As tough as the past year has been, we've at least had technology to remain connected with loved ones outside of the home and, for a growing number of us, the constant companionship of furry friends inside it.
So how about some tech that can deepen our connection with our pets? There are numerous gadgets that can help you pamper, or protect, your favorite feline or canine (or bird, or fish). From a camera that dispenses treats to a night-light leash, here are a few paw-fect picks to suit varying needs and budgets.
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The NiteDog Rechargeable LED Leash ($29.99) from Nite Ize keeps you and your pooch visible when you're out after dark, with ultrabright light (blue or lime green) running along optical fiber embedded in the 5-foot lead. Choose between two modes of illumination, glow or flash, for an eye-catching walk.
Featuring a soft grip and a durable, water-resistant cable, the NiteDog runs for up to 6.5 hours between charges. When it's time to power up, simply insert a micro USB cable (not included) and plug the leash into a computer, AC wall socket or power strip.
Keep an eye on your pet while out of the home, and even dispense treats on demand, with the Furbo Dog Camera ($169).
Simply connect this HD camera to your Wi-Fi network, install the free app on your smartphone or tablet, and then kiss your buddy goodbye as you leave. Wherever life takes you, you can launch the app to talk to your pet, snap a pic or shoot video, and dispense a treat from the installed launcher by swiping your screen.
Other features include night vision to see your dog in the dark and an option to get alerts if the dog starts barking.