Pet Gazette DECEMBER 2018 - Page 27

TECHNOLOGY | PET GAZETTE | 27 ENHANCING YOUR PET’S LIVELIHOOD Technology has been easily - and relatively seamlessly - accepted and integrated into our everyday lives so it’s no surprise that many pet owners also want to introduce it into the lives of their companions T echnology, its developments and what we can do with it has greatly transformed the way we live our lives today. So many are reliant on it, and that desire to make more use of it has already taken over the pet industry. MICROCHIPPING Compulsory microchipping for dogs was introduced in April 2016, some 17 years after the technology was first used in pets. This measure has become so ingrained when it comes to the safety of pets that, apart from it being required by law for dogs, it’s rarely considered as the piece of revolutionary technological equipment that it is and just viewed as a necessity. The protection that microchipping has offered dogs has led to different governments in the UK considering the introduction of new laws to fine owners £500 if their feline friends are not microchipped. Although 11 percent of dog owners do not know it is required by law, 93 percent of them have microchipped their pooches and this small piece of equipment benefits owners and professionals alike. By being able to locate lost pets, animal shelters are not burdened with taking in otherwise well looked after pets, meaning there is more space for abused and abandoned animals that need the refuge. As for the welfare of all animals, this piece of technology has made it easier hold irresponsible keepers accountable when they are involved in incidences. FITNESS TRACKERS Pet obesity has really come to the forefront in recent years and humans are no longer alone in making use of wearable tech to be more aware of how active they are and to encourage increased movement. While promoting a healthy, low fat diet is effective in maintaining the weight of a pet, fitness trackers help to remind owners how important it is to keep their companions moving. According to PDSA’s 2017 PAW Report, just 52 percent of dog owners said they walked their dog more than once a day (a minor uptick from 2016 which was 49 percent) while 33 percent walked their pooches just once a day. The research also showed that 4.2 million dogs (45 percent) were only getting up to 30 minutes of exercise during a walk and 93,000 were never walked at all (one percent). With modern life becoming more sedentary for many people, these trackers can help to give owners the push they need to keep their pets fit. SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS Working patterns mean many people are not able to give their pets the attention they would wish to, and not all owners can afford a dog walker or pet sitter. In this case, some owners have opted for surveillance cameras to keep connected with their pets and keep them company from a remote location. Some cameras are even advanced enough to be voice activated and have the ability to follow commands, so treats can be dispensed and a pet doesn’t have to feel lonely during the day. APPS Pet-related apps are more of an aid to owners than anything else with features ranging from first aid, click training, lost pet alerts, and pet communities. The majority of people look at a screen at some point in the day so it’s no wonder that part of an owner’s pet parenting may depend on an app. December 2018