New devices and apps help you keep tabs on your pets

Posted on: 2:18 pm, August 31, 2013, by , updated on: 03:21pm, August 30, 2013


Man’s best friend may not clamor for the latest high tech gadgets, but their owners often do.

“Never underestimate the ability of people to pay for or use services for their pets,” says Dan Ackerman, senior editor at CNET.com. “They will do anything.”

Keeping tabs on pets may top the list.

“Tagg” is a GPS tracking device that attaches to a dog’s collar.

Along with location, it also monitors the pet’s activity.

The Tagg unit costs about $100 and has a monthly service fee.

Another pet tracking unit, the Marco Polo, relies on a radio signal instead of cellular
networks.

It costs more upfront, but doesn’t require a monthly fee.

Marco Polo’s makers say its battery can last up to three months on a single charge.

If finding your dog is less an issue than finding out what he’s up to, numerous wireless cameras are an option, including, the Dropcam WiFi monitoring system.

“You can monitor your dog when you’re not there, monitor their progress, if you’re working on something like separation anxiety, and you can actually speak to them when you’re not there,” explains dog trainer Danielle Kharman.

The Dropcam runs about $150 and can provide activity alerts to your computer or smartphone, along with a reassuring view.

Not yet available, but in the works, is another variation of pet camera that will not only
let you see and speak to your pet from a remote location, but also dispense a treat with a touch
on your smartphone.

“Petziconnect” is expected to hit the market late this year or in early 2014.