In a society that is becoming more overrun by technology with each passing second, life-changing innovations are occuring on a daily basis. Some of these breakthroughs are amazing, while others have questionable effects on our lives. Recently, however, there have been quite a few inventions that not only improve our lives, but our pets’ lives as well. Here are a few ways that our pets are becoming futuristic:
- 3-D Printed Prosthetic Limbs – Animals either born without limbs, with defected limbs, or who have had to have their limb(s) amputated, have a growing number of options to explore in order to live an almost-normal life. Up until recently, many owners with special-needs pets have opted for buying a set of wheels for their pet, which attach either to the front or the back, depending on where the limbs are missing. Other pets, with just one limb missing, have learned to balance and walk on just three legs, due to the inability to have a wheel contraption. Not to mention, the wheel approach isn’t ideal due to the inability to maneuver completely free of obstacles and mishaps. Well, now thanks to the relatively new technology of 3-D printing, prosthetics can be made very quickly that are durable, affordable, and extremely effective! Already, some dogs like Derby are getting outfitted with lightweight but extremely sturdy prosthetic limbs that instantly improve their life. Although the limbs are plastic, these animals are adjusting to them immediately as if they were born with this technology!
- Dog Tracking Devices – It shouldn’t come as a surprise that along with our own devices that we use to track fitness activity, location, and health, that our pets have similar emerging technology! There are plenty of different tracking devices that not only track your pet’s whereabouts, but give you other important information such as when they are active versus resting, when they are sleeping, and even vital signs such as their heartbeat, pulse, and breathing rate! Such information can be useful for tracking progress in an animal’s health and exercise routine, especially if they are overweight or have some kind of special health concern. Not to mention, if your pet is an escape artist, you can literally keep track of not only where they have gone, but where they are currently going in real time so that you can catch up and find them! This technology is still pretty fresh, with several different companies shopping their ideas around on crowdfunding sites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter. If you work often and cannot take your pet to work, this could reduce your worry drastically! A few of these inventions are called FitBark, Tagg, and Voyce, so check them out and stay updated with their progress.
- Video Communication Devices – This shouldn’t come as any surprise either, considering that pretty much every device we own has a camera on it now – your phone, computer, tablet, car, music player, even pens and glasses! We use these camera devices to communicate via Skype, FaceTime, Snapchat, Instagram, you name it – so it was inevitable that the same idea would transfer over to our pets. Companies like PetCube and PetziConnect are trying to revolutionize the way that we interact with our companion animals, by making their lives accessible even when we are not with them. Whether you are at work, on vacation, or just out for a little bit, you can check on your pet via camera and even talk to them while they see you! If you thought that was amazing, it gets even better: one company called PetChatz enables you to give your pet a treat with the press of a button on your device! This device may sound frivolous to some, but it can actually be a great help for pets with separation anxiety or similar traumas that cause behavior issues. Just by checking in on your pal every now and then via camera, you can alleviate both of your anxiety and stress, and also keep them from destroying everything! Also, if your pet has a medication that it needs to have at an hour that it will be alone, you can dispense a treat with the medication inside of it!
- Robot Pet Helpers – At the moment, there are some inventions that walk the fine line between what some may call “pointless rich-people toys” and “potentially useful gadgets.” A couple of these include a robotic device that plays fetch with your dog when you aren’t there, and a system that rewards your dog with a treat every time it “tidies up” by dropping a toy in the bin. The iFetch invention could be very useful especially if you have a high-energy puppy or dog and you also have a full-time job. This could potentially make fostering shelter animals more accessible (along with the PetChatz) to those who are “too busy” but otherwise would like to foster. Personally, the Tidy Dog doesn’t seem like a necessity (unless you are a clean freak), but it could be nice for a ridiculously messy dog, I suppose. Another “maybe useful but not completely needed” invention is something that seems straight out of a science fiction novel: the No More Woof, a device that translates a dog’s barks and sounds into English words and phrases! If you have seen the Disney/Pixar film Up, then you already have an idea of how this would work. At the moment, all of these devices are still relatively new, but I have a feeling that they will catch on very soon!Although technology can sometimes seem like it is suffocating our society, it actually seems to be having more positive impacts than negative ones. Sure, everyone is less social now due to social media accessibility and smart phones, but there are literally life-saving breakthroughs that are discovered every day – and that definitely outweighs the not-so-great aspects of the “tech age” that we have found ourselves in. Support these ambitious inventors on their crowdfunding sites if you would like to contribute to these momentous projects!