For you and your fur baby.
If you have a furry friend in your life, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you will cherish your bond. They make every moment of every day more precious. If you find yourself looking forward to seeing your pet when you get home from work even though you just saw them that morning, you know exactly what we mean. Plus, there’s proof that animals help soothe some of our physical and mental issues: Caring for pets can lower your blood pressure and relieve anxiety. In short, they’ve earned their high place on your list of priorities.
Taking care of animals isn’t always a walk in the park, though. Even with the healthiest and lowest-maintenance animals, you’ve got to work around those feedings, groomings, and play sessions — cats and dogs thrive with punctuality and stimulation, after all. These tasks can be time-consuming and tricky to arrange, especially when life, work, and social engagements intervene.
Luckily, there are pet care companies devising solutions that relieve some of the stress. In the spirit of solving some very typical household hiccups, we’ve compiled this list of the most innovative and exciting pet gadgets that can make pet care easier: We sourced tools to help you feed, hydrate, and promote play when you’re busy or out of the house, with more options that cut down excess shedding to improve air quality (and the state of your upholstery). And most importantly, we found highly-rated gadgets that promote safety and security.
The Best Pet Gadgets of 2022
Pet Monitoring Treat Dispenser Camera
If you’re out of the house for a while, this treat dispenser will give you some much-needed peace of mind. The pet dispenser tosses treats so that your cat or dog will be incentivized to approach the dispenser (great for shy animals who tend to hide out of sight). Not only can you watch your pet via the camera, the two-way audio allows you to speak to them, too. And if your animal ever looks out of sorts, you can consult a veterinarian through the free Petcube app.
$110 at Chewy
An automatic feeder is a total lifesaver — it will ensure that you don’t have to set an alarm for a 6 am feeding on your day off (so you won’t have to deal with an angry cat nudging you awake). You can preset feedings, but you can also immediately dispense an impromptu meal using a free app. The device includes a voice recorder, too, so that your animal will still associate your voice with food. While this option is great for cats, small dogs, and medium dogs, here’s another feeder for larger pets.
$55 at Walmart
PetSafe Dancing Dot Laser Cat Toy
This laser toy provides hands-free entertainment and stimulation, ensuring your cat never gets bored. The toy (which is light enough to hang on a doorknob) shoots lasers around for your cat to “catch.” You can schedule rest modes between sessions to make sure that your cat doesn’t get overstimulated, too.
$22 at Chewy
Pet grooming kit and vacuum
We all love our pets, but that doesn’t mean we love their incessant shedding. Tidy things up with this at-home pet grooming kit. The device features a grooming brush, a deshedding brush, an electric clipper, and a nozzle head and cleaning brush for vacuuming up all the hair that’s accumulated around your furniture and floors.
$150 on Amazon
This “gadget” isn’t electronic or dependent on WiFi, but it’s innovative in ways beyond your wildest dreams. It’s a fairly simple, textured mat. To entertain your animal, spread a pet-friendly, gooey food onto the mat and let them lick. Licking is a calming behavior, so this mat can help soothe pets during storms or vet visits. Since it’s a suction mat, you can stick it to your shower tile while your animal receives a much-dreaded bath.
$11 at Walmart
SureFlap Microchip Small Dog & Cat Door
For pet owners with a yard, a small door can be a wonderful way for animals to zip in and out of the house as they please. However, traditional pet flaps have a major drawback: Any strange animal that is hungry and curious can also enter, and no one wants rats, stray cats, possums, or skunks strolling into their kitchen. This smart flap solves the intruder problem using technology that recognizes your pets’ microchips or ID tags and unlocks the door only for them. The door can be programmed to recognize up to 32 pets, so you’ll easily be able to accommodate all of your animals.
$230 at Chewy
Bluetooth Dog and Cat Tags
By now, you’ve likely heard of tracking tags. These little devices can help you locate your animal if they’re wandering around your property or neighborhood, if they’ve run away, or if they’ve been stolen. We like this version because it has a range of 300 feet and it doesn’t require an activation fee or additional monthly costs (a common feature of most pet tracking tags). Buyers say it’s especially great if your pet gets easily confused or lost, like when camping and traveling.
$15 at Chewy
Cat owners know that cleaning a litter box is a major downside of feline friends. We absolutely love this self-cleaning box because it sifts waste out of the litter after each use. This system helps reduce wasted litter and also cuts down on the not-very-pleasant smell of cat waste. Most importantly, you’ll be able to monitor the box using a free app that tracks waste levels and activates the self-cleaning function. As one reviewer raves, “you can relax on a tropical beach and cleaning your cat litter box hundreds of miles away!”
$550 at Chewy
Mushroom Cat Water Fountain
While there are tons of paint fountains on the market, we like this one because, well, it’s so cute. The mushroom design is not only unique and whimsical, but reviewers say it’s a quiet option that also cuts down on cat acne, which can occur when cats use water bowls full of bacteria.
$65 at Happy & Polly
Outdoor Dog Water Fountain
If you have a yard, this fountain is specifically designed for outdoor use so your dog won’t get dehydrated while playing. Even better, the trickle of falling water will entice your pet to drink. Buyers with large dogs seem to be especially fond of the product.
$110 on Amazon
Automatic Dog Ball Launcher
It’s adorable when a dog is obsessed with fetch, but it can be exhausting for human encounters. This ball launcher promotes exercise without totally wearing out your throwing arm. You can program the launching distance to adjust to the size of your space and your pet. If your dog is especially precocious, they can learn to place the balls into the launcher on their own for a totally hands-off experience.
$119 on Amazon
Dog Water Bottle
This simple device is a game changer for hikes, long walks, or general travel. The lidded water bottle dispenses water into a little attached cup at the touch of a button so your dog can easily hydrate at a moment’s notice. Katie Couric Media’s Diana is very fond of this product because it cuts down on the need to find an impromptu water bowl (aka your cupped hands) while out and about.
$19 on Amazon
While this product certainly won’t entertain your pet, it will improve your quality of life. This air purifier removes pet hair and dander from the air while also reducing mold, pollen and dust. One buyer also notes that it cuts down on pet odor, along with reducing allergies and irritation: “The first day I plugged this in, I noticed almost immediately that the air was fresher and that I had stopped sneezing!”
$130 at Chewy