Smart way to calm pets Road app cost stays a mystery
Human love best: RSPCA
PET owners are using technology to create makeshift doggie daycare centres at home, installing internet-savvy gadgets to check on their pups from afar, host video chats, and even to throw them dog treats.
Animal behaviour specialists said the technology had the potential to help anxious dogs and pet owners trying to soothe them during work days, but the RSPCA warned they were “in no way a substitute for the physical care and attention that a pet needs”.
The technology, including the new Petcube Bites device and Furbo Dog Camera, is part of a growing smart home trend that is forecast to revolutionise Australian houses next year.
Australian shopping expert Kathy Sheeran said smart pet technology was becoming a huge trend this holiday season as consumers sought to buy something for everyone in the family. “Pet products are a big thing this Christmas,” she said.
“We spend billions of dollars a year in Australia on our pets and pet cams have become very popular.”
Animal behavioural consultant Dr Cam Day said the devices, which ranged from $50 to $400, weren’t just a novelty but a useful tool for treating dogs with separation anxiety disorders.
“They’re a great idea, mainly because the way work routines are going none of us are working the 37.5-hour week and many dogs don’t tolerate absences like that,” he said.
“Who cares about the smart airconditioners and the TV and the robotic vacuum cleaners? We need robots to look after our dogs these days.”
Symptoms of anxious dogs included whining, howling and crying, he said, though some dogs left alone could develop panic disorders, leading to destructive behaviour.
“I think these are wonderful devices,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said the smart pet technology could provide “useful insight”, but warned they could not replace human companionship.
“They are in no way a substitute for the physical care and attention that a pet needs,” the spokeswoman said. THE Territory Government has released yet another app but doesn’t know what it cost taxpayers.
The free Road Report NT app helps drivers map their journey by providing updates on the latest road conditions anywhere across the Territory.
The new app joins the previously released MyFuel NT website and another app for reporting anti-social behaviour to be rolled out early next year.
The Government copped flak when it was revealed its MyFuel NT site was accessed just 26,000 times in a year, but cost $250,000.
A spokesman for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Minister Eva Lawler said the app meant information previously only available on the roadreport.nt.gov.au website would now be accessible via smartphone and tablet.
“With the wet season upon us, the app is a free and easy way to check road conditions anywhere in the NT, plan a journey and travel safely,” he said.
The spokesman said the Road Report app was a collaboration between departments and Charles Darwin University. “It’s part of a program which develops a wide range of projects and DIPL can’t put a specific dollar figure on the development,” he said.
The Petcube Bites smart home device lets pet owners monitor their furry friends from afar using internet-connected cameras, and even throw them treats remotely