Today marks the launch of YummyPets, the UK’s first social “petwork”, a social media site for pet lovers with features such as classified pet ads, missing pet notices and pet shopping.
It’s surprising that the site has taken so long to launch in the UK (the French version has 150,000 members) given that Britain is known for being a nation of animal lovers, not to mention the popularity of online animal hits such as “Fenton the dog”.
While you’re pondering your memberships, here’s a selection of gadgets geared to pets.
If your dog is not a consistent barker, be grateful. But if this means the only way you discover that they needed to go out to the loo is that moment you see a puddle by the door, this could be the answer. It’s a snout-operated bell. The bell is connected wirelessly so can be where you are even if the door is some distance away. There are lengthy instructions so you can help Fido learn how to use it (cleverly, there’s a slot that holds a biscuit to aid with the learning process).
From £20 to £79, www.cuckooland.com
The Doggy Bag is just a towel but it’s splendidly designed and made from material that is super-absorbent of water, sand and mud. Persuade your pup to sit down on the towel and zip it up so it’s around their neck and let the marvel of microfibres do the rest. It comes in five different sizes, each handily describing which breeds it will fit. It’s machine washable so you can make sure it’s ready for next time.
Don’t worry, there are no electric shocks in this remote controlled collar. If your dog isn’t behaving quite as it should by barking or running off when it shouldn’t, say, a press on the remote releases a burst of compressed air from the collar at the dog’s nose. Be warned, this may not suit every dog – my puppy darted away when the spray shot out at her and was inconsolable, but responded very positively when it was on the lower, sound-only, level.
Some dogs or cats need constant entertainment to keep them occupied. This gadget projects laser patterns randomly around the room to fascinate the most hard-to-impress animals. It’ll do this for 15 minutes and then turn off automatically. A manual mode lets you create your own patterns or adjust the range of the projections. It’s battery-powered.
If your pet wanders off, an alarm sounds to let you know. A tag is attached to the pet’s collar and the main unit shows which direction to head to collect the pet. It has a 600ft, 183m range and has tags for four pets. Simple, effective and potentially extremely handy.
Fresh water is important, so invest in a fountain like this one so your cat or dog has clean, odour-free water available at al times. The fountain has a free-falling stream that stays fresh thanks to a charcoal filter. It’s nearly silent and works on a low-voltage system.