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Techno Dogs
A survey of milestones and innovations.


You might say that dogs were our first high-tech projects. As we co-evolved, we learned how to direct and develop dogs’ skills to benefit ourselves and to extend our reach. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and developments in technology are blasting at us at warp speed. From the basic (converting poo to power) to the jaw-dropping (growing bionic bone), technology holds a promise of better lives—not to mention some pretty cool gizmos—for us all. Here are a few highlights.


Start with a curious mind, add a dash of technology and what do you get?

  • Ashpoopie, a tool that applies a special formula to dog waste, turning it almost immediately to ash.
  • Poo Prints, a way to determine the source of uncollected dog waste via DNA.
  • Pet CFL, a light bulb with a built-in ionizer that releases negative ions, which bond with dander and remove it from the air.
  • The Judd Treat Machine, create your own high tech remote treat dispenser—inventor John Krantz made his venture (named after his dog) an open sourced project, providing the Python code and CAD model free online.
  • iSeePet360, a feeder with a built-in web cam and USB connection that allows you to see and speak to your dog and make food and water available remotely.
  • SureFlap, a pet door that recognizes dogs (and cats) by their microchips, and can be programmed to allow or deny entry at specifi c times.
  • PetChatz, a “greet and treat” videophone that puts you in touch with your dog when you’re away from home.
  • Dog Caller, a collar that sends a text message if your dog is overheating.
  • WaterDog, a canine drinking fountain that uses a sonar presence sensor to identify when your dog is within three feet, turn on the water, and turn it off when she walks away.


Where there’s a problem, technology can often offer a fix, or at least an improvement.

  • Light-therapy pads and cold lasers are non-invasive ways to treat joint problems, relieve pain and swelling, and speed up healing.
  • Dogs with heart problems are now having pacemakers implanted, improving both the quality and the length of their lives.
  • Tweet your peep—when dogs go missing, people frequently turn to social media such as Twitter to enlist help in finding them.
  • For pups who roam, several types of GPS tracking devices monitor a dog’s location and activities and send email or text messages if he goes out of bounds.
  • From Petfinder.com to Facebook to Pinterest, rescue groups are making increasingly sophisticated use of online resources to find homes for their dogs.
  • More dog hair than time to clean it up? Automatic vacuum units busily whisk around the house while you’re gone, then tuck themselves back into their charging bases.
  • Vets are beginning to take advantage of Skype and other video-call systems to facilitate remote consultations and minimize stress for dogs dealing with serious conditions.


Want to dress up a virtual dog, find an actual dog park or give your dog’s social life a boost? There’s an app for that … and for a whole lot more.




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JoAnna Lou
JoAnna Lou
Karen B. London
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