Gift Guide for the Connected Pet


While I usually spend my time as B&H’s chief machine biologist, dealing with silicon, plastic, and metal creatures, I thought I’d take some time to talk about the ones made from fur and slobber and hairballs. In researching this piece, I learned a lot about carbon-based life forms (did you know that real dogs fetch regular sticks, not just selfie sticks?). I also learned that they need tech toys, too, so here’s a list of presents to perk up your pet.

Revo Adjustable Selfie-Stick

When it’s dark out but your canine friend needs to go outside, it’s important for her to be visible to you, as well as drivers and other pedestrians. That’s why Brite-Strike made the Solar/USB Lighted Dog Collar. Available in small, medium, and large, this handsome collar dresses your pup up for playtime or pee time and shines brightly in either steady or strobe mode. The battery pack can be recharged via micro-USB or the built-in solar panel for up to 2.5 hours of run time.

Brite-Strike Solar/USB Lighted Dog Collar

For even more visibility, Brite-Strike’s Solar/USB Lighted Dog Leash applies the same principle to—you guessed it—a leash. This one can be adjusted from 41 to 60" long and has the same 2.5-hour battery life as its collar counterpart.

Brite-Strike Solar/USB Lighted Dog Leash

Some dogs do more than chew shoes and bring unconditional love into your life: they hunt. If you’re lucky enough to join them on expeditions, you can keep track of them with Garmin’s Astro 430 GPS Dog Tracking System. This system uses GPS, a 3-axis compass, and a barometric altimeter to track up to 20 dogs wearing the Garmin T 5 or T 5 Mini tracking collar, and can be purchased in a set with a single collar. 2.5-second location updates let you record your hunts and the Covey Counter shows the location, time, and elevation of where you found your prey. The color display is sunlight-readable and displays maps or satellite imagery from the included one-year subscription to BirdsEye Satellite Imagery.

Garmin Astro 430 GPS Dog Tracking System with T 5 Collar Device

For a slightly less involved way of keeping track of your pets, try Loc8tor’s Tabcat Pack. This pack contains two tags outfitted with RF technology that connect from up to 400' away to the included remote. Just press the corresponding tag’s button to hear the tag beep and LED indicators on the remote light up to show your distance. Four buttons let you connect to up to four tags, and the two included tags come with splash-proof cases.

Loc8tor Tabcat Pack

A similar solution comes in the form of the Chipolo Bluetooth Tracker, which has a 200' line-of-sight range, but uses a free app, available for Android and iOS instead of a remote. The tracker connects to your device via Bluetooth 4.0 LE and makes noise when activated. Through the app, you can also see the tag’s last known location.

Chipolo Bluetooth Tracker

If you think that your fuzzball is the cutest thing under the sun (and why shouldn’t you?), you might want to take some pictures and show him off to the world. Problem is, dogs and cats aren’t world-famous for their ability to sit still and pose. Books like Pet Photography 101: Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Dog or Cat and Photographing Dogs: Techniques for Professional Digital Photographers, help ease some of the frustration with tips and tricks on framing, positioning, scene setup, lighting, and more. Just make sure to reward your four-legged friend with a treat after a long photo shoot.

Focal Press Book: Pet Photography 101: Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Dog or Cat

Some animals are shy, though, so if your pet feels more comfortable behind the camera, you can turn them into videographers with Revo’s Woofer Dog Harness Mount. Designed for dogs (or very, very patient cats) weighing 15 to 120 lb, the harness has a pair of three-prong mounts that fit with a variety of action cameras. One mount is on the animal’s back and the other is on the chest, useful for varying perspectives and different breeds. The harness is washable and has two quick-release buckles.

Revo Woofer Dog Harness Mount for GoPro

Whatever you pick out for your pet, I’m sure they’ll love it. If not, give them an old sock to chew on. I hear they like that. Follow up with us in the Comments section, below.