Yep, they’ve thought of everything! Technology to entertain our furry friends while we’re absent certainly isn’t a new phenomenon, but the levels at which it’s being adopted – particularly now, as some of the working populous are returning to the office – are skyrocketing. So, what’s out there and how will it benefit you and the pets in your life?

Petcube Pet Camera
After spending so much time your pets’ company over the last year, separation anxiety can be just as prevalent in owners. The solution? Stick a Petcube camera in the home, positioned so that you can track them via a handy app on your smartphone. Limited to internal use – you’ll need to keep it connected to the mains and within reach of a Wi-Fi signal – it has a 110-degree wide-angle lens to capture it all. And with two-way audio included, you can nip to the office dunny and chat with your pets!

What we like:
• 1080p HD video
• Night vision for up to nine metres
• Two-way audio
• It can be positioned anywhere in the house

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Petcube Bites 2
If you want to step up your game in the camera stakes, the Petcube Bites 2 will warrant further investigation. This significantly larger unit contains a camera, a mic and a speaker complete with built-in Amazon Alexa, so you can throw on Who Let the Dogs Out for your pooch in your absence. But the big point of difference here is the treat dispenser. Fill it up with suitable goodies, download the app, and launch the occasional treat to break your pet’s boredom.

What we like:
• The wide 160-degree angle lens
• The inclusion of Amazon Alexa
• Being able to launch treats from the app is an excellent idea – in moderation of course

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Petoneer Fresco Pro Smart Pet Fountain
Gone are the days of leaving a big bowl of dirty water outside for your pets to slurp and slobber in. This handy smart device holds two litres of filtered water and provides a bubbling fountain to drink from; your pets are probably drinking better quality water than you are here. Connected via an app, you’ll get push notification alerts to your smartphone if the water level is getting low, or if the water quality is a little suspect.

What we like:
• Easy to clean
• The LED indicator will change colour if the water quality is bad

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Dogness App Feeder
The Dogness App Feeder is a great safety net if you get caught in a meeting, stuck at the bar, or away on business. This one holds six litres of food that is dispensed in accordance to the size of your dog to prevent overfeeding. The amount – and indeed frequency – at which the food is dispensed can be controlled via the Dogness app. The unit connects via USB and is backed up with battery support to counter any potential power cuts.

What we like:
• The piece of mind it affords pet owners
• How much control is at the user’s fingertips through the app

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Tractive GPS DOG 4 Tracker for dogs
If you belong to a local community page on social media, you’re likely used to seeing regular lost dog posts. Should you be an owner of a four-legged furry fugitive, this device might be just what the vet ordered. Using LTE technology (a type of 4G tech), dogs can be live tracked, and by setting up a virtual fence, once said pooch gets mobile, you’ll be alerted. Easily attached to the collar, it’s also possible to set active targets for more sedentary dogs and track performance; think of it as a fitness tracker for your dog. Although relatively low in cost, there is a subscription service attached to it.

What we like:
• Easy to charge, the battery lasts up to five days
• Location history and the ability to live-track your woofer

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

iFetch Too
Designed for medium to larger dogs, the iFetch Too effectively lobs tennis balls over three selectable distances – three, seven and 12 metres – depending on how big your garden is, or how hard you want to work Fido. A rechargeable battery makes the unit easily transportable and one full charge will deliver close to 300 ejections. And this is the good bit –
if your dog is well trained, you could even teach it to drop the ball in the large opening situated on the top and send itself on a run, leaving you more time to relax.

What we like:
• The different distance settings
• Portability

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Cheerble Wicked Ball
The fabric-covered Cheerble Wicked Ball is the perfect playmate for the feline in your life. The core in the middle of the ball delivers eight hours of battery power and entertainment. The ball runs in blocks of time, so for ten minutes it will vibrate and roll around the floor and then rest for 30 minutes before continuing the cycle. However, if the cat paws the sphere, it will leap into action. It also features an inbuilt anti-avoidance system to prevent it from getting jammed up against furniture, while flashing LED lights will also help to keep the cat amused. The completely safe outer synthetic cover is washable.

What we like:
• The interactive cycles designed to mix up activities
• By using the 30-minute downtime, the cat won’t become bored

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Cheerble Wicked Bone
Bones are to dogs what cheese is to wine. But if your hound is anything like ours, that moment of obsessive osseous appreciation is short-lived, and when that last bit of cartilage is stripped, it’s left on the lawn to stub a toe on. The Cheerble Wicked Bone, which connects to an app via Bluetooth, is a feature-packed smart device/bone that has an auto-play setting (if your dog runs off, it will roll after it). And the bit we like the best: a drive mode. This lets the user control the bone directly from a virtual joystick in the app, delivering fun for owner and dog alike. It’s easily cleaned and when the tyres wear out, they can be replaced.

What we like:
• An excellent selection of different functions for entertainment
• The app-driven component is good fun

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi