-to-use.
Sure Petcare: An electronic cat flap that stops strange animals coming into your home? Sign me up! It responds to the microchip already existing in your pet so you can rest assured only your fur baby can get through the door. You can get it for $124.99.
GoPro Fetch: This dog harness allows you to see the world through your pet’s eyes. Not only can you watch them all the time, now you can see what they see! Your pets couldn’t be safer for just $39.99 a pop.
iFetch: We would never deign to suggest you don’t love playing with your pet, but fetching all day can be trying on your arm. This $115 battery-powered machine launches the ball for you on three different distance settings of 10, 20, and 30 feet. Just make sure you don’t have any precious ornaments in the line of fire.
DogSpot: Described as a smart sidewalk sanctuary, DogSpot’s pods are set up around your town so you can leave your dog inside a safe space while you venture somewhere it can’t go. Equipped with air conditioning, heat, fans, and more, the pods are controlled with a membership card and a handy app. Is this the future, or is it ridiculous? I can’t decide. Watch this space!
Final Thoughts on Pet Goodies
The world has gone gaga over pets, and no wonder when they’re the cutest damn things on Planet Earth, bringing you nothing but love, joy, and affection. Why wouldn’t you pamper them to the high heavens with the best in health care, nutrition, and fashion?
The pet e-tailer trend is on the rise, jumping from 12.5 percent in 2017 to a projected 20 percent in 2022, according to a report by Packaged Facts, surpassing pet specialty chains and food stores in the process.
Nothing but the best for Fido, aye?
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