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  • Writer's pictureCameron Jones

Unleashing Potential: How Wearable Tech is Revolutionizing Pet Care

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

In an era where technology pervades every aspect of our lives, even our furry companions are experiencing the revolutionary benefits of digitization. Wearable technology for dogs and cats is transforming pet care, providing pet owners and veterinarians unprecedented insights into the lives and health of pets.

I have a complicated relationship with my smartwatch. I am thankful for all of the reminders that keep my busy life on track. My faithful portable fitness coach reminds me to drink water and even congratulates me for just walking around. It measures my heart rate and the oxygen saturation in my blood. I remember struggling to afford such fancy technology for my Veterinary ER twenty years ago and today, tens of millions of us are walking around with oscillometric, gyroscopic, photoplethysmographic, and global positioning technology on our wrists or fingers.

Fancy names aside, wearable tech has become a vital tool for our health and a tool of rising importance in monitoring our pets. Tags and collars are now equipped with chips that sense motion and light to measure to paint a comprehensive picture of a pet’s vital signs, sleep, movements, exact location, and vital signs day and night.

I have been using a smart collar from Maven.

Data from this wearable technology is instantly available to both pet owners and veterinarians via a dedicated portal, enabling real-time monitoring and early intervention. I use them for post-operative monitoring, elderly pets, cardiac patients, and chronically ill patients and I love it!

Take, for instance, a patient of mine, Monte, who has recently undergone heartworm treatment. Using the Maven collar, subtle yet potentially significant variations in his activity levels were detected between weekdays and weekends. This allowed for timely informed discussions with the pet owner about Monte's recovery, without necessitating a physical consultation. With Maven collars, I can see all of the patients who are wearing them in one glance when I start my day so I always know what is happening with my patients - and soon respiratory rate monitoring will be available too!

Pace and Invoxia are two other collars making strides in this domain and others are not far behind. Even Maven will be adding vital monitoring in the next few months. It provides continuous monitoring of a pet’s vitals, reporting the data directly to the owner’s phone. This feature is particularly beneficial for monitoring cardiac patients, as a pet’s sleeping or resting respiratory rate is the most sensitive indicator of their cardiac health. The information can be shared individually with your veterinarian if owners choose.

Other noteworthy contributions to the field of pet wearable technology. The Whistle, Fi Collars, and Halo collars offer GPS information which is a crucial feature for pet safety and location tracking. Some even have a call feature to get your pet to return when they are out of sight.

Even owners of diabetic pets, like my little patient Lucy, can be monitored by wearable technology. A skin sensor monitors glucose levels in the body and reports directly to her owner’s phone, allowing owners to monitor their pet even on the go. One sensor lasts for two weeks

The surge in pet wearable technology is a testament to our evolving relationship with our pets. Tools like these are not just gadgets; they are bridges to understanding and caring for our pets like never before. They empower pet owners and veterinarians with information, enabling proactive care, and ensuring the well-being of our furry companions.

No technology is perfect of course. Just ask the kind man who picks up our lab samples each day. His watch keeps asking him if he has fallen down when he bends over to pick up the samples. And when he says no, the watch asks, “Are you sure?” Wearable tech has to be charged and there are monthly monitoring fees, and a pet has to get used to them, but overall, I am a much happier veterinarian when I get my Maven collar report each morning, and I bet if you check them out, you will be impressed too!

Explore the world of pet wearable technology. Whether you are a pet parent keen on understanding your furry friend better or a veterinarian aspiring to enhance patient care, these tools are invaluable assets in forging stronger bonds with our pets.

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