When we talk about wearables, we’re usually talking about tech for humans, from VR headsets to fitness trackers to Google Glass. So it might have slipped your notice that the demand for pet wearables is big. Huge. In fact, it’s estimated that the market will be worth $2.5 billion by 2025. Pet wearables can do everything from monitoring how much exercise our furry friends are getting to finding out what they do when we’re not around. Here are ten of our faves that you can buy now or expect soon…
Find out where your cat’s been spending all their time lately (or double-check that your dog sitter really took Fido out for a full hour every day) with this waterproof tracker that attaches easily to a collar and records location data every five seconds for up to eight hours. Plug it into your computer later and map your pet’s route, see it on Google Maps, and share with your
GoPro is totally making Fetch happen. This new dog harness comes with built-in camera mounts on the back and chest so that you can get a dog’s eye view of the world from different angles. It can be adjusted to fit dogs from 7 to 54 kg (15 to 120 lbs) and there’s even a YouTube tutorial to give your aspiring Spieldog some inspiration.
Anyone who’s ever had a cat has wondered where the heck they wander off to, especially after dark, and this camera gives you the chance to find out exactly that. It comes with a night vision mode and is meow-tion… sorry, no, motion-activated. Clip it to your cat’s collar and attach it to your computer later via USB to get the full picture.
The one that gives your cat exclusive access: Catmate Elite Chip and Disc Super Selective Cat Flap
Unlike many electronic cat flaps, which allow any cat whose owners brought the same brand to break in, this one lets you set it for your specific cat(s). It works with a cat’s existing wearable, its microchip, or there’s a separate ID disc available. The flap also has a timer function, so you can choose when to let your moggy out in the morning, and a display on the unit will show you which cats have used the flap and when.
Most of the animal wearables on the market are aimed at cat and dog owners, but horses can embrace tech, too. This device monitors how much a horse is sweating and how often they’re lying down, two factors that often signal a health issue but which can be hard to spot unless you’re on hand all the time. It includes a lightweight harness for your horse, and an alarm for you, and can be used for up to eight horses at once.
A device that attaches to your dog’s collar and vibrates in different (non-painful!) ways that you teach your dog to associate with different commands. It can be controlled via a free app (Android or iOS), for example if you’re watching your dog on a webcam, and is ideal if a dog is deaf or has difficulty hearing.
For making sure your dog stays active: FitBark
Small and light enough to wear all the time, this activity tracker fits on a dog’s collar and continually records how much exercise and rest they’re getting, so you can check how they’re doing at any time of day (with the help of an accompanying app) and share the data you collect with your vet (or anyone else). Plus, it’s waterproof.
If you’re looking to encourage your pet to do more, this could be the wearable for them/you. It clips to their collar and tracks how much they move and sleep, as well as the temperature and lighting in the room they’re in. The more your pet moves, the more pet points he or she earns, and you can set daily exercise goals in the app based on this. (Just, you know, don’t expect your cat or dog to care.)
Making horse-riding more safe: Tail Lights
These flexible, coloured LEDs clip onto a horse’s tail (and mane), so drivers can easily spot them on the road at night. Each one is made of six strands of over 500 LEDs and is waterproof and temperature resistant, lasting as long as 26 hours on one charge. There are three different brightness settings for different conditions. Inventor Sami Gros came up with the idea after a road accident, founded a small start-up, and hopes to start shipping orders soon.
An Indiegogo success story, the makers insist that this isn’t as barking as it sounds, and that by measuring a dog’s brainwaves using EEG technology, they’re able to translate its feelings into language. They’re still perfecting the technology, but if you’re keen to commune with your canine, three working prototypes are available for purchase.
Want to read more? If you’re looking to buy a wearable or activity tracker, we’ve found the best wearables to keep you safe, but, if they’re too expensive, here are the best budget wearables and activity trackers for under £70.
If you’re not bothered by wearables at all, but still want help with keeping fit, check out our feature on 10 kitchen gadgets, tools and utensils for healthy living.