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Pet Gadgets going high tech this Holiday!

 Thank you to our guest Blogger, Rikki Schmidt for writing such an informative and fun article! Gave me some great gift ideas for the pet lovers in my family!

By Rikki Schmidt

Used to be that the family pet was happy with a new squeaky toy or extra table scraps for the holidays. But just as the latest in high tech gadgets tops the Christmas lists of people this year, technology is even making an impact in gifts for pets with products ranging from food and toys to health care.
There are air conditioners for the doghouse as well as pet air purifiers for your house.
The Sunbeam Holiday Dog Treat maker, about $30 at PetSmart, is basically a waffle maker with dog-bone molds. Easy -to -follow recipes using common grocery ingredients, are included. It’s perfect for those folks concerned about the ever-increasing number of pet treats being recalled due to mold, salmonella and other impurities and bacteria.

Doggy treadmills are the latest trend as pudgy pets fight the battle of the bulge. One manufacturer, dogPACER, offers treadmills for around $500. The machines come in both standard (up to 179 lbs) and mini-sizes (under 55 pounds).
Also popular this season are electronic self cleaning cat litter boxes, automatic feeders and water delivery systems, bark control products and grooming tools that brush then vacuum up the pet hair. While it’s hard to determine how happy the pets are with these gifts, these items are designed to make the owner’s life easier.
For people who exercise with their pets, Sharper Image makes a Pet-O Meter Pet Pedometer which tracks caloric intake, counts steps, and calculates distance traveled.

Many people consider the best high tech pet product available is the microchip. It’s inexpensive and can’t be removed, unlike a pet collar and ID tag. It requires no maintenance and can be implanted in every size pet from birds to horses. Microchips help reunite people with their lost pets, prove ownership in cases where theft is suspected and may even save dogs and cats from being euthanized at animal shelters. But while a microchip can tell the person who finds your pet where he came from, it doesn’t tell you where your pet went. Enter the Tagg Pet Tracker, a new item gaining a lot of attention.

Shown in the accompanying picture, it’s a GPS-based pet tracking system comprised of a tracker, docking station, collar clip assembly, and power kit. It allows you to track your pet’s location and activity from your computer or mobile device.
The lightweight tracker attaches to your dog's existing collar, and is designed to be worn at all times, even while swimming. This monthly service alerts owners if their dog (or cat) leaves a designated area by sending a text or email so owners can go find their pet almost as soon as it’s gone.
The cost for the device is about $100 and includes three free months of monitoring after which the fee is about $8 a month.

Rikki Schmidt is the wife of Veterinarian, Dr. Marc Schmidt, owner of Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic in San Tan Valley, Arizona. To see his business website please click here. 
You can also see Dr. Schmidt's BLOG and meet the doctors and staff at: 

Happy Holidays from the Az Pet Professionals!
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