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Pet Care Powers Up

NEW YORK — Americans love their pets, with last year singing the tune of approximately $11 billion spent on pet services nationwide. Inevitably, many aspects of pet care can be solved with the use of technology, and numerous CE retailers are welcoming the chance to grab a piece of the pet-care pie. Pictured here are some of the more innovative technology- based pet-care solutions currently, or soon to be, on the market.

FitBark is an app-driven ruggedized, waterproof activity tracker that records a dog’s fitness regime and can compare it to a baseline health rating from the same breed. FitBark monitors a dog’s everyday activity and turns the data into Bark- Points to help owners understand a dog’s overall health, explain changes in behavior, make better decisions with the vet, and share memorable moments with friends and family.

The PetziConnect from Petzila is a Wi-Fi-connected device that allows owners to view HD video, dispense treats, and speak to and snap pictures of their pets remotely via a smartphone or tablet. It integrates an HD camera, high-quality audio and the ability to dispense a pet’s favorite treat at the touch of a button via the PetziConnect app. In addition, the iOS and Android app allows owners to share their pet photos and videos via social media and the company’s own “social Petwork.”

The second-generation version of the Tagg GPS Plus Pet Tracker features a redesigned Track- Lock collar attachment system and nationwide GPS tracking that will send text and email alerts when a pet strays beyond its customizable safe zone. It also features an ambient temperature sensor to help prevent heat stroke or prolonged exposure to extreme cold. It is IP67-certified waterproof and adds an accelerometerbased motion sensor that calculates the pet’s activity level throughout the day. Owners can monitor rest, light activity, moderate activity and high activity. The activity is then translated into Tagg points to allow a user to set fitness goals and recognize trends symptomatic of potential life-threatening issues. It retails for $99.

Zingy, an app billed as the “Uber of dog walking,” launched last month in the Los Angeles area, linking dog owners with more than 300 dog walkers who have joined the company since launch. The certified dog walkers have successfully graduated from a dedicated Zingy Academy, an extensive vetting process that trains and educates walkers. An additional 800 new applicants are currently going through the process so that the service can expand to more neighborhoods. The app, from Ideo, is free from the Apple App Store and Google Play for Android devices.

Gibi is a ruggedized, waterproof GPS collar tag for a dog or cat that tracks the pet in real time via a free app. The tag can be slipped on any collar and via the app can be set to monitor safe zones and send text, email and app notifications if the pet leaves the zone. Instant, precise location tracking is delivered with one touch of the app.

Petcube is a Wi-Fi-enabled video-monitoring device for pets featuring a 138-degree wide-angle camera that streams 720p video to a portable device via an iOS or Android app, and a two-way microphone and speaker to communicate with house-bound pets. It also features a built-in 5mW 3R class laser that can be controlled from a touchscreen, to give your pets something to chase when you’re not around to exercise them. Petcube retails for $199, or a pair for $359.

Hot Keys is a solution for cat owners who are tired of finding their pet sprawled out on their warm laptop keyboard. The padded raised foam mat has a USB port and cord that attaches to the laptop to heat the bed. It is available at Meow