Loading Up Lassie

Geek out your dog with these high-tech accessories, including a talking dish and a GPS-trackable collar

by John B. Carnett

John B. Carnett

Dept.: Maxed Out
Tech: Pet Gadgets
Cost: $1,840 plus dog
Steal | | | | | Splurge

[1] Too tired to let the dog in? The Staywell Infrared Locking Dog Door ($185; smarthome.com) opens automatically when a small fob on your dog´s collar beams a unique code to an infrared receiver on the door.

[2] Speaking of not getting up, skip the walk and put your pooch on the Jog A Dog (starting at $1,100; jogadog.com), a canine treadmill that comes in three sizes and goes up to 10 miles an hour.

[3] And for the truly lazy, the Petsafe Automatic 3 Meal Pet Feeder ($50; vpetgadgets.com)
dispenses kibble every 8, 12 or 24 hours. It can even play a recording of you calling the dog to dinner.

[4] For owners who do venture outside with their dogs, the Viatek Glow Leash ($30; viatekproducts.com) doesn´t glow much, but the handle´s dual-LED flashlight is just enough to illuminate the sidewalk ahead.

[4] Vets may disagree over whether your dog needs anti-fog, shatterproof UV eye protection (with interchangeable lenses), but c´mon: Doggles ($25; doggles.com) are pure prop comedy.

[6] Much more practical is the GlobalPetFinder, a GPS devicethat attaches to your dog´s collar. Set virtual boundaries and receive a text message or e-mail when he crosses them, or dial f-o-u-n-d on your cellphone to get his location anytime ($350 plus $18 a month; globalpetfinder.com).

[7] A cheaper way to find lost pets is simply to have your vet implant a rice-grain-size RFID microchip, such as the one from HomeAgain ($60; homeagainid.com), under your dog´s skin. If a shelter recovers him, workers can read the chip´s ID number with a handheld scanner and fetch your address from a database. Next up: a chip that also lets you read your dog´s temperature-the best indicator of his health-with a home scanner.

[8] The Dog-e-Tag ($40; dog-e-tag.com), a digital collar tag that can hold up to 40 lines of text, including name, address and dietary requirements, may be too geeky-it took me 20 minutes just to enter my dog´s name.

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