Phone apps help track pets’ activity, nutrition

Google apps are shown on an Apple iphone 5 in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California, April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Google apps are shown on an Apple iphone 5 in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California, April 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Dog and cat lovers have a new way to make sure their pets get plenty of exercise and nourishment: phone apps that track how much an animal plays, runs, sleeps and eats.

Whistle, an iPhone app and monitor worn on a dog’s collar that was launched last week, measures an animal’s activity throughout the day. The app can track changes over time and can compare exercise levels with other dogs of the same breed.

Created with input from veterinarians, Whistle Labs’ app aims to help owners detect early medical problems by showing changes in a dog’s activity level and behavior compared to other animals of the same age, breed and weight.

“What (veterinarians) get today are hyperemotional responses, often driven by one or two anecdotes,” said Ben Jacobs, chief executive of the San Francisco-based company.

“What we found out was that a) vets didn’t really have the information they needed and b) there’s no breed weight and age standards,” he added in an interview.

The app gathers data from a small circular device attached to a dog’s collar. An accelerometer in the device detects motion, helping to determine if the dog is playing, walking or resting. The rechargeable device is enabled for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The app also notifies owners of changes in a dog’s behavior, such as if it suddenly starts waking up at night.

“This is the first window you have into the dog’s entire day,” Jacobs said.

The monitor costs $99.95 and the app is free for iPhones. Whistle Labs said it is also gathering data about dog activity by breed and weight for research use.

Another app called Pintofeed, which is linked to a Wi-Fi-connected feeder and costs $149, allows owners to feed their dogs and cats remotely and set feeding schedules.

“People lead busy lives and don’t really want to have to deal with another task. The feeder is autonomous and manages the feeding for you so you don’t have to rush home from work,” said Carlos Herrera, co-founder and president of Pasadena, Calif.-based Pintofeed.

“The app is meant to be a management and notification device. You’ll get alerts saying your dog skipped a meal, or your batteries are running low, or the food is running low,” he added.

For owners who want to keep tabs on the location of their dogs and cats, an app call Tagg for iPhone and Android provides the information.

The GPS-enabled tracker attaches to the collar of a pet and tracks the animal’s location on a map. Users receive alerts when the pet ventures outside a particular range and they can also view activity levels.

Tagg costs $99.95 and has a subscription fee of $7.95 per month.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.