Three High-Tech Ways to Keep Track of Your Dog
Ever wonder exactly what your dog does all day while you’re at work? Does your dog really sleep 12 to 18 hours a day? Or does he play the piano and sing like this dog caught in the act on a nanny cam? I’ve often wondered what my dog, an Australian Shepherd and Border Collie mix, does while we’re away from the house. It's curiosity, but it also could be a matter of safety.
Fortunately, there are a number of high-tech options to spy on your furry friend, or even the pet sitter if you’re so inclined. The benefits include knowing your dog is being cared for properly, learning more about your dog’s habits, and staying connected with your dog when you’re away.
You could opt for a traditional nanny cam to monitor your dog or dog sitter. If you have a dog with special medical needs, you can ensure that your dog is being adequately treated. Or, if your dog keeps getting injured, you can find answers to how your dog is hurting himself.
There are also nanny cams created specifically for dog watching. Samsung makes the PetCam Wifi Video Pet Monitor ($149). The monitor is compatible with personal computers, tablets and smartphones, has audio and motion detection and notification and allows pet parents to communicate with their dog (although I wonder if hearing the owner’s voice without the owner present is calming or somewhat unsettling for a dog). DropCam is a similar product (also $149), which sends mobile alerts when the pet sitter arrives and has a built-in microphone and speaker for two-way communication.
Wearable pet cams
If you’d rather view the world from your dog’s point-of-view, there are many options for wearable pet cameras. National Geographic has a Wild Pet’s Eye View Camera ($36), which takes photos at one, five, or 15 minute intervals, depending on your setting. The camera’s memory stores up to 40 photos at a resolution for 4x6-inch prints. Reviews of this camera on Amazon are mixed, with some users finding the camera a “fun novelty” while others report the 8-ounce camera is too heavy and is “a waste of money.”
To record your dog in action, look to DogTek for an Eyenimal Video Camera ($99). The camera is relatively lightweight (1.2 ounces) and attaches to your dog’s collar. It captures up to two and a half hours of video footage. However, looking at product reviews on Amazon, the camera can easily fall off an active dog, so buyer beware. Also mentioned in the reviews was the jumpiness of the video footage, from a pet parent with a Miniature Pinscher. She recommended the camera be worn by “calm dogs with lumbering gaits.”
If you’d prefer a more straightforward solution to monitor your dog’s movements, Whistle has an Activity Monitor for $100, which tracks your dog’s activity throughout the day. Worn on the collar, the device measures whether your dog is active (walking or playing), resting, or sleeping. The activity can be monitored from your smartphone and has charts displaying behavior change over time, comparing your dog against average activity levels for his breed. This information could be helpful to relay to a veterinarian when diagnosing your dog.
With temperatures rising this time of year, maybe you’d simply like to know when your dog is too hot. Rethink has a Dog Caller for $20 that notifies pet parents when their dog might be suffering from the heat. The device is a thermal dog collar that sends a text when the temperature reaches 79 degrees or higher. This is by no means an excuse to leave your dog in a car during a summer day, but it could be useful to know if your house or yard is dangerously warm during a heatwave.
Have you tried any of these products? What was your experience? Tell me in comments!
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