People over 55 own 36 percent of the dogs in the United States — which works out to about 40 million dogs living with older people. There’s a wave of pet tech products to keep those pups entertained while their humans are gone. The gadgets will help alleviate the guilt you feel when you walk out of the house after telling your sad-faced pup “Mommy/Daddy will be back in a bit.” They’ll also keep your dog child from getting bored and eating the coffee table.
Ever wondered what your dog does while you’re gone? This app-controlled camera/treat dispenser has you covered. You can turn on the Wi-Fi camera with your smartphone to look in on your fur child and talk to him through a speaker. Fill it with treats and you can give your dog a goodie at the press of a virtual button. A tone sounds before the treat is dispensed, so your dog will learn to stand in front of the camera when you want to see him.
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine.
Play with your dog while you’re away with this toy you can control with your smartphone. It’s shaped like a classic Kong, and uses sounds and lights to give your pup puzzles to solve. When he does, the PupPod signals an automated treat dispenser that gives him a reward for being so smart. The puzzles get harder, so your dog won’t get bored. PupPod also keeps tabs on how many puzzles your dog has solved and how long they took him.
Your dog can play fetch even when you aren’t home with this automatic ball launcher. The device kicks on when your dog drops his ball in the chute, throwing it between 10 and 30 feet. As long as he keeps bringing the ball back to iFetch, iFetch keeps throwing it. There are three models: iFetch Original, which throws mini tennis balls for small and medium-size dogs; iFetch Frenzy, which throws small balls a short distance for small breed dogs in apartments; and iFetch Too, which throws full-size tennis balls for large dogs.