Wherever there’s something, there’s someone trying to profit off of it. This is true in any capacity.
Are you happy? Then buy something ‘cause you’re happy.
Feeling sad? There’s something you can buy for that, too.
Are you tall? Then you definitely need a tall person thing.
Is your car green? What good is having a green car if you don’t have a green car key chain.
Oh, and you have a dog? Well then your dog definitely needs some borderline ridiculous dog things.
And nowhere is this last point more evident than the rise of wearable tech for dogs. Now, don’t get us wrong, microtagging isn’t only a luxury, it’s become a necessity. Some countries won’t even allow your pet in without a tag, so things like that—things that have been proven to protect, save, and keep track of our dogs are certainly not ridiculous.
And there are still the little luxuries we, as dog owners, owe to our best friends: the tastiest treats (organic, of course), plushest dog beds, and most fetch-worthy chew toys. However, there are some products we’re not so sure about these days. Here’s our two-cents on which wearable pet tech products you should consider adding to Fido’s inventory, and which you should skip.
- DogStar dog emotion sensor. Sorry, what? So, we can hook our dog up to a monitor to see if his heart rate increases under certain circumstances, combined with environmental factors like the weather, and get an idea of how happy or sad he’s feeling? What happened to the old-fashioned, is his tail wagging or not, does he have a spring in his step or is he moping, method that’s been working since the dawn of man’s best friend? Our consensus: no, you do not need or want this. Skip the pet emotion sensor and take your dog out for a walk instead. We promise it will make him happy.
- FitBark activity monitor. While far less ridiculous than the pet emotion sensor, we should clear one thing up here: this is a want, not a need. But, if you’re an owner of a FitBit and you really love doing activities with you dog, then an activity monitor for Fido isn’t necessarily a bad idea. It won’t kill anyone, though, if he doesn’t have one. It’s also fair to assume your dog is healthy as long as you walk him regularly, feed him decent dog food, let him nap at his leisure, and take him to his regular vet check-up. So, no, you don’t need it. But we won’t judge you if you want it.
- PawsCam wearable dog camera. Yes! A hundred time yes. Like seriously, don’t tell us you haven’t always wondered what your dog’s point-of-view is like. How tall do we look? What does a tennis ball look like as it soars toward their face? What’s it like to meet a new friend and immediately sniff their butt? Things of this nature. Well, we’re all in luck because now all we need to do is snap this handy little camera to Fido’s collar and BAM. Dog’s eye view. Completely and utterly useless in terms of tracking habits and health, but so much fun we’re tempted to call it a “need.” And hey, this could come in handy is Fido gets lost….
- Whistle GPS Tracker for dogs. This is a clear “need,” and probably much more useful at locating your lost dog than the wearable camera (we were just looking for an excuse to buy that one). But the GPS tracker is indisputable—we all need to know where our pets are. It does require a subscription plan, in addition to the $79.95 hardware cost. But if you can afford it, buy it.
- Pet to human translators. If you’re still reading and thinking we’re going to explain A) what this is, B) if it works, and C) if you need it, then guess again. We suggest you investigate for yourself because we…we just can’t.
All skepticism aside, if you’ve recently bought any of these items and have some thoughts—let us know. We’d love to hear your experiences—positive, negative, or somewhere in between.
(Unless you’re still wondering about number 5, and then we suggest you become a cat person.)