Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, there’s some clever tech out there to help you keep your pets happy and healthy.
From a human-cat translator to a treat-tossing dog camera, here’s our pick of 14 of the best apps and gadgets for people who love their four-legged friends.
Best tech for dog owners
Furbo 360 dog camera
Keep an eye on your furry family members – and let them know you’re thinking about them when you’re away from home – with the Furbo 360 dog camera (£139, or £89 when purchased with the Furbo Dog Nanny service). It enables you to make video calls and even hand out treats remotely.
Features include a 360-degree view with automatic tracking, colour night vision, and free barking alerts.
If you sign up to the Furbo Dog Nanny service (£69/year or £6.99/month), you also get alerts if your dog is chewing something, as well as access to a highlight video showing you what they’ve done while you’ve been out.
Training your puppy or rescue dog to follow simple commands is a vital part of ensuring you and your dog have a happy life together.
The Puppr app is designed to help you do this and more. It includes more than 100 lessons, as well as training videos, and a live chat service.
It’s free to download and is available on both iOS and Android.
With BarkHappy, you can search for dog-friendly restaurants, parks, and hotels, connect with other dog owners in your local area, and launch an alert if your hound runs off.
Free to download on iOS and Android, it could be a great place to meet like-minded folk to join you on outings.
If you’ve ever wanted to see life through your canine companion’s eyes, you can mount your GoPro on your dog’s back or chest with the GoPro Fetch harness to see things from their point of view.
Machine washable, it is designed to work with all GoPro cameras and can be adjusted to fit small, medium, and large breeds.
Pricewise, it’s available for £34.99 from GoPro.
With Rover, you can connect with thousands of dog sitters and walkers across the UK and beyond.
All the sitters listed must be approved to appear and can be chosen according to public reviews left by other users, as well as by area and availability.
Other features of this app, which is available on iOS and Android, include the ability to track your dog’s walk and location through GPS.
Best tech for cat owners
Cats have a largely undeserved reputation for being mysterious and indecipherable, often to the point of being challenging to understand. Enter MeowTalk, the human-to-cat translation app that can turn your voice into hundreds of different kitty noises!
The app has samples from more than 25 cats as well as a soundboard of noises likely to interest your cat, such as birds and mice.
This fluffy bit of fun is available on both iOS and Android. It is free to download, with additional features available on subscription.
PetCube Play 2
PetCube Play 2 is another model of camera for keeping tabs on your furry friends while you’re away from home.
As with the Furbo model, it lets you see and talk to your pets using your smartphone.
But what makes this version more suited to cat owners is that it has a built-in laser pointer you can use to play with your feline from wherever you are. You can also set it up to entertain them automatically, if you prefer.
The only downside is that it’s only currently only available from the US at a price of $200 (£164).
Cat Fishing app
No, this isn’t some dodgy dating app. It’s a mobile game for cats – of course!
Created by the maker of Friskies cat food, it has 10 different pond and fish combinations to engage your cat in a virtual fishing scenario on your phone or tablet screen, whether you use iOS or Android.
Oscillot Containment System
If your cat is unused to the dangers of the outside world, or your neighbours are getting grouchy about feline intruders, you may be interested in the Oscillot roller fence system.
Designed to keep even the most determined escape artists safely inside the back garden, the spinning paddles fixed atop your fencing will nevertheless only work if you have high, hole-free fences on which to fix it.
Prices start at £47 for a 1.2 metre roller kit.
Cleaning out the litter tray is probably not your favourite part of being a cat custodian.
The Litter-Robot self-cleaning litter box removes much of the dirty work by sifting through the litter after each use and depositing the soiled litter into a waste drawer.
It even has a carbon filter to reduce unwanted odours. But with prices starting at £539, this cat kit requires a much bigger investment than your average litter tray!
Cats and dogs: automatic food dispensers
Xiaomi’s automatic Smart Pet Food Feeder (£99.99) can dispense different size servings according to the schedule you set for your pet. You can update the schedule remotely, if you’re out later than expected, for example. For owners with especially greedy fuzzballs, the company claims the feeder is tamper-resistant. Xiaomi also notes that the feeder isn’t suitable for puppies and kittens or large dogs.
Other dispensers worth looking at include the stylish Petlibro Essential feeder, which comes in a range of sizes from £69.99 on Amazon and can dispense up to 50 portions a day. If you’re looking for a budget option, the Iris Ohyama dispenser for cats costs just £21.99 and does both biscuits (up to 1.5kg) and water (2L) – more than enough to keep your moggy fed and watered.