Pet tags go high tech for health and safety (and sometimes just for fun)
Of course it’s the digital age, so why shouldn’t we expect our pets to get high-tech tagged along with their microchips? I like the concept, even if it’s just because it raises the profile of pet tagging.
To me it makes little difference to me what kind of tag you use—just use something to prove your pet is owned and loved should she escape her confines or run amok after a storm. If it takes a fancy collar or high-tech tag to recruit your compliance on this issue, so be it. But first consider: a microchip is your backup. The tag’s the real thing.
Now that I’ve exposed you to my party line on tagging, here’s a bunch of cool new collars and tags that do more than just help identify your pet. Some allow you to croon to your beloved from afar. Others measure activity level and drive. One even takes great pics to spice up your collection.
Whatever the use--health, safety or entertainment--this tech toy geek thinks they’re all worth having. Just make sure your dog has a strong and healthy neck f you’re planning to splurge on all of them.
1-The SNiF tag, due out this spring, records your dog’s daily movements then uploads them to the Internet for your viewing pleasure. Activity level is recorded when the tag moves. You can then observe trends in this movement over weeks and months so you can get a leg up on any major changes in behavior that can alert you to health concerns. More than that, though, this tag allows for the recording of dog-dog interactions when your dog interacts with other SNiF wearers.
There’s even an online community planned so that SNiFfers can compare their dog’s recordings to those of other pets of similar breeds, weights and ages and chat about their SNiF results. Cool, no? Just don’t expect your cat or your Maltepoo to wear it. It looks pretty heavy.
2-Less high-tech but probably equally useful is the Walk4Life Pet Pedometer. It counts the number of steps your pet takes. Again, this is a dog product and I don’t expect the little ones to wear it well due to its size. Nonetheless, I love it best for the feature that counts your dog’s cumulative minutes of daily activity. And you want to feed him how much??
3-The Wonderful Shot Dog Camera might not be the most health-oriented gadget, but it looks like soooo much fun! It’s a 3.5 megapixel camera with 8 MB of memory that hooks onto your dog’s collar (OK, nothing for cats, yet, I’m afraid). You can automatically set it to take pics at certain intervals or you can work it by remote control.
4-Then there are the GPS dog collars. I love these! But they’re so big!! My Sophie Sue could never cart one of these around with her sensitive neck. Still, these are great devices with really neat features:
The PetsCell is the newest of these with a waterproof cell phone attached in addition to the GPS locator. Should you decide to call Fido, you’re automatically put on speakerphone for him to hear the long string of expletives letting him know he’s way wrong to have wandered off (think he’ll come home after that?).
The Global Pet Finder from Nokia also has a cell phone feature that allows for calls to your cell phone or PDA alerting you when Fido’s again gone astray. The boundaries of his enclosure can be programmed into the collar so that you know exactly when he’s gone off your property.
5-Finally, here’s one that also works for kitties. The Top Tag Pet ID is a 64 MB flash drive that lives in a small plastic tag worn on your pet’s collar (or which can be attached to his crate or carrier when traveling). Because it has so much available memory, Fluffy’s whole life story, medical history, favorite foods and secret spots for belly rubs can be entered by you and retrieved by the finder. For a diabetic cat, this could be a life-saver.
If you have any more fun devices to contribute to this list, please do so!