When it comes to pet care, owners tend to treat their prized pooches as if they’re furry children. The thought of your little pal darting off at the sight of a squirrel or taking years off his life from being a lazy schlump can be anxiety-inducing for dog lovers.
Whistle, launched in 2013, is the pet version of a fitness tracker. Used to measure the quantity and quality of activity, Whistle attaches to the dog’s collar and an app gives owners updates on their smartphones. It might seem a bit unnecessary, but don’t underestimate the intensity of an owners commitment to his canine companion’s health.
While microchips — inserted under the dog’s skin — are useful in finding a lost pet, the range is quite limited. Ordinarily, this means a friendly citizen needs to rescue the scared animal and bring him to a nearby shelter or vet before the dog or cat can be returned to its owner. And if your dog is anything like mine, she’ll dart away from an approaching stranger. Unless the stranger has peanut butter. Then she’s all his.
But GPS tracking is not only less invasive — it too attaches discreetly to the collar — it’s more accurate. When Sir Barks-a-Lot wanders off, owners can whip out their smartphone, see the animal’s location and go pick up their barky buddy without wandering the streets calling his name or hoping he finds his way into responsible hands.
Tagg will be fully integrated into Whistle by year’s end, putting all of your dog’s needs into one smart item. As Whistle continues to expand, who knows what the wearable company will come up with next? Perhaps a sensor alerting owners if your scratchy lovebug has fleas or tics. How about a notification if your panting pup needs more water. Maybe you’ll finally discover just how much he really hates that sweater you keep forcing him to wear. The options are limitless — although mindreading does seem unlikely.
Top photo courtesy of Whistle Labs, Inc