Keeping Fido Healthy

Features - July 6th, 2007
Gadgets for four-legged

Gadgets for the four-legged among us

by Robert Estel

While we tend to focus on gadgets for the two-legged, today we’re going to take a look at a few gadgets for your four-legged companion. As you may have seen detailed in the news in June, more and more attention has been given to pets, as they too are fast approaching the retirement age. This has been shown by the opening of a pet care-home in Tochigi prefecture, which takes care of aging pets through calculated food, vitamins, and other care. The latest trends have shown that owners are treating their pets to such things as aroma therapy and acupuncture to help them with their daily life. But, for those with younger pets who haven’t quite felt the heavy paw of age, you can check for yourself how your pet’s health is doing.

Enter Japanese pharmaceutical and health goods maker Kao. For those who have been concerned that their little puppy is putting on the pounds, Kao has developed a body fat checker for dogs. Yes, you read that right. According to Kao pharmaceuticals, 20–30 percent of Japan’s dogs are overweight and are in need of more exercise. By simply applying the checker to the dog’s lower back, you can check its body fat percentage and make adjustments to your pet’s diet and exercise from there.

Speaking of exercise, if you are one who doesn’t want to take your dog out for more than simply his natural deeds, then you may want to take a look at the dog treadmill available from Japanese maker Belluna. This treadmill runs up to five kilometers per hour, so your dog won’t even have to leave the house. You can even control it via remote control from the comfort of your couch while your little one exercises away.

Of course, if you don’t mind letting Lassie out of the house, then by all means, don’t forget to give him his camera. Takara Tomy has released the “Wanderful Shot,” a camera that attaches below your pet’s head on their chest. (Following clever Japanese puns, wan is usually used as the cute nickname applied to dogs.) This camera can be operated not only by remote control, but by a set timer. The pictures are then uploaded to either your pet’s blog (everyone has a blog these days), or to your cell phone. For those who want to see life through a canine’s eyes, or at least their eye level, this is the way to go.

Lastly, don’t forget to give your pet his doggy pedometer while he’s out and about taking pictures. Available from Yamasa, this pedometer will set you back nearly ¥2,000, but at least you’ll know just how much exercise your doggy is getting.

With as many gadgets as these, your puppy will soon be the envy of the neighborhood. Now the only question is, will he have as much fun with them as you will?

Kao press release at www.kao.co.jp/corp/news/2006/1/n20060323-01re.html
Dog treadmill maker Belluna at www.belluna.co.jp
Wonderful Shot at www.takaratomy.co.jp/products/
Doggy Pedometer—www.yamasa-tokei.co.jp