How Top Tech Helps Dogs Beat The Bulge
The UK has an estimated 8.5 million dogs as pets, proving we really are a nation of animal lovers. But with as many as two in three dogs labelled as overweight, are we in danger of loving them too much?
Described as an “epidemic”, the UK is in the middle of a dog obesity crisis and studies show that the popular Labrador is more obsessed with food than any other breed. This news prompted the Nexus team to find out whether technology could help turn your pedigree plump into a super-fit Fido.
First up is the FitBit equivalent for our four-legged friends. The affordable PitPat device is a wearable activity monitor that attaches to any collar to track your dog’s activity and fitness via a free iOS or Android app. For just £39.99, PitPat will suggest daily exercise goals based on your dog’s age, breed and measured activity and keep a record of it on your phone via Bluetooth technology. Perfectly safe for animals – PitPat is certified to the relevant international safety standards and is CE marked – the app can support up to three PitPat devices so you can pit your pets against one another and determine which is top dog in the fitness stakes.
If lack of exercise contributes to your pooch piling on the pounds, the GoDogGo G4 Auto Ball Launcher is a fun way to get your dog up and about, with minimum effort on your part. The machine that throws balls for dogs to fetch, so you don’t have to, has both automatic and manual ball launching settings and an ergonomic bucket design that dogs big or small can use with ease. Via remote control, it can be set to launch balls either 4, 7 or 15 seconds apart and you can choose from 3 distance settings to fire the ball up to 12.5 metres. An in-built sensor function means you can also train your dog to return balls to the bucket for independent play. GoDogGo can be powered by the mains for unlimited use in the garden or by batteries, giving you and your pup up to 25 hours of fetching fun in the park.
Want to train your dog for the next canine marathon and make new friends in the process? Then the G-Paws Track is the gadget for you. A lightweight GPS data recorder, this device shows exactly how far your dog can run and how fast. This information is then uploaded onto your pet profile on G-Paws.com so you can easily track, view and share your pet’s adventures on your desktop, tablet or smartphone. Similar to Facebook, you can update your profile and share photos of your pet via the online community, uncovering a new network of pet pals in your area. Great for keeping tabs on your tabby or roaming Rover, this is a fun way to engage with new people and track your pet’s progress as they navigate the local terrain.
Convinced your dog is lazing about whilst you are sweating it out down the gym? Then why not install the Netgear Arlo Q HD Security Camera with full two-way audio so you can bark orders back home from wherever you are. You can access your Arlo using any web browser or via the free apps available for iOS, Android and Fire OS. With 24/7 continuous recording, accessible via the Cloud, you can see and hear your pet in high detail at any time of day thanks to night vision and eight times digital zoom. Traditionally used for home security, the built in mic and speaker transforms your home into a virtual Paw Camp for Pets.
At the top end of the market, the FitFurLife Treadmill range for dogs will ensure your pooch is receiving its daily exercise requirement, whatever the weather. Ideal for elderly or disabled dog owners who might be unable to provide regular outside exercise for their pet, dog treadmills offer a complete muscle enhancing, toning and fitness regime that helps improve the overall health and vitality of a dog. Available in three sizes for any breed, you can control the terrain and speed to really put your dog through its paces. Specifically designed for dogs, with a safety harness and protective sides, for £500 this piece of kit will ensure man’s best friend remains happy and healthy at the flick of a switch.