Wearable tech isn't just for people – now you can get your pets synced up with the latest gadgets. Obviously we're not talking about a pug gaming on Oculus Rift or a cat with an Apple Watch – that would be ridiculous. We're talking the best pet GPS trackers to smart dog collars on the market.
There are an increasing number of companies that are crafting wearable gadgets just for animals, whether that's to monitor their health or keep track of them via GPS when they're on the prowl.
Essential reading: Best fitness trackers (for humans)
We've rounded up some of the best pet wearables complete with handsome four-legged models to show them off.
Kyon Pet Tracker
Available in a variety of different colors, Kyon's smart pet collar is like Fitbit for your pet. The waterproof collar does more than track your pet with the built-in GPS and 3G radios. A water sensor detects if your little pal is in danger of drowning, while the heat sensor sends alerts to your phone if you've forgotten your pet in a hot car. The accelerometer and altimeter can be used to warn you if your usually perky pet is unusually sedated, a sign of potential health problems. You can also pacify your pet with an ultrasonic buzzer to prevent unnecessary dog fights. Notifications about your pet's health and reminders for vaccinations are sent to your phone and shown on the LED display on the collar. The battery lasts for 30 days, and Kyon can be recharged on its base station.
$249 on Kickstarter; $4.99 monthly subscription for 3G connectivity
Inupathy is a pet wearable that promises to tell you what your pooch is feeling through a doggy heart rate monitor, with specialized algorithms for canines, that fits like a harness. When flashing, the different colors and light patterns show you whether the dog is happy, excited, anxious, etc. CEO Joji Yamaguchi first started testing the Inupathy monitor on his corgi and then slowly branched out to other dogs in order to refine the algorithm. He told us, "A dog's tail can you tell you how he is feeling but Inupathy is more precise." Yamaguchi also noted that he wants the device to be used in determining the dog's health and wellbeing.
Starts at $199, Indiegogo
The makers of Pod claim that it's "the world's smallest and lightest GPS tracker and activity monitor". The cork-sized gadget is designed to attach to any size collar and uses a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile data coverage - via an embedded SIM - to easily keep track of your pet. The mobile app's Locate Now button will display your furry friend's current location on a map and you can also set up a virtual fence so that you get an alert if your pet goes over the boundary.
$199 (pre-order), $49 a year data, free for first year, podtrackers.com
This connected dog collar enables you to track your pooch's location via GPS. Virtual fence and lease technology stops your doggy pal from wandering too far while integrated ultrasound and vibration commands help with training. You can also speak to your dog from anywhere thanks to the built-in micro speakers. Built-in LEDs light up at night and will automatically flash if your poor hound is lost. DogTelligent claims to have the longest rechargable battery life of any smart dog collar with this selection of features. The app can also be used to store records from vet visits.
Billed as "the dog collar reimagined", Buddy sports a distinctive design with multi-coloured LEDs that are designed to keep your pooch visible and safe from potential collisions. You can choose from a large selection of different lighting patterns. The smart collar also features real-time GPS tracking, activity monitoring and a temperature sensor with information displayed on a tiny OLED screen. The collar comes in three different sizes and works with a smartphone app, as well as an Apple Watch app. You can also set up virtual boundaries and set reminders for important events like vet appointments.
$180, pre-order, full price $450, squeakerdogs.com
Described as "dog tracking and training for the modern, mobile dog owner", this connected collar is available in three different sizes. The doggie wearable packs GPS tracking along with activity monitoring. WÜF also includes two-way audio for keeping in contact with your pooch if he's out of earshot, while a virtual leash will keep him from straying too far. As the gadget is still at pre-order stage, there isn't that much information on how all this on-board tech works. The dedicated app is also set to include games, training exercises and social challenges to help your make the most of your time with your canine pal.
One of the only pet wearables that works for both cats and dogs of any size (well, 8lbs upwards, to be precise), the PetPace is a comprehensive health monitor. Because your furry pals can't tell you if they're in pain, this gadget tracks vitals such as temperature, pulse, respiration, activity, calories and posture, notifying you of any abnormalities. The data can also be accessed by your vet to keep your animal chums in fine health. The woven fabric colour bears more of a resemblance to traditional pet collars, rather than the rigid design seen on most smart collars.
$149.96, $14.95 monthly subscription, petpace.com
This smart collar will keep you up to date with what your pet is doing throughout the day using GPS, Bluetooth and an activity tracker. Suitable for both cats and dogs, the gadget comes fitted to a collar but can also be mounted on your own collar or harness using the supplied attachment. Various factors such as temperature can be monitored using the dedicated app and you can even add multiple pets. You can also set up a geofence so that you get notified if your pet wanders off. Unlike some other animal trackers, there are no subscription fees.
Designed to keep our equine friends safe on the roads in low light, this is the first LED lighting safety system for horses. Four LED strips attach to the base of the tail to ensure that horses are visible on dark roads up to a mile away. Each unit comes with a variety of colour options and multiple flash patterns. There are even seasonal options so if you're feeling particularly festive you can make your horse's tail light up red and green for Christmas. The Pro version is even used by mounted police in the U.S. and Canada
From $149.99, tail-lights.com
This dog harness from action cam kings GoPro can be used to capture the world from your pooch's point of view. The camera (sold separately) can be attached to the chest for videoing “bone-chewing, digging and front-paw action"or on the back for overhead shots of running and jumping. A rugged build means that it'll withstand your dog gambolling around in water and mud and it's also washable.
Available in different sizes up to a 32-inch neck, this waterproof smart collar is designed to keep you connected with your dog. Along with activity tracking, the gadget will monitor heart and respiratory rate as well as rest patterns and calories burnt. As Voyce becomes familiar with your dog's stats, it'll start to offer tips tailored to its specific needs. You also set goals, such as extra activity to burn off those extra pooch pounds. He'll thank you for it in the end.
$199 (plus $9.50 per month), mydogsvoyce.com
Tagg GPS Plus
Tagg has updated its tracker, adding several new features including a temperature risk sensor which can, for example, warn you if your pup is sitting in a hot car.The new model also adds a smaller Tagg Zone for more precise GPS monitoring and a TrackLock collar attachment for added durability. The GPS Plus will also give you details on your furry chum's level of activity for the day.
Additional reporting by Chuong Nguyen