Share This Page

These gadgets can make pets better family members

| Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, 9:38 p.m.

Cute and cuddly they may be, but even the most beloved pet can have behaviors and needs that its owner struggles to deal with.

Technology might be the answer for keeping your four-legged pals safe, comfortable and well-behaved. Consider these products for helping canines and felines become better family members:

Collars

Today's collars do more than hold dog tags or fight fleas. The Canicom remote training collar by Dogtek allows dog owners to combine vocal commands with electronic beeps and impulses. Corrective commands can be given even if the dog is a distance away. Retails for $189. Bark-control collars are available. www.dogtek.com/products/remote-training/canicom-200-remote-training-collar

Get a peek at your small one's adventures with a camera developed especially for use on cats and dogs. Made by Dogtek and retailing for $99, the Eyenimal Pet Video Camera offers continuous recording of digital images for up to 2½ hours. Images can be transmitted to a computer using the cable provided. www.dogtek.com/products/pet-camera/

Grooming and feeding

Automated pet feeders can be great for convenience, portion control and feeding a pet during a long absence. Perfect Petfeeder by Pillar Pet Products is a programmable unit that asks questions about feeding times and portions. The hopper holds up to 42 cups of dry pet food. Retail price is $499. www.perfectpetfeeder.com/

Shedding can be an annoyance for pet owners. Dyson Groom Tool combines a brush and a vacuum for grooming and cleaning. The attachment fits most Dyson upright and canister models and retails for $69.99. www.dyson.com/tools/g/groom-tool/petgroomtool.aspx

FURminator makes a $16 Curry Comb that removes dust and loose hair from long and medium coats. It has an ergonomic handle, and it's made from antimicrobial plastic. The rubber teeth stimulate natural oil production for a healthy sheen. www.furminator.com/grooming-tools/dogs/curry-comb

Automatic litter box

Among the innovative products in the self-cleaning litter box category is CatGenie, made by PetNovations. The self-cleaning, self-flushing litter box hooks up to the cold water intake at a sink, toilet or washing machine. The drain hose hooks over a toilet rim or to the drainpipe behind a washing machine. The process is intended to be a straightforward, do-it-yourself setup. CatGenie uses washable granular crystals that are considered more environmentally beneficial than cat litter. A litter box and four-month supply of crystals/sanitary solution retails for $234. www.catgenie.com/

Indoor pet barriers

Keep cats and dogs out of restricted areas and off the furniture with Sound Barrier, a wireless indoor sonic fence that uses a collar to trigger noise, rather than an electric shock, to scare pets away. Retails for $79.99. www.hitecpet.com/soundbarrier.html

Michael J. Solender is a writer for The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.