Zencrate is a smart hideaway for your anxious pooch

You love your dog, and if you could do more for your loyal companion, you would. Seeing to his physical well-being is a given, but it’s not always so simple when it comes to what he’s feeling. Zencrate sets out to address his needs with a suite of tech enhancements that make your old dog crate look like … a crate!

Zencrate’s designers bill it as the “first-ever, smart anti-anxiety dog crate.” The product’s FAQ page states that 17 percent of dogs suffer from separation anxiety or fear of loud noises, like thunderstorms or fireworks. And with 37 percent of American households containing a dog, over 40 million of these lovable creatures suffer from these issues.

As with humans, dogs can be given anxiety medication, such as Xanax. Because this must be administered by a person, it’s hard for those with full time employment to keep with their pup’s schedule. Additionally, the pill takes 30 minutes to an hour to begin working. You know how suddenly a loud noise can hit, so the medication is not ideal. Close-fitting jackets are another alternative, but again, someone the dog trusts must be present to swaddle him.

Dogs have the option to retreat to their crates when they are scared. But once inside, they can still hear what frightened them in the first place. Zencrate’s sensors detect when a pooch has entered the enclosure and then plays calming music that was “selected based on research studies.” There are over 1,000 songs, so even your dog won’t get sick of the music too quickly. Additionally, the enclosure is designed to keep the soothing sounds in and scary sounds out. Light is reduced and the animal can feel cocooned within the crate’s geometry. The Zencrate’s vibration damping technology also reduces physical vibrations from outside.

Sounds smart, but it goes beyond that. An available Wi-Fi camera transmits data, texts, and emails to the dog owner. A camera will also be available down the line so you can check in on your four-legged baby. A battery backup means the Zencrate will operate even during loss of power.

The Zencrate can be used as a den or a crate, with detachable door inserts. Orthopedic memory foam adjusts to the dog’s shape and weight, giving him comfort in almost any position. Proximity sensors activate a fan, keeping the internal temperature at optimal levels.

The Zencrate’s wooden finish helps it pass as an end table, so it shouldn’t mess with your interior design. Its Kickstarter campaign is set to launch this summer. The price has not yet been disclosed.

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