Every dog-owner knows the struggles of making it home in time to let the pup out, or the agony of waking up at 4am to let the Labrador outside to answer nature’s call. Well, there is good news to be heard. Wi-Fi enabled dog flaps and feeding dispensers are about to solve the most common problem known to the common pet owners.
Finding someone to pet-sit or look in your animals, whether it be a neighbour or a professional service used to involve someone else’s time and money. However, a new life-hack has revolutionised this and taken out the middle man, or in this case, your next-door neighbour who you have never really gotten to know. Dog-flaps and feeders are now being connected to home networks and controlled by their owners from across the country when they are too busy to come home. Now, from the touch of your smartphone, you can control when and where your pet is allowed to go outside without having to leave the office.
Pintofeed is just one of the many automatic food dispensers on the domestic pet market that is controlled by its own app on your iOS, Android or Windows 8 smartphone. Once connected to Wi-Fi, you can dictate as and when the dispenser releases food for your pet, and as the app has numerous personal features, it can create feeding schedules based on your typical feeding times. It can even set up reminders to ensure your pet doesn’t miss a meal.
Similarly, with dog flaps, brands such as PetSafe have created various devices that can be controlled externally. The dog-flap is connected to your home internet and mobile or tablet, and can be opened or locked at the owner’s desire. There is also the option of having a chip implanted in the dog’s collar which can connect to the dog-flap when your pet is within a certain radius. It is then activated to open when your pet attempts to exit the home and prevents unwanted neighbourhood creatures wandering into your home.
The products and technology are becoming even more sophisticated, with in-built webcams fitted in the dispensers with a live feed to your phone, allowing you to keep tabs on your animals at any time of day. It is paving the way for single pet-owners who do not have the funds or means of employing somebody else to care for their animals to no longer schedule their life, businesses and affairs around their pets.