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These Awesome Gifts Will Make Your Life (and Your Pet’s Life) Easier

By CarolineGolon on Jan. 5, 2017

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Gadgets are a popular gift item every holiday season, for people and pets alike. This year, there are more technologically-advanced and app-enabled tools than ever before to help you feed, care for and entertain your dog or cat. Read on to find the perfect gift for your four-legged friend.

Automatic Feeders

Automatic feeders help pet parents regulate the amount of food their pet eats, and when they eat it. You can manage feeding times, portion sizes, food supply and automatically have your pet's food delivered directly to your doorstep.

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Petnet SmartFeeder: $149.99
Once the Petnet SmartFeeder assesses the dietary requirements of your dog or cat based on breed, age and weight, it helps you create a custom feeding program specific to your pet. After programming the feeder to dispense a certain amount of food at a specific time, the feeder sends an alert to your smartphone (iOS or Android) when your pet has been fed. And because the feeder keeps track of the amount of food dispensed each time, it can notify you when you’re about to run out of food and prompt you to reorder or pick up a fresh bag at the store.

The SmartFeeder’s accompanying app allows you to monitor your pet’s feeding schedule or manually order more food. Multiple pet parents or caretakers can access the data so everyone is in the loop.

Feed and Go Pet Feeder: $199.99
This smart feeder ensures your cat or dog is fed on time with the right amount of food. The device connects to the Feed and Go app so you can set one time or regular feeding schedules from afar. Each of the feeder’s six compartments holds up to 8 ounces of wet or dry food, treats or medication. With a built in camera, you can use the app to check in on your pet and see if they’ve finished up their meal.

Pet Water Fountains

Although they don't really fall under the pet tech category of products, automatic water fountains are a great addition to any home with pets. Motorized pet fountains offer dogs and cats fresh, filtered, running water, 24/7—which can entice pets to drink more water.

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Catit Flower Cat Water Fountain: $29.99
Not only is the Catit Flower Cat Water Fountain a helpful way to get your cat to drink more water, but the cute flower motif makes it fun for humans too. The fountain has three different water-flow settings to meet your cat’s preferences and needs.

The PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Multi-Pet Stainless Steel Pet Fountain: $64.99
This PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Multi-Pet Stainless Steel Pet Fountain holds one gallon of filtered water that circulates constantly to keep the water fresh and clean. You can switch up the flow of the streams according to your pets’ preferences. The fountain’s circular design allows for multiple pets to drink at the same time—talk about a watering hole!

Video Cameras and Treat Dispensers

Do you ever miss your pets when you’re not home? Today’s technology brings us all kinds of opportunities to connect with our pets from afar. From video cameras and remote treat dispensers to laser beams that allow you to play with your pet remotely, these high-tech gadgets have it all.

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Petcube Play Interactive Wi-Fi Pet Camera: $199.00 plus video history subscription plan
The sleek Petcube Play Interactive Wi-Fi Pet Camera allows you to interact with your dog or cat when you’re not there. Once connected to your home’s WiFi, the Petcube uses a motion-and-sound sensor to alert your smartphone when your pet is on the move. Using the two-way audio system, you can talk to your pets and hear them bark, whine or snuffle back to you. The wide-angle video lets you see exactly what your pet is up to when you’re not home. Petcube even allows you use your smartphone to remotely control a laser beam. It’s a win-win: Your pet can play with the moving target and get some exercise.

You can even play with other furry friends using the Petcube app. Animal shelters across the U.S. have installed Petcube cameras so people can interact with adoptable pets. A number of boarding facilities have followed suit so pet parents can keep tabs on their pets while they’re traveling, typically for an added fee.

Petzi Interactive Treat Cam: $169.99
The Petzi Interactive Treat Cam is an app-based, WiFi-enabled camera that allows you to use your smartphone or tablet to remotely visit with your pet throughout the day. You can talk to your pet through the speaker and even take photos of your pet. Then you can use the Petzi treat launcher to offer a special pick-me-up. Users can also join the free Petzi social community and post photos of their pets in action.

PetChatz: $379.99
PetChatz offers in-depth, two-way interaction with your pet when you’re away. The WiFi- and Bluetooth-enabled camera connects with your smartphone or tablet so you can receive alerts when the camera detects motion or sound from your pet. The two-way video and audio system allows you to see and hear your pet—and your pet can see and hear you too.

While you’re on the camera, you can reward pets with a treat so they know you’re the one providing a special snack. The device also allows you to dispense a calming scent from the PetChatz base.

Finally, just as you can pop in on your pet throughout the day, your pet can contact you as well. The optional accessory PetChatz PawCall® button blinks at scheduled times to let pets know their parents are available. You can teach your pet to push the button and to call you and chat. 

Health Trackers

Just as human health trackers have increased in popularity, so too have trackers for pets. Now you can track everything from bathroom habits to exercise levels, sleep amounts, your pet’s location and more.

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WonderWoof BowTie Activity Monitor: $99.99
WonderWoof is “the smart bowtie for your dog!” This cute, customizable bowtie is a dog activity tracker and monitor. The Bowtie clips onto your dog’s collar and connects to the WonderWoof app on your phone or tablet. With it, you can monitor your dog’s activity in realtime to ensure the right amount of exercise based on age and breed. You can track running, walking, playing and even sleeping. Log in to WonderWoof’s social platform to meet other nearby dogs and their parents for walks or playdates.

Dogtra iQ Pet StarWalk: $59.99
The Dogtra iQ Pet StarWalk is a lightweight activity-tracking device for dogs. The small device attaches to your dog’s collar and syncs via Bluetooth with a downloadable app. Pet parents can track their dogs’ movements and activity as well as monitor fitness goals. The StarWalk can even be programmed to set off blinking alerts to remind users of medication times, grooming, training or veterinarian appointments. The device’s sleek design is functional, too. The StarLight lights up nighttime walks with multicolored LED lighting.

Pod GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor: $199.99
This lightweight tracker and activity monitor attaches to pet's collars of all shapes and sizes. Not only does Pod keep tabs on your dog or cat’s activity, it can also help you locate them should they wander off. Or if your pet is one to hide in your home’s nooks and crannies, you can use the GPS tracker to help make hide and seek a little easier on your end. You can also set a boundary you’d like your pet to stay within and receive alerts when they go too far.

PETKIT P2 Smart Activity Monitoring Pet Tracker: $69.99
If you want to track your pet’s movement, emotion, sleep and health conditions, this is the device for you. The PETKIT tracker, along with the PETKIT app, connects to collars and harnesses for 24/7 tracking. The device is made of a durable, water-resistant material—which is perfect for an active pet. And with a 6 month battery life, this device is pretty low maintenance. For an even more holistic tracking experience, combine the tracker with a PETKIT Fresh Bowl to better track calorie consumption and calories burned.

Tailio Smart Health Monitor: $249
Cats can be mysterious creatures, and it’s often hard to determine when they aren’t feeling well. Tailio is designed for the modern cat parent who wants to keep an eye on their cat’s health and well-being. The Tailio device is placed underneath the litterbox. There, it collects data on your cat’s weight, amount of waste, how often your cat visits the box and his activity in the litter box. Tailio analyzes the data and watches for trends in your cat’s weight and litter box behavior. If something is amiss and needs your attention, Tallio will send you an alert via its mobile app. And for families with more than one cat, Tailio learns each cat’s individual physiology and behavior over time, which means it can distinguish from between pets.

FitBark: $59.95 and up
With pet obesity a growing concern (approximately 54 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats were overweight or obese in 2015, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention), keeping track of your dog’s daily activity is critical. FitBark is a compact activity monitor that attaches to your dog’s collar, wirelessly connects to your mobile device and allows you to monitor your pet’s activity, sleep and behavior around the clock.

Set goals for your pet and compare your pet’s activity to others of the same breed. And, because we can all stand to be a little more active, you can even track your pup’s activity alongside yours by linking your own fitness tracker to FitBark.

Whistle GPS Pet Tracker: $79.95
Using geo-targeting technology, the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker allows you to track your dog or cat’s every move—including their location—right from your desktop or mobile device. Once you set up your pet’s zone (where they spend most of their day), you will be alerted if they leave the area. If your pet is lost, Whistle can provide you with your pet’s exact location.

You can also track your pet’s activity to ensure they move enough throughout the day.

Interactive Dog and Cat Toys

Even playtime has gone high-tech. When the humans tire out, dogs and cats can keep going with the help of these fun gadgets.

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iFetch: $115 and up
iFetch and the iFetch Too are automatic ball launchers for ball-crazy dogs. With these toys, dogs can play fetch to their heart’s content—even after their parents’ arms get tired. These launchers work indoors and outdoors. (Users can program the distance balls are launched.) Balls can also be set to launch at random distances to keep dogs guessing. A short training video is included to help users train their pet to use iFetch.

The PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher: $199
Playtime is essential for dogs, and the PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher ensures there’s no shortage of fun. This indoor/outdoor ball launcher can be programmed to launch standard tennis balls anywhere between 8 and 30 feet. A built-in motion detector lets the machine know when your pup is ready for another round and even incorporates regular intervals of rest time to make sure dogs don’t overdo it.

FroliCat Pounce Automatic Cat Teaser: $39.99
The FroliCat Pounce Automatic Cat Teaser is a battery-operated, rotating, hide-and-seek cat toy. “Marshal Maus” zooms around in circles at random, lurches forward and backward and sometimes hides. Cats will love this unpredictable game that taps into their natural hunting instinct. Different speeds help switch it up, and an automatic shut-off button ensures you won’t run down the batteries when your cat is ready to nap.

FroliCat Dart Laser Pet Toy: $39.99
Exercise is important for pets, and the FroliCat Dart Laser Pet Toy is a fun way to make sure your cat gets enough of it. The battery-operated toy emits a rotating laser light that offers 16 play combinations with varying speeds. While pets can play with Dart for hours, you can control the amount of time with the automatic timer. Turn it on and you can watch your pets go nuts for the laser light.


With all these high tech gadgets to make life easier and even more fun with your pet, there’s still plenty of time for the low-tech stuff: cuddles, belly rubs and kisses. What a great combination!

Read about how these pet tech gifts can help make your job as a pet parent easier!

Shop the Petco Tech Center to browse innovative products that can help you live a happier, healthier life with your pet.

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0 Kudos
by Eric Bolt
‎12-12-2016 01:34 PM

No ? Easily the best smart toy for dogs!

No ? Easily the best smart toy for dogs!

Posted on Dec. 12, 2016
About the Author
  • Caroline Golon is a frequent contributor to sites like Vetstreet, Catster, Dogster, Mother Nature Network, ASPCA Parents,, Petfinder and more. She’s also the creator of Crayons & Collars, a site dedicated to busy families with pets and kids. You can find Golon many places online but she resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two young daughters. The Golons are dedicated staff members to a fluffy black cat named Pugsley who, obviously, runs the household.
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