If you love your tech and you love your pet – then how about investing in a GPS fitness tracker for your pampered pooch or monitoring your furry friend with a treat ball that doubles up as a pet spy-cam?

It might all sound a bit barking mad, but so-called smart collars that track your pet, are all the rage in America (where else?) and are coming to a pet store near you. But keeping tabs of your wayward hound doesn’t come cheap with some collars such as the Link AKC costing around $199 or £154.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the price tag includes somesort of magic that could walk your dog, feed it and scoop up its you know what – but alas – no. The Link AKC collar does however, have a GPS tracker so you know where your dog is at all times (good for those Fenton moments) as well as a host of other wellbeing indicators.

The smart collar uses a unique algorithm that can work out what counts as intense exercise for your dog, meaning you can adjust walkies accordingly to get exactly the right amount. And if you had any doubt about your money being well spent, it also gives you helpful tips about how much activity your pooch needs based on its age, breed and size.

Other smart collars such as the inspiredly named…wait for it…FitBark, give you a daily fitness goal for your pet to meet – which you can of course sync with your own fitness tracker (which is either cute or weird). And if you’re a pushy pet parent, then you can compare your dog’s (and your) activity levels with those of others in a top dog leader board.

Or, if a GPS fitness tracker is just too silly for you to contemplate, then howl about the EasyPlay ball which launches in July. It’s not just any old ball, it’s a monitor so you can view your pet all day long if you’re away or at work (who needs YouTube when you can spy on your own). As well as a camera, you can operate the EasyPlay ball remotely, using it as a toy to encourage your pets to interact and play with it. You can also talk to your pet via the ball (if you really want to confuse it); plus, if you want it to, EasyPlay will dispense treats in your absence.

There are plenty of pet owners who are convinced that gadgetry is the way forward and the pet tech industry is predicted to be worth nearly £2 billion by 2022. It might sound a bit nuts, but with our increasingly busy lives, sometimes our pets can get a bit forgotten and smart collars and interactive spy balls do give busy pet owners a way of making sure that their furry friends get the exercise and stimulation they need.

Being able to monitor your pet’s activity levels can only be a good thing – you might think a mooch around the park is enough, but your dog’s age and breed might mean it’s hankering for a marathon (or at least a half one). As annoying as it might be to have a gadget call you out on your lackadaisical dog walking habits – it’ll ultimately mean a happier and healthier hound.

But if you’re not convinced and prefer to monitor your dog’s activities the good old fashioned way – by just being with it – then there are other ways in which you can invest in your furry companion’s welfare. Which is where pet insurance comes in, rather than being an unnecessary expense, appropriate cover means that Fido and Kitty will get the treatment they need, when they need it. So, sniff out what’s on offer in our pets’ hub and keep those nine lives intact.

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