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Wearable Technology Technology has come a long way in the past few years, and that's a good thing. Nearly all pet owners agree that the most stressful part of having pets is leaving them when you have to go to work or decide to take a vacation. Thanks to recent boarding facility nightmares (like the one in Arizona that killed dozens of dogs), we no longer want to leave our pets.

Whether you decide on having a pet sitter come in to your home, putting your faith into a close friend or relative, or selecting a boarding facility - there are new ways to ensure your pets are safe and secure.

Lightweight GPS locators, individual activity trackers, hi-def cameras, and motion-activated technology are just a few ways you can make sure your pets are in good hands. Here are a few things you can try to make sure your pets are safe while you’re away.

Activity Monitors

Activity monitoring is another feature that is offered through PodTracker, Whistle, Tagg, and others. Each tracker offers individual benefits, so you’ll need to do some research to find the one that best fits your situation.

Activity trackers are remarkably advanced and are now capable of monitoring everything from your pet’s internal temperature and heart rate to the type of activity they are engaged in - for instance, you’ll be able to identify whether your dog is running through the yard, walking calmly through the house in search of treats, or peacefully sleeping.

GPS monitors will usually notify you when your dog leaves a previously assigned “virtual” area (like your backyard or home). You will receive a text message when your dog leaves the area and you’ll be able to track the route that your dog is traveling. This works for dogs who are being walked as well as it works for dogs who escape yards.

Personally, we think that your pets (including your cats - which is why we love the PodTracker - should all be wearing activity monitors even while they are home with pet sitters. Pets tend to become more stressed when they are away from us, so it’s good to have a secondary method of finding your pets should they escape the yard while you’re on vacation. (See how PodTracker works in the video below)

With GPS trackers, you’ll be able to give your pet-sitter access to the program, or you can just contact your pet sitter after you receive a notification. You can also put other important contacts, such as neighbors or relatives, into your contact list in the event your dog escapes the yard.

GPS Trackers

If you’re wondering whether or not your dog walker is taking your pets out for the full hour walk they promised, this is now a way you can do that. The Activity Trackers above will let you know.

However, if you're not ready to invest in a tracker, you may want to consider a simple app that your sitter can use to notify you of walks. Not only does it notify you of usage, apps like the ResQWalk App will help your sitter Raise Funds for Animals.

Wireless Cameras

If you are the type of owner who always worries about their pets while you’re away from the home, a wireless camera can be an excellent way of checking in on them without being invasive. (Two of our favorites are the Motorola Scout 66 Wi-fi Pet Monitor and the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro)

There are a number of cameras that are not only hi-def, but even offer infrared technology which will even allow you to check on your pets in the middle of the night.

All things considered, these cameras are affordable (ranging between $80-$200) and they are very easy to install. Each camera brand has an app that is free to download and allows you to access the camera from any device.

Think your pet is a bit camera shy? The new Petzi Treat Cam: Wi-Fi Pet Camera & Treat Dispenser dispenses treats so your pet will come running into view when you virtually offer them a snack. Not only will it dispense treats, it enables others (like your pet sitter) to dispense them (with your authorization) and it will snap a photo and/or video for sharing via social media. This is a slick way to get your pets to come to you when you’re out of the house!

 Petzi Treat CamPetzi Treat Cam

Before you purchase, be sure to check the following:

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  • Does the camera have two-way talk? (This can come in handy if you check in and see your dog ransacking the garbage.) Is the app compatible with Apple and Android?
  • If you have an Android phone and iPad, you’ll want a camera that can handle both systems).
  • Does the camera offer infrared/nighttime vision? Does the camera offer additional functions, such as temperature inclusion?
  • If you live in an extreme climate, then knowing what the temperature of your home is may be of value to you. Does the camera offer you control over location? For example, can you maneuver the lens to easily survey a room or do you need to purchase more than one camera to have them strategically placed around the home?
  • Can the camera be used indoors and outdoors? If you have a pet who is camera-shy and tends to avoid areas easily surveyed, you might consider purchasing a camera that brings the pets to them.
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Choosing A Boarding Facility

When selecting a boarding facility, be sure that the facility has remote cameras installed that give you access via secured servers. Read How to Choose A Boarding Facility or Pet Sitter  to know what you should ask them. 

In this day and age, there really is no reason for a pet-centric facility to not have cameras installed. If they do not - ask them why and decide for yourself if that’s acceptable. In this day and age, we never need to be far from our pets.

While technology offers a lot of advantages, it will never take the place of good old-fashioned care from a reliable and loving human, and it will never be a substitute (or excuse) for leaving pets at home alone.

What it can do is alleviate some of the anxiety we feel when we have to leave town and it may just help decrease your stress a bit while you’re away.

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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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