Five great gadgets for your pets

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Five great gadgets for your pets

All right, pet?

While I’m not advocating that pet owners should avoid ever hand-feeding Rex or Whiskers, there are times when automatic feeders come in very handy. One of the newest market options, Petlibro’s Granary WiFi feeder means you can maintain the strict meal plan you’ve set for your furry friend while working from home, even if you head back to the office. It’s also ideal if you’re flying into the weekend and don’t want to burden your neighbor with filling bowls.

This upright feeder – Petlibro’s second generation model – with a sleek look reminiscent of an espresso machine, consists of a container attached to a bowl. Needless to say, it’s slimmer than the ‘Kenl-Mastr’, said to be the first mechanized feeder, invented in 1939 and stocked at Bloomingdale’s. A shopping article in The New Yorker described it as “a covered dog food bowl that opens its lid at feeding time when you’re thinking of setting the alarm.”

Petlibro Granary WiFi Feeder, $89.99 (Non-WiFi version starts at $65.99)

The Petlibro model can open more than one lid. After you load the canister with kibble – it works with kibble – the fun begins. Everything is scheduled via buttons on the machine (which can be a bit finicky) or via an app, which is great for making amends on the go. (There’s also a cheaper version without Wi-Fi.) And you can record audio so your voice announces each meal.

A battery backup kicks in in the event of a power outage, the food tray can be thrown in the dishwasher, and the pieces are delightfully sturdy, with a stainless steel bowl not easily turned over by a willful paw. Most importantly, it has Fort Knox-like levels of security. A twist-lock lid and special sealing strip keep moisture out and kibbles fresh for two weeks or more, which is about as long as the five-liter supply will last anyway (you’ll get an app notification when stocks are low is). But please don’t leave your Moggy alone for so long. Petlibro Granary WiFi Feeder $89.99 (non-WiFi version starts at $65.99), petlibro.com


Fitbit for Fido

Invoxia smart dog collar, £99 plus £12.99 monthly subscription
Invoxia smart dog collar, £99 plus £12.99 monthly subscription

Does Fido fancy a Fitbit? That’s essentially what this smart collar is for. It uses non-invasive radar sensors to monitor vital signs like breathing and heart rate, as well as sleep patterns and quality. Pet owners might want to know things like this, considering that 10-20 percent of dogs are at risk of or already have heart disease. Like many competitors, the Invoxia has GPS tracking, but few other collars are capable of monitoring biometric stats, as this usually requires close skin contact and fur gets in the way. The collar works through an app, but it has one major caveat: it’s only suitable for medium and large dogs. Available in September in the US, UK and Europe. Invoxia smart dog collar, £99 plus £12.99 monthly subscription, invoxia.com


Automatic for the cat people

Smarty Pear Leo's Loo Too, $599.99
Smarty Pear Leo’s Loo Too, $599.99

It resembles a fancy retro washing machine, but this contraption might just be the best automated cat litter you can buy. After your cat has done its job, the machine quietly spins, transports the contents to an odor-proof drawer, and sterilizes itself with bacteria-killing UV light. (Fear not: weight sensors keep the drum from whirring until the cat is out.) When the drawer is full — after about a week — you’ll get an app notification to remove it. But don’t leave it that long unless it’s absolutely necessary, eh? The app also keeps you up to date on your cat’s business by tracking their weight and toilet activity so you can keep an eye on their health. Smarty Pear Leo’s Loo Too, $599.99, smarttypear.com


It lives, it lives…

Trixie Wobbly Fish, £9.99

Trixie Wobbly Fish, £9.99

If your cat isn’t content with chasing a ball of thread, German brand Trixie makes interactive plushies that provide pets with Netflix-like levels of entertainment. Her classic animated role model is a battery-powered “active mouse” that scurries across the floor, changes directions on a nudge, and stops on a press — then restarts on a second touch to keep Whiskers from getting complacent. A newer option is a fish that squirms erratically when touched; it automatically stops after 15 seconds before starting another flop round. Deploy an amused cat without bloodshed. Trixie Active Mouse, £13.99; wobbly fish, £9.99, trixie.de


sniffer dogs

Eufy Pet Dog Camera D605, $199.99

Eufy Pet Dog Camera D605, $199.99

This new dog cam from Eufy – currently available in the US and Japan – is a remarkable puppy sitter. (It’s marketed for dogs, but would work for cats too.) Partnered with an app, it offers a live stream feed in 1080p clarity and has a 170-degree wide-angle lens, zoom capability, and infrared night vision. A motion sensor tracks your pooch and the camera pans to keep him in the center of the frame. Meanwhile, interactive functions ensure fun: You can call Fido via the built-in speakers and, above all, use a treat throwing function to throw tasty morsels at three different distances. Eufy Pet Dog Camera D605, $199.99, us.eufylife.com

@jamie_waters

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