- Take a break from fetch and let the dog do the work
- Catch up with your pooch via video chat
- Keep track of your furry friend with a snazzy collar
While the owner's away…
Everyone knows that dogs just want to have fun, but who gets worn out first when you're playing fetch? Here's a clue: it's not the dog. Thankfully, the GoDogGo ball-fetching machine can save your weary arms.
Just load a few tennis balls into the bucket and fire them off using the remote for your dog to chase down. If even that's too hard, you could train your dog to drop the ball back into the bucket himself and set the launch on auto.
You can even play with your pooch while you're away from home, thanks to Petcube. Petcube is an easily installed camera and speaker set, with an inbuilt safe laser pointer. From a free mobile app, you can watch your dog on camera, bark through the speakers and microphone and even control the laser for some fun.
Dogs are not always that bothered about how they look – but you are! If you've brought a date home, say, or your mum's coming round for dinner, or you and your dog need to make an impromptu visit in the car, then you want your dog to look his best.
Pet hair gets everywhere, so make a pre-emptive strike with the Dyson groom, which removes hair directly from the dog before it ends up all over the carpet, the upholstery, the car, your clothes… the entire house!
If there's one word every dog knows and dreads, its 'bathtime.' Strangely enough, dogs don't seem to mind running under the garden sprinkler on a hot day. Woof Washer 360 is the best of both worlds: a large hoop with water sprayer holes on the inside, a built-in shampoo dispenser and an attachment to go onto a standard garden hose. Just load up the soap, turn on the hose water and slide the hoop around and up and down your dog.
Fitness apps help us lose weight, get more active and stay healthy, so why shouldn't the same thing work for dogs?
StarWalk attaches to the dog's collar to monitor its total steps, calories burned, active time, distance travelled, and even body temperature.
WonderWoof is an even snazzier option: an electronic bowtie that provides owners with real-time information about their dog, such as whether they're sleeping, walking or playing with other dogs. It creates fitness goals based on weight, age and breed, encouraging more exercise on lazy days and praising physical achievements.
These great apps can help you and your dog stay in shape, but make sure that your furry friend is covered in case they do have a health scare so that you can get help paying vet fees.
Cutting a strut
We all like to take our dogs out, but while they have four legs, light bodies, and like to run (sometimes very quickly), we have just two legs, heavier bodies and like to do other things when we're on the move – like message friends, listen to music or take selfies with your favourite pooch.
Tech can help solve this problem, too. Attach the lead to a hands-free belt and not only do you set the pace, but you can drink your coffee and eat your sandwiches without stopping. If you don't mind getting indigestion, that is.
If you want to keep track of where your dog goes and what he gets up to, then attach a GoPro camera to his back with a special GoPro dog harness for a dog's-eye view of the world. Prefer to employ a dog walker? There are special apps such as Dog Walk that allow you to keep track of where, and how far, dog walkers are taking your dog.
If a dog was writing this, or, in fact, writing a note to his owner, it might start with something like. 'Yes, yes, all this playing, washing, grooming and walking tech is very nice, but what about the really important stuff? What about my dinner?'
The Petnet smart feeder enables you to feed your dog from anywhere using your smartphone. You can control how much the dog gets and how often the food becomes available.
Want a bit of choice? There are plenty of other smart feeders available – best to have three or four different ones around the house, right? Just in case (that's the dog talking, again, by the way).
If you want your pet to have fun, be challenged and then eat, you may want to wait until the CleverPet becomes available. A recent invention from the States, this automatic feeder only opens if your dog presses the right buttons. A little Pavlovian, maybe, but it could help stimulate your pet while you're away from home.
With the latest doggy tech, you can keep your dog safe, fed, happy and healthy – and save yourself some time and energy. Plus, even though you're sure to miss each other, you can leave your dog at home for a few hours (as long as he or she is trained properly) without a worry.