Amid the daily excitement of you coming home, dinner time, and going for a W-A-L-K, your dog may not have clocked it, but 2023 was a hard year for canines.
- Dog intake at US shelters continued its post-pandemic rise, up ~22% since 2021.
- One in 10 pet owners rehomed their dogs, and another 11% thought about it.
- And even for those with a steady home situation, the house may’ve been a lot lonelier: ~2.5m Americans returned to the office in 2023.
Fortunately, 2024 is looking up. (If every dog has its day, then why can’t it have one 365x in a row?)
The AI-led future is here for the pooches
There are a handful of tech innovations ahead aiming to improve pups’ quality of life — and, perhaps, also make owners think twice about parting ways:
- Ogmen Robotics is currently displaying ORo, its robotic dog assistant, at CES. The sensor-packed ORo can autonomously move around a home, throw a ball, and its robotic face can display videos of a pet’s owner. It’ll go on sale in April for $799.
- If you’d rather have a more static doggy au pair, we previously covered Companion, an enrichment device loaded with dog games and a precision treat launcher debuting this summer.
- Another CES hit: Minitailz, a new $99 smart collar from Invoxia with live GPS tracking and heart-health scans. Its paired app has an AI chatbot agent that creates personalized pet reports and flags cardiac irregularities.
- Japan’s One by One is developing an $8/month streaming music service for dogs, with breed-specific mixes to soothe anxious dogs.
- Dog food is also becoming increasingly tech-forward: Pet food manufacturer PawCo Foods “leverages AI to enhance nutrition and palatability” for its plant-based meat.
We’re not entirely sure what that means, but neither will your dog, so it only stands to further unify man and man’s best friend.
Perhaps you’re a cat person? Worry not; they aren’t getting ignored here — Invoxia’s Minitailz is down ~100 grams in weight from its previous smart collar model, making it workable for any tech-savvy kitties.