Guarding the house and looking cute can be ruff work. But who’s looking after Mr Snuggles and Felix when you’re not home? Fret not. We’ve dug up some of the best tech-forward gadgets to help you virtually keep in touch with your furry companions.
Cheerble 2499 Wickedbone Smart Interactive Dog Toy − $180*
For a fetching smart and interactive dog toy, Cheerble created the Wickedbone. It’s described as a bone-shaped gaming device designed to keep your dog active, and offers an alternative to the regular bone which the brand claims can sometimes cause gastric problems. The Wickedbone offers two settings: Drive Mode and Interactive Mode.
- Drive Mode: use the virtual joystick on the Wickedbone app to control the toy. This setting lets you choose between nine pre-made options, as well as create your own combos.
- Interactive Mode: responds to different types of touch in order to keep your dog’s attention. This doesn’t require manual operation.
It’s claimed to be strong enough to survive ‘the normal impact of a pet’s play time’, according to the brand, and is made from Polycarbonate and TPU for a softer feel compared to a regular bone. And if your pooch loves to run, the toy has a control distance of 20 metres and operates at a maximum speed of 3.5 metres per second. These parameters are also adjustable.
The Wickedbone can be recharged with its Micro USB charging cable. You’ll need to charge the toy for one hour to get the maximum play time of 40 minutes for drive mode, or four hours for interactive mode. The smart dog toy additionally comes with removeable tires, so you can clean the device or customise it with your own colour combo.
Petoneer Fresco Pro Smart Pet Fountain − $140*
If small bits of dirt, grass, or even your pet’s own fur makes its way to their water bowl, then you might want to consider checking out the Petoneer Fresco Pro Smart Fountain. It essentially provides a supply of filtered water, using a three-stage filtration system to keep out dust, hair and other larger particles. It also contains an activated carbon filter, which supposedly lowers chlorine levels in the water, to make your pet’s h20 top notch. Plus, there’s an ion-exchange resin filter said to ensure the water is ‘softer’ and safer to drink.
The Fresco additionally contains a multi-colour visual LED to show the water level and quality of filter life. Other features include:
- Water capacity: 2L
- TDS detection: built-in antirust and anticorrosive silvered probes measure the amount of total dissolvedsolids (TSD) in the water. The higher it is, the higher purity of the water.
- Removeable water bucket: water bucket can be removed for cleaning. Once lifted from the body of the Fresco, the power automatically switches off to prevent electricity wastage.
- Filter replacement alert: effectiveness of the filter will eventually start to decline the longer it is used, which can affect the water quality, filter quality and motor runtime.
This tech-forward pet water fountain can be controlled and monitored via the Fresco Pro app. It also comes with a customised silicone mat to help reduce the motor noise to less than 40dB.
Pettecc Smart Feeder − $269*
We know it can be hard to say goodbye to those adorable puppy eyes, whether it’s for a few minutes or several hours. Fortunately, there are plenty of gadgets on the market that allow you to keep in touch with your fur babies 24/7. One of them is the Pettecc Smart Feeder, which lets you remotely feed your pet, as well as record video, take photos and video ‘chat’ with your pets in real-time. Here are some key specs:
- Total storage capacity: 4.3L
- Kibble size: 5mm-15mm
- HD camera with wide angle lens
- Supports 32gb micro SD card
- Connectivity to Facebook, Twitter and WeChat
This particular pet feeder can provide up to four meals every day, with each portion capable of holding no larger than 200g. Similar to other smart devices, portion sizes and feeding times can be managed through the Pettecc app. You can also call your four-legged friends to the ‘table’ by recording your voice with the app.
iFetch Original Ball Launcher − $200*
Is your fur baby looking bored, or even a bit husky? One toy they might go mutts over is something like the iFetch Original Ball Launcher. This allows you to play fetch with your pet throughout the day when you’re not home. You’ll never have to feel guilty about leaving for work again! The launcher works by placing miniature tennis balls through the top shoot, which then shoots them out for your dog to chase and return. Other specs include:
- Firing distance: 3m, 6m or 9m
- Can be used indoor and outdoor
- Includes three mini iFetch balls
Unlike regular tennis balls, the iFetch balls are said to be similarly felted, but specifically made to be non-abrasive to protect your pet’s teeth. Keep in mind that this model is created for small to medium-sized dogs. If you have a bigger dog, the iFetch Too Ball Launcher is alternatively available, for an extra $200.
Cheerble Wicked Ball − $80*
The Cheerble Wicked Ball is another smart pet toy designed to keep your pets on their paws. It’s essentially a self-rolling ball that keeps your fur babies moving and stocked in treats. According to the brand, the ball is designed to encourage cats and dogs to get their daily dose of exercise and leave them feline less lonely. Key details include:
- Recharge time: 1 hour
- Waterproof and scratch-resistant
- Built-in catnip and snack hole for treats
This interactive pet toy has three interaction modes to suit different activity levels. It provides 10 minutes worth of fun, followed by 30-minute rest cycles. If you’re trying to sniff out a different way to get your four-legged friend excited, aside from a simple chase, you can add some treats or catnip in the dedicated slot. The Wicked Ball additionally contains an automatic obstacle avoidance sensor, which is claimed to ensure the toy never gets suck. The outer shell is also removeable.
The Wicked Ball comes in three colours, mint, yellow and blue. It’s also available in Cyclone, for pet owners who prefer a less destructible ball. Cat owners can also opt for the ball in Artificial Wool, a style specifically designed for cats.
Bissell TurboClean PowerBrush Pet Vacuum − $399*
Found new traces of pet hair, just minutes after finishing a big clean? Classic. We know the struggles of being a fur-parent, which is why we’re always on the lookout for something specific to animals. Bissell is one of many brands claiming to have the best solution, selling products like the TurboClean PowerBrush Pet Vacuum. This upright carpet cleaner is designed specifically for pet owners, to get pet hair and urine out of carpets and rugs. You can also pair it with Bissell’s oxy-based formula, to remove spills and stains like coffee, wine and grape juice. Other specs include:
- Weight: 5.8kg
- 1m cord
- Collapsible handle for storage
- Two-year manufacturer’s warranty
One of its standout features is the 4-Row Rotating Dirt Lifter PowerBrush, which is said to loosen and remove tracked-in dirt. There’s also the 2-Tank System to separate clean and dirty water. The vacuum additionally contains EdgeSweep bristles, designed for cleaning around your furniture and along baseboards.
*Prices taken from Appliances Online and respective retailers, correct as of July 2020.
Picture credits: Stockcrafterpro/Shutterstock.com.