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Pets go digital

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While humans are busy embracing the digital revolution, our pets may not be far behind.

Although they can’t read this blog (yet), you might be surprised by some of the things that digital technology is starting to make possible.

Dog emotion sensors

Is your dog happy, angry, upset or just plain hungry? While still in the development stages, emotion sensors could eventually tell us exactly how our canine pals are feeling.

A DogStar TailTalk is a smart device placed on your dog’s tail that (according to developers) ‘helps you understand complex tail language’. Another innovative device, the Inupathy collar, monitors your dog’s heart-rate and changes colour to show you its emotions.

Audiobooks for dogs

If you’re a dog lover you’ll almost certainly have heard of Cesar Millan. The self-titled Dog Whisperer can get the most disobedient of hounds to do pretty much whatever he wants them to. And apparently that now includes listening to audiobooks.

Yes you read that right. Cesar has teamed up with Amazon’s Audible to launch a new audiobook service named Audible for Dogs. The titles are selected by Cesar for their ability to keep your pet happy and calm at home while you’re out and about.

But these are not recordings of dogs snuffling and scratching, they are actual proper books. Included on the list so far are Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, The Art of Racing in the Road by Garth Stein and Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.

While the dogs may not understand a word of what is being read to them, a study by Cesar’s team found that 76% of people who played the audiobooks to their dogs reported them to be calmer after four weeks. 

Pet GPS trackers

A pet owner’s worst nightmare is their pet being stolen, or wandering off and not returning. Thankfully pet trackers, which have been around for a while now, are getting more and more advanced.

Not only are they becoming much smaller and lighter, they can now track your pet’s location in real time from your smartphone. Trackers such as PawTrax will actually find the animal’s location using GPS, then text your mobile with a Google map link.

Pet-to-human translators

Another product still in the development stages, translation devices should eventually be able to convert your dog’s bark or brain waves into human language.

Currently a professor at Northern Arizona University is raising money to develop a cat and dog translation device after analysing calls made by prairie dogs using AI software. It was discovered that the animal has various ‘words’ that describe colours and species of predators.

While a lot of people keep cats and dogs for companionship and talk to them on a regular basis, just imagine the possibilities if they could somehow talk back.


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