If you have a cat or a dog, you probably already own all the basics: food bowl, leash, litter box, collar. However, there are plenty of apps and gadgets available that can make caring for your pet a lot easier — here are our favourites.
1. Smart feeders
If you work long hours and your pet needs a meal during the day, it can be a tricky predicament to manage. If you put food out when you leave, your furry friend is likely to eat it immediately and be starving by the time you return in the evening.
A smart feeder can solve that problem. Many allow you to set specific portion controls, have the feeder release food into your pet's bowl at a specified time, and make a noise to attract their attention.
Others even have smartphone integration, allowing you to manually change feeding times on the go, and a remote camera so you can keep an eye on your pet while you’re away.
2. PetCoach app
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether you need to take your pet to the vet to be checked out — especially if it’s a long trip in remote areas. While it’s always better to be safe than sorry, the PetCoach app provides a useful first step in making that decision.
The app allows you to chat with professional veterinarians in real time — for free. If you have any niggling questions, you can easily get them cleared up, and all answers are publicly available, so you may find other people have had the same problem with their pet.
The app also allows you to send photos to give the vet a better idea of any potential medical problems.
3. Pet trackers
While some pets are adept at wandering the neighbourhood and finding their way home, others (especially small dogs) are more likely to get lost if they get out.
To save the heartbreak of a lost pet, a pet tracker such as the Petrek3G GPS Pet Tracker can make your runaway much easier to find. The linked iPet app gives you a satellite view and a live location of your pet, so you can track them down, scoop them up, and bring them home!
4. Smart pet door
If you have a pet that likes to go walkabout, having a cat flap is a must. Unfortunately, it also creates a security risk for your home and can allow unwanted visitors, such as possums, inside.
SureFlap solves this problem with its range of smart pet doors that only open when they detect your pet’s microchip approaching. The linked app also allows you to remotely lock and unlock the door from anywhere, and keeps track of when your pet is using the door.
5. Self-cleaning litter box
Cleaning up after your furry friend isn’t the best part of pet ownership. Even if they are toilet trained, you’re still going to have to pick up and deal with your loveable fluffball’s less loveable droppings.
A litter box is a must-have for any cat owner, but if you want to make things a little more sanitary, a self-cleaning option might be for you. These boxes automatically scoop your cat’s waste into a bin that you can easily dispose of without having to get your hands dirty.
6. Automatic ball thrower
If you’re a little less mobile than you’d like to be and struggle to keep up with your dog’s energy, an automatic ball thrower could help you spend quality time with them, without exhausting yourself.
The iFetch range of automatic ball launchers simply require you to drop the ball and they will shoot it out to a pre-programmable distance (options vary depending on the model). If your dog is well trained enough to drop the ball into the machine, it’s an easy way to keep their exercise levels up.
7. 11pets app
If your pet has a medical condition that requires regular treatment or medication, caring for them can become a cause for concern — especially when you have to leave them with a pet sitter.
The 11pets mobile app allows you to keep all your pet’s medical records in one place, and manage their medications by logging the required doses and setting reminders.
You can also track important appointments such as vaccinations, deworming, and grooming. The data in the app also means you can easily provide any relevant information to a vet if you have to take your pet in.
Do you have any recommendations for pet-related apps or gadgets?