Most dog owners know what it’s like to have an anxious pup during a thunderstorm, and most cat owners know what it’s like to have their nervous feline make a beeline for their favorite hiding spot. When pets feel pain, fear, or anxiety, pet owners empathize with them just as they would a human loved one. Owners want to find the best food, treats, toys, and products to make their pets happy.
Thankfully, we’ve come across a variety of tech-centric products designed to make your life — and that of your pet — that much better. From self-cleaning litter boxes to automated treat dispensers, here are a few of the best offerings on the market.
PetCube Bites 2
Give them treats while away from home
- Cam and treat dispenser in one
- Two-way audio
- Built-in Alexa for music or voice commands
- Night vision
- May be too expensive for some owners
The Petcube Bites 2 combines a camera with an automatic treat dispenser, culminating in a device that allows you to check on your pet while you’re away. The gadget flings treats and when your pet goes to retrieve them, you can watch them through the camera and speak to them via a built-in speaker. The Bites 2 is a high-quality device, too, with high-definition video, 4x digital zoom, a wide-angle lens, night vision, and two-way audio. No need for a pet camera if you have this treat dispenser.
The newest iteration of the Petcube Bites even has Alexa built-in, so you can turn on the lights, check the news, play music, and carry out a host of other smart home actions with nothing more than your voice.
Never miss a meal
- Secure design
- 5-meal design
- Can support voice recordings
- Not a lot of smart features
There are a ton of automatic pet feeders on the market, especially dry food feeders like this one by Tdynasty Design. But this feeder offers a few benefits over some other options on the market. It’s reasonably priced for such a large feeder, and it holds five different meals at once, designed to switch between them based on the schedule you set. The feeder can easily manage dry or wet food with its trays, and the design is made to prevent any damage from overexcited pets.
You can also power the Tdynasty Design 5 with the included power adapter, but if you’re worried about your pet’s safety with the cord, opt to use D batteries instead which will last for up to 12 months. There's even a mic feature so that you can play a recording when it's time for food during the day.
Cat Mate C500 Automatic Wet Food Feeder
Dispense fresh food the smart way
- Designed for wet foods
- Lasts for five meals
- Supports a ice pack to keep food fresher
- Not a great pick for larger dogs
Quality automatic wet food feeders are harder to come by because it’s more difficult to keep wet food fresh. The Cat Mate C500 is one of the better options we’ve encountered. It’s not ideal for large animals, but it will serve a small dog or cat up to five meals, each consisting of about three-fourths of a pound of food.
How does it work? It has a circular tray with five separate compartments, and only one is exposed at a time. Program when you want the feeder to expose the next compartment and grant your pet access to the food. It also has an ice pack to keep each portion fresh. The Cat Mate C500 runs on three AA batteries, which will operate the machine for about 12 months. Most of the components are dishwasher safe, too, which makes cleanup easier.
Whistle Go Explore Health and Location Tracker
Track where your pet goes
- GPS support for location alerts
- Health and activity monitoring
- Can set fitness goals
- Access to expert information
- Requires a subscription
Does your dog escape from the fence a lot? Whistle is a pet-centric GPS and activity tracker that keeps tabs on your dog’s whereabouts, as well as their distance traveled. It works with both GPS and cellular towers to track your pet anywhere in the United States, which should provide peace of mind should your dog decide to go on a Homeward Bound adventure.
The rechargeable device easily attaches to your pet’s collar and onboard activity tracking lets you know if your dog was running, playing, or napping. Built-in health monitoring components also let you know if your pup is licking or scratching. Like many pet activity trackers, however, the Whistle Go Explore requires a subscription to keep track of your pet (plans start at about $7 per month).
PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box
Eliminate cleaning the litter box
- Plastic lining
- Activity monitoring
- Removable hood
- Some cats may dislike it
Cats are amazing animals — independent, yet lovable, affectionate, yet timid at times. One thing that’s not fun about being a cat owner, however, is cleaning the litter box.
Fortunately, you no longer have to get too hands-on. It may take some work to get there, but once you get your cat to use a self-cleaning litter box, it’s smooth sailing from that point forward. We like the PetSafe ScoopFree Ultra Self-Cleaning Cat Litter Box, namely because it isn’t overly large. It's not particularly expensive, either, and it consistently cleans the litter thoroughly. Note that it's designed to be used with particular crystal little, although this isn't necessary. It also comes with a covering hood, although not all cats are fans or those. You can even monitor how many times a cat uses the box to monitor UTI issues and other problems.
Embark Breed + Health Kit
Test your pet's health and history
- Identifies more than 350 breeds
- Can find more than 201 genetic health risks
- Easy to use
- Can't confirm a specific breed for purebred use
Tests for humans that examine health and heritage info have increased in popularity over the last few years. The Embark Dog DNA kit uses a cheek swab from your dog to provide a ton of valuable data about their family tree, ancestry, and health information. It also tests for over 201 health risks, and identifies more than 35 specific physical traits, over 350 breeds, and more.
It's also super easy to use. If you've ever used any online testing kits before, you'll be please to see that the instructions are clear and testing isn't uncomfortable for your pet. Activate the kit, swab your pet's mouth (without them eating the swab), and pack it for shipping back!
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