Gadgets for the Helicopter Pet Parent

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Beautiful yorkshire terrier playing with a ball on a grass

If you want to see what your pet is doing while you’re at work or while you are on vacation, there are lots of gadgets for the helicopter pet parent. Interacting with a pet while you’re away can assure you both.

Here are a few options:

  • Skype. That’s right Skype. If you want to visit with your pet, all you need is a spare tablet. Set up a Skype account for your pet. Set it to automatic answer with video and put the tablet in your house where your pet can see the screen and you can see him. C/net explains how.
  • Petzi Treat Cam. With the Petzi Treat Cam you can see and speak with your pet, give him a treat, and take photos and videos of him. The universal treat launcher works with any dry, crunchy treat smaller than 1 inch. The camera has a wide-angle lens with night vision. Petzi is App-controlled and wifi-connected so you can interact with your pet from any smart phone or tablet. There is also aPetzi community where you can share your photos and chat with other pet owners. Petzi is available through their website for $169.95
  • Feed & Go. The Feed & Go is an automatic pet feeder that distributes food on a schedule. It has six compartments that hold up to a cup of food each. You can schedule feeding times before you leave home or while you are away. You can pre-record a message to your pet or speak to him live. The camera with the Feed & Go lets you see your pet and check the bowl to confirm your pet is eating. The Feed & Go is priced at $249.00 and there are discounts for multiple feeders.
  • Petcube. The Petcube connects through your home wifi. The four-inch square aluminum cube has 138° degree wide-angle camera streaming HD 720p video. It has a built-in microphone and speaker so you can speak to and hear your pet. It is equipped with a built-in 5mW 3R class laser pointer that is certified safe. No matter where in the world you are, you and your pet can play with the laser pointer. Petcube also has motion and sound detection. If your dog barks, a window breaks, or if there is any loud noise, thePetcube can notify you. If you don’t have a pet of your own the Petcube app allows you to play with cats or dogs in shelters. If you find an animal you love, you can adopt him through the app. The cost of a Petcube is $149.00, a two pack is $279.00.

There are two IndieGoGo campaigns for pet cameras. One campaign is for Furbo. Furbo has two-way audio and a camera with 4x zoom. The night vision camera streams HD video or can record the action. Furbo has a “bark alert” that lets you know when your dog is barking. You can also launch treats to your pet with Furbo. It’s like a long-distance game of fetch. Furbo is compatible with smart phones, tablets, and the Apple smartwatch.

The other pet cam on IndieGoGo is PlayDate. Playdate gives you a choice of a three or four-inch ball with a camera inside it. The HD camera is stabilized and offers a live feed, still pictures, and video. There is a microphone and speakers so you can interact with your pet and customizable squeaker. The clear outer shell is replaceable and the three-inch ball has slits for ribbons to help entertain a cat. You remotely control the ball from a directional pad on your tablet or smart phone. There is also a website where you can log in and control the smart ball. Right now a Playdate sponsorship of $179.00 gets you the smart ball with delivery scheduled in February 2017. Playdate is expected to cost $249.00 when it hits retail shelves.

Whether you are really a helicopter pet parent or just want your pet to be happy, healthy and entertained, there are choices available to suit every budget and almost every need.

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