Pets: There's an App for your Best Friends
Techlife News|October 19, 2019
With pet care spending topping $72.56 billion in the United States alone last year, there’s little wonder why companies are cashing in on our obsession for cats, dogs, and other furry friends. This week, we delve deeper into the technology that is improving the lives of our pets, from the pet-friendly portrait mode on the iPhone 11 to pet healthcare innovations…
Photography: Chritian Vieler

A BOOMING INDUSTRY

With the average American spending an eyewatering $1,300 on their pets every year, the pet industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, with many pet parents prioritizing their pet’s health and happiness above their own. What’s more, we’re increasingly seeing Gen Z and millennial audiences turning to pets to ‘fill the void’ of marriage and parenthood, which they’re putting off until later life due to career and financial limitations, whilst many of us rely on our pets for reassurance and comfort in today’s challenging times.

And it’s not just expensive cat food and veterinary bills we’re paying for - treats, bedding, and clothing are all common expenses for those with a loyal companion, and technology is coming into play, too. Indeed, the tech lovers amongst us are now reaching for our wallets to invest in technology and gadgets for our pets, whether that’s an app-powered water bowl or a camera so we can watch and interact with our pets when we’re out of the house during the day. Whilst many of these gadgets are fads and designed for a quick laugh, some of them can change our pets’ lives and create more welcoming, caring environments for all…

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

It’s hard to come up with an inventive idea for a new app nowadays - every concept has been tried and tested a hundred times before, and the pet industry is no exception. Head to the App Store or Play Store and you’ll find thousands of pet-inspired apps, from games to play on our phones to full pet monitors and trackers for ovulation, pet’s mental health and more. Indeed, in today’s technology-obsessed world, more of us than ever are turning to our smartphones for help with caring for our pets and building deeper bonds through technology.

PetCoach, for example, is a useful source of pet advice with tips from qualified experts, and you can ask for personalized advice on how to raise your pet and overcome challenges for free. BarkHappy, on the other hand, is designed as a social network for dog-lovers, allowing you to find dog walking meet-ups and likeminded owners in your neighborhood to walk together and make new friends, while Doggo is a personal pocket coach for your pets, with more than 50 commands for dogs with daily basis progress reports and an in-built clicker which allows you to choose a sound your dog likes the most.

And for those without their own pet, or for those who want to experience the fun of owning a different pet like a parrot or a hamster, there are hundreds of apps to consider, too. From My Talking Pet, which allows you to super-impose your voice onto your pet’s face and have them talk to you, to Parakeet Pet, where you can raise your own “therapeutic” virtual parrot and collect points for your efforts, there is truly something for everyone - and with iOS and iPadOS features such as augmented reality and now Apple Arcade, the chances are that these games will only become more immersive.

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