Most dog parents want to keep your dog occupied with cool, mind engaging toys when you’re busy or not around. At the time of writing this, it’s the beginning of June 2020.
The lockdown period that was caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic has meant that your dog has gotten used to having you around the home for long periods of time. With people going back into the world after months of being quarantined in their homes, whilst on your way to work you’re thinking if your dog is ok, is he happy, sad, excited or bored?
If you’ve ever asked yourself whether you have a bored dog when you or family members are not around, then consider looking for the best gadgets for dogs home alone. These hi-tech dog gadgets can stimulate your dog’s mind by engaging them in automated activities. Some hi techs dog toys can enrich your dog’s lives by giving them options for playing even when you’re not around.
How to choose the best gadgets for dogs home alone
If you’re like me, you’re worried about your dog when you leave them home alone. Good news, you’ll be relieved to know that you can automate the job of keeping a dog busy while at work. When you’re looking for a gadget to keep them occupied, there are a few main features that you need to look for.
Any smart tech for dogs needs to safely operate while you’re not around – that part is obvious. However, not all dogs are the same and some gadgets reward certain personalities more than others. If you’ve got a rambunctious Terrier, for instance, and you want them to stop chewing things while you’re away, they may benefit from a fetching machine more than a large, shy Retriever or an older dog would.
You can’t just evaluate the qualities of the gadgets. You also have to compare them to your dog’s personality so that you know they’ll use the new gadget and enjoy it. I had an alpha male Australian Shepherd once that would have TORN TO PIECES the little balls that come with most automatic fetch machines, for instance. Knowing that, I’d have opted for something sturdier.
Of course, the price is also a factor to take into account. If you’ve got a rambunctious pooch, you may not want expensive or delicate hardware. Likewise, if you have a more relaxed dog, you may not need the toy to be as sturdy, which can save you money. The price is important, but not as important as comparing the price to the needs of your dog.
Some devices come with wireless control via Bluetooth and you want to make sure that you have a compatible device before you buy these. If you’re not as tech-savvy, you may need to find something that works automatically rather than on a set schedule monitored by your smart device.
The most important factor in learning how to choose the right gadget is to take price, function, brand, materials, and compare them all to what you already know about your dog. This is for them, after all, more than for you.
Things to look for in gadgets for dogs
Dogs that are home alone while you’re at work don’t just need physical stability but mental encouragement as well. Water dispensers might be essential to your dog’s wellbeing and could be a great option for pet owners that are worrywarts. However, your dog’s psychological state is important too.
The best gadgets to keep dogs busy while you’re at work enrich their lives in some way. This may be through play, encouragement, treats, or other rewards. If you’re a micromanager, you may also want to look into devices that can be set with a schedule.
I want to know that my dog is given every opportunity to have an active and healthy lifestyle, even when I’m not around. This is why I look for gadgets that can be scheduled with treat delivery and playtimes. For those that want extra protection for their dogs, a GPS tracker and activity monitor may be the smart move.
Your dogs aren’t the only ones who need peace of mind when you’re at work, after all.
Advantages of using gadgets for dogs
Being sedentary for too long is just as bad for dogs as for people. While you’re at work and your dog has no one to play with, a gadget that keeps them active could be a healthy choice for them. You probably think about their health when you choose their food brand, so this should be no different.
Keeping them hydrated and fed with treats while you’re away is only one aspect of owning a dog gadget. The other advantages include keeping them alert, keeping track of their activity, and preventing them from chewing up stuff in the house while you’re gone.
Idle dogs tend either towards destruction behavior or unhealthy laziness. You can get them to grow out of both with gadgets that get their attention and give them options throughout the day to amuse themselves, do things for rewards, interact with a toy, and get moving.
Additionally, most people don’t think about their dogs as having a psychological profile, or one that goes beyond looking adorable when they scarf down their chow. However, stress is a real risk factor for a dog’s health and wellbeing. As we are learning the long-term of effects stress on an otherwise healthy dog, we should become more aware of how to help their minds stay alert and healthy.
This includes positive reinforcement, regular activity and stimulus, and a good balance of physical activity and rest. All of these things can be monitored and managed by different gadgets for your dog while they’re at home alone.
Reviews of the Best Gadgets for Dogs
The iFetch Ball Launcher gives your dog options to amuse themselves when you’re not around. They can be set for 3 launch distances (10, 20, and 30 feet). Once you teach your dog to put the ball into the top, they can have access to hours of healthy fun by amusing themselves with a game of mechanical fetch.iFetch can be used outside or inside to keep dogs healthy and alert. It’s a great product for those worried about leaving an active dog home alone. I’ve had dogs in the past who were destructive when no one was around and iFetch would have definitely come in handy to keep them occupied.
- Can be charged but also has battery power to ensure it stays working
- Sturdy enough for outdoor use
- Adjustable throw lengths for any size house or dog
- Automatic functioning gives your dog the ability to make their own fun
- The balls are susceptible to damage by aggressive chewing
16 play modes on the VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot will keep your dog occupied while you’re away at work. The robot rolls around the house while you’re gone and plays with your pet, dispensing treats to reward their activity.
This does a lot for the problems talked about above with stress and isolation when it comes to your dogs getting on while you’re away. Separation anxiety is a real thing: it’s the reverse reflection of the love they have for you! So when you think they might be sad, the VARRAM fitness robot can be scheduled for regular play or activated whenever you want.
It’s durable and easy to manage through a smartphone app. It drives itself so you don’t have to worry about fidgeting with controls. It’s designed to be resistant to slobber as well!
- Durable design for slobber, claw, and tooth-resistance
- Automatic driving AI
- Improves feelings of separation and sadness with scheduled activity and treats
- Easy to operate via smartphone app
- Doubles as an activity tracker for conscientious pet parents
- Activity tracking requires access to your location, which some consumers aren’t comfortable with
Gadgets for dogs home alone don’t have to be fancy playthings. Older pets may not need that much activity, or respond well to a robot that rolls around and bleeps in their face.If you think that might be your dog, you may want to opt for a PetSafe Drinkwell Water Fountain instead. This is a more conscientious option for pet owners worried about leaving their dogs alone. It tends to the more immediate physical need of getting water, rather than the stresses of loneliness.
This fountain encourages pets to drink by trickling water occasionally and allows them to get their own water while you’re away. This saves you the trouble of leaving out bowls and worrying they might get dirty, knocked over, or emptied.
The Drinkwell fountain has an adjustable stream for any dog’s height, as well as a reservoir capacity that prevents you from having to refill it all the time. Carbon water filters keep the water fresh and refined as well.
- Adjustable water stream
- Carbon filter keeps water safe and fresh
- Encourages drinking with a free-falling automatic stream
- Made from BPA-free materials that are easy to clean
- Bigger pets may cause splashing with the automatic stream, making a placement beneath the fountain a necessity in some cases
The Furbo Dog Camera is an expensive-looking, nine-inch-tall device that connects by Wi-Fi to your phone so you can control your dog’s activity schedule. Any device with wireless capabilities in your home needs to have some kind of data security, and thankfully, the encryption on the Furbo is solid right out of the box.
Furbo turns on when it hears barking so you can calm your dog down with your smartphone. The camera tosses treats and gives them messages that you can record so your dog is always hearing your own voice.
Though priced high, the Furbo is worth it because of its durability and high-tech uses. Even an advanced ball-thrower can’t allow you to talk to your best friend while you’re away.
- Tosses treats and talks in your voice
- 1080p HD camera with night vision capabilities and live streaming video
- 160-degree wide-angle viewing lens
- Barking alert and 2-way audio so you can calm them down
- Looks fancy and charges easily
- Not everyone likes paying for the subscription service
The best smart tech for dogs doesn’t just include food and play but might be a matter of safety (and your peace of mind). The GPS in the PetFon tracker gives you a waterproof, reliable source of information that is transmitted by WiFi straight to your smartphone.I’ve been dog-hunting before for a lost pet and let me tell you: there’s nothing more stressful. Every car that goes by made my heart sink, thinking about them getting hit. So if you have a rambunctious dog that likes to get out, a PetFon tracker may be your best bet to keep them safe.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth tech sends info straight to your phone
- The tracker is small and durable
- Waterproof casing
- Tracks pets up to 3.5 miles in open environments and .65 miles in city areas
- Doesn’t track as well if you’re in the house and the dog is outside
The best gadgets for dogs home alone are the ones that enrich their lives and do a good job of keeping your dog busy while you’re at work. These hi-tech dog gadgets give dogs opportunities to stay healthy and alert, feed and water them, and keep them from having separation anxiety while you’re away.
The most important thing to consider is the needs of your dog and their personality. If they need to be occupied and played with while you’re away, you may choose a different device than you would for a dog that just needs to be reminded to drink.
Whatever you choose based on price and your dog’s needs, one of the listed gadgets should give your dog the ability to self-soothe while you’re away, which is what every dog mom and dad wants to hear.