NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many pet owners worry that they are not home enough to take care of their animals.
But as CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, new gadgets are now letting people interact with their furry animals remotely.
Anne Ryan can check on her dogs, Oscar and Reggie, even when she is not at home. The Petzi Treatcam allows her to talk to her dogs, see them, take photos, and even dispense treats through an app on her phone.
“It’s nice to see them at home and what they’re doing,” Ryan said. “The fact that I can give them a treat is such a huge bonus.”
The Treatcam is one of a growing number of tech gadgets designed to help owners stay connected with their furry friends.
The Whistle Pet Tracker – a GPS-enabled device – alerts you if your pet has left his safe zone and helps you find him if he runs away or gets lost.
“As soon as your dog gets out, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’ll be notified,” said Whistle chief executive officer and co-founder Ben Jacobs. “You can track them in real time on your smart phone just like ‘Find My iPhone; or similar solutions. And you can go proactively find that pet even if there’s no other human in sight.”
The wearable device also tracks how much exercise and sleep the animals are getting.
For owners who want to keep their dog or cat more active during the day, the Petcube lets them play with their pets with the touch of a finger.
“With Petcube, you can exercise your pet, give them some action with a laser pointer and they will be feeling better,” said Petcube founder Yaroslav Azhnyuk.
There are even devices now that let your pets call you, play games and win treats when they are home alone – and speak with a human voice.
But as more pet-tech gadgets come to market, experts caution owners against relying on them too much.
“The technology can be useful as an adjunct, a way of enriching your relationship with your pet, but certainly not a substitute for time spent with your dog,” said Pamela Wyman, a pet trainer and owner of Dog Evolve.
For many of today’s pet owners, staying connected applies to all members of the family.
The pet tech startups are just some of the new companies springing up to chase the multi-billion dollar pet market.