There’s certainly no shortage of innovative dog gadgets available for dog owners. Although the vast majority of them could be best described as ’low tech’.
A great example is the dog ball launcher. A revolution in design. Costs next to nothing. Available everywhere. Works like a charm. I mean, who wouldn’t spend under $20 for hours of enjoyment with their fur-BFF, and the opportunity to reduce the stress on their throwing arm!
But there’s a whole other world out there, too. One where you can ‘splash the cash’ on the latest high tech dog toys and other gadgets for your K9 Kid. Products that are a little less accessible ... and a little less cheap.
We’re talking seriously heavy tech (in dog terms at least!). With a similarly serious price tag (woof!). Tech that looks great, works great and, er, costs great?!
Which brings us to the very simple criteria we used for this list: if the cool dog gadgets we came across in our research didn’t have a circuit board, or weren’t more than US$100, we didn’t include them.
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Let's kick off this little adventure by taking a look at the iFetch. iFetch is a company that “is committed to developing new, innovative dog toys that help dogs live happy, healthy lives.” The one we’ll look at is the iFetch Original, which retails at US$115 (its big brother will set you back a cool US$199.99).
In essence the iFetch is a sophisticated ball thrower for small to medium sized dogs that allows you to sit back and let the machine do the work. How sophisticated? Once powered up, you’ll be able to select the distance that best suits your space (10, 20 or 30 feet). Your pooch pal then simply drops the ball in the top of the machine and it shoots it out of the bottom. Hey presto, the race is on!
We’ve all had those relationships where we totally dig someone, and totally wish we could read their moods. Apparently Inupathy have intuited the same kind of need in our relationship with our fur-BFFs … and decided to do something about it.
Enter the Inupathy Dog Mental State Visualizer which uses an algorithm to analyze the heartbeat of your dog through sensors in its harness and then changes color to show you their five main emotional states: happy, relaxed, interested, stressed, and excited. It can also provide an indication of how various stimuli will affect your pooch pal’s mood. How much for high tech dog toys like this? A lousy US$553 (you, what!?).
Moving onto dog gadgets that are a little less ‘frivolous’, we come to SwiftPaws Lure Coursing Equipment. Essentially, a ‘capture the flag’ game for dogs that can be easily set up in your backyard and controlled remotely. The flag zips between pulleys placed at intervals on the ground. As the SwiftPaws team said as part of their kick starter campaign “Sit back and enjoy while your best friend gets dog-tired.” Break out the beer and wine!
The cost? US$389.99. Yep, high tech dog toys don’t come cheap. On second thoughts, make it an orange juice!
Like so many other dog gagdets, another innovative tech product for dogs that began its life on kickstarter are PawNix Noise Cancelling Headphones. Not a lot to explain on this one. It’s, er, noise cancelling headphones … but for dogs.
Of course, the key is in the design. As the PawNix team explains “Every aspect of the Pawnix headset has been designed with a dog in mind. There is no heavy plastic for them to knock off of their head. It is designed to be soft and cushioned with lots of noise dampening foam. In human headsets, this technology can sit over ear, on the ear, and in the ear. We have designed our Pawnix speakers to combine the benefits of on ear and in the ear technology … We have [also] used 4 way stretch fabric to make it easy to put on, as well as provide a compression to keep acupressure points in your dog’s head to calm them down.”
Pawnix comes in handy during thunderstorms, fireworks, concerts, parades, sporting events and even while running the vacuum. Anything that would send your dog into a barking frenzy .. or under the bed. It can also work for the particularly noise sensitive pooch as well as for those who just need a bit of downtime!
How much for blissful peace and quiet? Not a dime over US$ 199.99.
We bet you didn’t see this one coming when we mentioned high tech dog toys and dog gadgets. But it certainly delivers on our promise of unearthing some magical dog-tech wizardy, and there must be circuit boards aplenty in the kit they use to clone the dogs (per our selection criteria).
The team at H BION INC. & Sooam Biotech Research Foundation say that they are responsible for about “900 cloned companions who are with their families or serving the community”. That’s 900 mini-mes wandering the earth with a second bite at the cherry.
We have to say it’s a little confronting when you go the Sooam Biotech site and are instantly greeted with the following: “When your dog has passed away, DO NOT place the cadaver inside the freezer. Then, patiently follow these steps …”.
You get the same message under the ‘Alert’ page when you visit the ‘retail site’ at www.notyoubutyou. Which also happily informs you that “You can be guaranteed to be reunited with your beloved companion within 5 months”. So, it takes only 5 months to grow a new fido, then? Who knew?
The cost of this miraculous technology? Well, it’s not advertised, but we’re gonna guess that it runs well into the thousands. If not tens of thousands!
Yep, a treadmill specifically designed for the way a dog learns, thinks, and moves. With an open stride, low-profile running platform that reinforces proper gait. You may well ask why? We did too.
We’re guessing the city types stuck in their 2 x 2 apartments already know the answer. Now they don’t have to find the time to walk the dog when they get home from the office after seven. Or wonder whether it’s safe out for a night-time dog walk. Or question how one exercises a dog in below zero temperatures. The dream of owning a sizeable four-legged friend for apartment dwellers has now become a reality!
Someone clearly heard their pleas and the dog gadgets god bestowed upon them the PetZen DogTread Dog Treadmill designed “to keep dogs healthy and physically fit on a daily basis.” The treadmill comes with a 1-step easy flip-bar incline adjustment to increase training intensity, programmable speed (0-7 mph), distance and time, as well as pre-programmed workouts. Just as you’d expect from serious dog gadgets.
How much for this piece of kit? A mere US$1,081.96.
Furbo is not Robinson Crusoe when it comes to the remote treat dispensing camera market, but we liked it the best. You can also check out the excellent review from K9ofmine for other leading products in this space.
So, what does it do? Well, like any many other remote-controlled cameras you’re able to easily see where your canine kid is at any given moment, using your smartphone (iOS or Android). It has a microphone and speaker for two-way communication, and you can zoom up to 4x as well as see with night vision. You can also record video and take photos to capture memories.
Although it’s the ability to dispense treats remotely that gets all the press, what really separates a Furbo Treat Dispensing Camera from your standard security camera is that it notifies you via phone alerts of important dog-related events, e.g. barking, movement, selfies, home emergencies, etc. Dog vomit alerts, choking alerts, seizure alerts, and health reports are coming soon. For the time being, Furbo automatically sends you a daily dog diary showing the highlights it’s captured of your dog’s day.
How much for this wondrous doggy gadgetry? Around US$249.
And there you have it, that’s a wrap for our serious dog gadgets and high tech dog toys for dog owners. Wonderful high-tech magnificence to simplify your life … and lighten your wallet.
We’re bound to have missed something, so feel free to let us know in the comments (note the Beetl Robotics Autonomous Poop Scooper stills seems to be in prototype, otherwise it would have already joined the list!).
We hope you enjoyed the article. If you did, you may also find our article on 7 Must-Have Dog Apps You Didn't Know You Needed in 2021 interesting.