Time for a pupgrade
Dogs have been our friends for centuries, and they haven't changed much: they're the same hairy bundles of joy they've always been.
But wouldn't it be great if you could make them even better? We don't mean dressing them as AT-ATs, as fun as that is. We realised there must be something more, but a bit of digging and OH DEAR GOD there's a world of pet tech we never knew existed.
So, from there - here are our favourite products for digital-era dogs.
The woofer coat
You can imagine the eureka moment: a dog lover is browsing through a hi-fi catalogue, looking at all the woofers, when inspiration strikes. A coat! For dogs! With speakers!
Most of us would go to bed at that point, but the Woofer's inventor went on to make the product. The Woofer packs stereo speakers and a pouch for your MP3 player, enabling you to turn Fido into a doggy boom box.
It isn't cheap - a small one is $100 - but every Woofer is hand-made and a portion of each sale is donated to pet charities.
Dog Tracker Plus
There are several GPS-enabled dog collars on the market, but Dog Tracker Plus is targeted squarely at the UK market. At £300 (£200 with a service contract) it isn't cheap, but it's designed to track your dog should he or she go missing.
The collar is made from anti-cut webbing with a security lock that's exceptionally hard to bypass, and the iOS- and Android-compatble app enables you to set geofences with instant alerts should your dog start to wander or some nefarious woman in a two-tone fur coat tries to drag it into a van.
Every year the same panic occurs: for many dog owners, the arrival of fireworks in the shops means night after night of trying to soothe a terrified pet.
But there might be a solution to doggy anxiety. The £35 Thundershirt sounds like mumbo jumbo - it's a compression vest that claims to calm anxious animals - but it does seem to work: it's a bit like swaddling a baby to make them feel secure.
It's certainly a better and cheaper idea than dosing your dog with anti-anxiety medication.
Garmin Astro series
We know Garmin for its sat-nav systems, but the firm is into dogs in a big way too: its BarkLimiter shock collar might appal sensitive souls, but its Astro dog trackers are widely regarded as the dog's danglies by hunting dog trainers.
The Astro 320 can track up to 10 dogs up to 4 or 9 miles away (depending on the version you buy), delivers accurate satellite mapping and even delivers turn-by-turn navigation to help you find a lost dog.
In a typical day, a medium-sized Labrador sheds enough hair to make a life-sized replica of Donald Trump.
Rather than wait for it to fall on the floor and hoover it up afterwards, why not give your dog the full Dyson treatment?
That's the thinking behind the Dyson Groom, which turns your Dyson into a doggy hoover. It's comfortable for the dog, we're told, and it helps reduce the spread of allergens around your home. We'd like to use it on a small yappy dog.
Not to groom it. To hoover it up.
Voyce smart collar
Voyce isn't just an activity tracker, the firm says, it's a life changer - but in reality, it's the wearable world brought to your dog.
The package consists of a fitness tracking collar and a smartphone app, and together they track resting heart rate and respiratory rate, activity, calories and distance, and sleep quality.
That data is then used by the Voyce Wellness Management Center to analyse your dog's health and identify potential issues before they cause problems.
It's $199 plus $9.50 per month to access the Wellness Management Center - and you'll have to be REALLY into exploring the world of data to pick up one of these.
Action Cam dog mount
Ever wondered what you'd see if you could look through your dog's eyes? The answer is probably "other dog's bottoms", but if you mount the camera a little higher you can get an amazing and entertaining insight into your dog's life.
Sony's Action Cam dog mount securely straps an Action Cam - sold separately - to your dog's back, enabling you to see the world from a very different perspective. Even relatively unexciting events such as a walk round the block become much more entertaining with happy dog ears in the frame.
There are dog vests, and then there are Disco Dog dog vests. The world's first smartphone controlled LED dog vest - yes, we're amazed nobody thought of it before - is part entertainment, part safety device: it's hard to miss a dog lit up like Studio 54.
You can choose from thousands of colours, create moving patterns and even display custom messages that scroll across the vest. There's no way that's going to be abused in the name of tomfoolery.
More usefully, there's also a Lost Dog mode that asks bystanders for help - whether they trust a dog wearing this thing though, remains to be seen.
For humans there's Fitbit. For dogs, FitBark.
As the name suggests it's an activity tracker for dogs, and the smartphone app uses "BarkPoints" to help you track progress and see changes in your dog's behaviour.
It isn't just aimed at dog owners, but at dog carers such as kennel owners and dog trainers, and because it clips to the dog's existing collar it's suitable for dogs of any size.
FitBark is $99.95 with no monthly fees and free worldwide shipping.
No More Woof
This IndieGogo project seems to have stalled: after lots of press interest in 2013 and £22,664 in crowdsourced funding, the actual No More Woof sensors still aren't shipping.
That said, it's still too cool to ignore: NMW promises to do something extraordinary, which is to translate up to 14 different brainwaves into human language via a simple EEG sensor.
Sadly it looks like early critics of the project were right: NMW doesn't work, and won't in the foreseeable future.
Don't despair, though. If you assume that your dog wants steak, you'll be right 99% of the time.