Your Pet Doesn’t Need Gadgets
I could have saved a lot of panties.
That was my first thought upon reading about the “Companion Collar,” a next-gen satellite-linked smart collar for dogs and cats that didn’t exist when Peanut, my underwear-devouring Rat Terrier, was going through his troubled teenage years.
Granted, my dog-chewed drawers might not have been salvageable. But with a Companion Collar (slated for release in spring 2022), I could have satellite-tracked Peanut’s movements, compiled the data on his underwear-eating behavior — when, why, and how — and received real-time alerts on his panty-thieving antics through a cellphone app.
Even better, I might have figured out where in the depths of the yard (oh god, I hope it wasn’t the neighbors!) my beloved canine companion buried two years’ worth of my undergarments.
Now we have a new puppy in the household, Nova — an 8-month-old bounding black bundle of sheer Labrador enthusiasm and good cheer. Aka, exhaustively energetic. Nova has (thank goodness) yet to develop an underwear obsession. But she does love to play tug of war, dig up the yard, chase balls (and the cats), steal one shoe (and only one) from every pair of shoes in the household, tear apart the garden fence (because those are BIG sticks) and run, run, run.
It’s been a while since I raised a puppy, and now, in my tired middle age, I started wondering if the new slate of high-tech pet gadgets and accessories might be a tool to help me (and Nova) survive the destructive puppy and teenage-dog-from-hell years.
Perhaps Nova would benefit from a Furbo Interactive Dog Collar? When I wasn’t home, I could watch her and talk to her through the two-way audio and even tell Furbo to toss Nova a treat. Or, I bet she would adore the iFetch ball launcher, an automatic ball-throwing device she could arm herself (the dog fetches the ball, puts the ball back in the launcher, iFetch “throws” it again).
Not so fast, says Sarah-Anne Reed, a consulting dog trainer for Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. Nova probably would love those gadgets, Reed says, but I might not love what they did to Nova.
“There are some gadgets that can be helpful,” Reed says, “But it’s really important for…