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Pet tech: the gadgets every animal lover needs

Same dog but new tricks with the latest in pet tech 

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From petcams to automated cat litters, pamper your pets with the best tech
From petcams to automated cat litters, pamper your pets with the best tech
By
05 April 2018
P

ets make everything better, and so does tech (well, usually).

So as both a huge pet fan and a gadget geek, I’ve brought the two together to give you the pet tech pick of the litter.

Whether you’re a dog or cat person, or you just want to keep an eye on your bunnies while you’re at work, there’s plenty here to get your paws on.

Best petcams

Nest Cam

A smart, sturdy indoor camera that can be viewed from the web or your phone, Nest Cam gives a full-HD, wide-angle view of what’s going on in the room. You can also listen in, as well as talking back (though your pet might be somewhat confused by the disembodied voice).

You can view the live stream any time, or even put it online — my friends and family enjoy checking what my birds are up to.

The only downside is that if you want to rewind the feed to see what happened last week, you’ll need a subscription to Nest Aware for £8 a month.

Nest Indoor Cam / Nest

Hive View

Possibly the best-looking smart security camera ever, the Hive View offers full HD, a wide-angle picture, night vision, microphone and cloud recording of the past 24 hours (longer than that requires a £4.99 a month subscription, though).

You can also pull off the camera cube and use it to record wirelessly for up to an hour, which is handy.

Best of all, it has a setting that ignores pets, so if you only want to be alerted when there are moving humans, you can.

Pawbo Life

This one is designed for pets, and has an in-built treat dispenser you can activate remotely.

You view the video stream in the app, and if they’re not around, you can play pre-recorded sounds to attract their attention (the birdsong got an amazing “What the HELL” face from my cat). There’s also a built-in laser pointer for entertaining your cat.

Sadly, you can’t view the feed online.

Pawbo Life (Pawbo ) / Pawbo

Best for cat owners

Litter Robot

It’s not small, it’s not cheap, but it will change your life. The Litter Robot is a fully-automated cat litter machine that means you never have to scoop poo again.

You put the litter in the round bit, the cat does its thing in there, and the whole thing rotates to sift the clean litter from the dirty — which drops into a liner in the drawer at the bottom, which you empty it once a week.

Bonus tip: use it with a smart plug so you can set the cleaning cycle going the second they’ve finished, because otherwise it waits seven minutes and sometimes that’s… not so fragrant.

Sphero Mini

This little smart ball isn’t specifically designed for pets but it makes an excellent cat toy nonetheless. It’s a plastic sphere around the size of a golf ball that you control using an app, and it drives cats bonkers in the best way.

Mine have had twice the exercise since I started rolling this all around the house for them to chase. (Don’t let them bite it, though).

Sphero Mini / Sphero

Petsafe Frolicat

Pretty much all cats love to chase a laser pointer, but moving one around quickly gets boring. If you’re lazy like me, you’ll love this automated laser chaser.

You just turn it on, set a speed and time interval, and it spins around projecting that infuriating red dot all over the place.

My cat Moose comes running from far away as soon as he hears it turn on, and will happily careen into furniture in pursuit until it turns itself off.

Best for dog owners

PitPat 2

This collar-mounted gizmo is like a Fitbit for dogs. It’s light, durable and waterproof, so no worries about it surviving a vigorous walk in British weather.

It connects to a smartphone app (Apple and Android) that tells you how much exercise, rest and play your dog’s been up to today, with custom recommendations for loads of dog breeds.

The battery lasts a year and doesn’t need recharging, unlike most dogs after a day at the park.

PitPat 2 / PitPat

Pooch Selfie

Somewhat ridiculous, but if you’ve ever spent time making cat noises to direct your dog’s attention to your phone camera, you’ll know why it exists.

Pooch Selfie is a clip that attaches to the top of your phone and holds an (included) squeaky tennis ball.

Honk the ball and your dog will automatically look at it, allowing you to snap a perfect selfie before rewarding them with a game of fetch. Note: your phone is probably not drool-proof.

Vodafone V-Pet

Clip this to your dog’s collar and you should be able to find them no matter where they wander. The tracker tells your phone where the dog is, as well as how much activity they’ve been doing.

You can also set boundaries and get an alert if Fido strays too far.

Since it uses mobile data and GPS rather than Bluetooth or wi-fi, you don’t need to be physically close to your pet to see where they are

V Pet / Vodafone

Holly Brockwell is the founder and editor of tech blog, Gadgette