Christmas gift guides
We're bringing you a tech-focused Christmas gift guide every day up to the big day itself, to help fuel your present buying inspiration.
Day 1: Apple fans | 2: Photographers | 3: Switch gamers | 4: Xbox gamers | 5: PS4 games | 6: Retro gamers | 7: PC gamers | 8: Lego fans | 9: Music lovers | 10: Mobile gamers | 11: Home cinema dreamers | 12: Home cooks | 13: Smart home starter kit | 14: Tech for kids | 15: Fitness fans | 16: Creatives | 17: Runners | 18: Commuters | 19: Pet owners | 20: Those who have everything
If you're looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the animal lover in your life, you've come to the right place; we've rounded up the best pet tech presents you can buy in 2019.
From super smart treat-flinging pet cameras to robotic toys, the best pet gadgets are here to enrich the lives of our furry friends, as well as helping to keep them safe when we're away.
There are pet-friendly gadgets out there for all kinds of animals and all budgets, so you'll be able to find the perfect gift for your pet-obsessed friend, whether they're dippy for dogs or smitten by kittens.
With so many tech gifts for animal lovers to choose from, it can be tricky to make a decision – that's why we've put together this handy guide to the best pet tech you can buy this Christmas.
Petcube Bites 2
The best pet camera you can buy
The Petcube Bites 2 is the ultimate pet camera for anyone who wants to interact with their furry friend, as well as keep an eye on them. It’s undoubtedly pricey, but its impressive spec list and smooth operation makes it an attractive proposition for any animal lover.
With a sleek, modern design, the Petcube Bites 2 lets you watch your pet live in 1080p HD video, which you can be zoomed in on up to four times via the PetCube app. The built-in camera gives you a 160-degree view of your room.
You can either save videos and photos to your phone for free, or sign up to Petcube Care for the ability to watch up to 90 days of video history, all saved securely on the Cloud. Subscriptions start at $3.99 (around £3 / AU$5.80).
Two-way audio is available via the app, so your pet can hear your voice via the PetCube’s built-in speaker, while a four-microphone array lets you hear everything your pup gets up to.
Perhaps most exciting, is the addition of a treat dispenser that allows you to fling treats to your pet by swiping your finger in the app – you can control the amount of treats as well as the distance, making feeding a fun game for your pet (as well as yourself). If you want to stick to a regular feeding schedule, you can also set the PetCube Bites 2 to Autoplay mode.
Read more: The best pet cameras of 2019
Whistle Go Explore
Like a Fitbit for your pup
The Whistle Go Explore is a location tracker that attaches to your pup's collar, giving you live information on where they are at all times. As well as giving you an overview of your dog's day, it also gives you information on your pooch's health, reporting on infrequent, occasional, elevated or severe scratching or licking.
You can set activity goals for your dog based on its breed, age, and weight, and see how far your dog has travelled, as well as how many calories it's burned – great if your pup needs to shift a few pounds.
If your pet leaves a designated safe area, you'll get a notification sent straight to your phone, so you can be reunited as soon as possible.
The Whistle Go Explore comes with 20 days of battery life, and includes a night light that you can switch on and off remotely, so you can spot your dog when on an evening walk.
The only downside? You do need to buy a subscription to get access to the live location tracking feature, which costs $9.95 per month – if you subscribe to a one-year plan this reduces to $7.95, while a two-year plan will cost you $6.95.
This product is only available in the US. UK customers – check out alternatives like the Vodafone V-Multi Tracker.
Petcube Play 2
The best pet camera for cats
The Petcube Play 2 is a great solution for cat owners, as it comes with a built-in laser toy that you can control through the Petcube app – all you have to do is swipe your finger to control where the laser points, letting you play with your cat while you’re away from home.
Worried you’ll forget to play with your kitty? You can set the laser to autoplay, while motion and sound sensors will alert you anytime your cat needs attention.
While it’s smaller than the PetCube Bites 2, the PetCube Play 2 has all the same smart features, including 1080p HD video, a 160-degree view, two-way audio, and Alexa built-in.
Embark Dog DNA Test
Find your mutt's ancestors
You many be wondering why anyone would want to do a DNA test on their dog, but there are actually a few benefits to learning about your pup's genetic history.
If you have a rescue dog for example, you may be interested in learning what breed (or mixture of breeds) your furry friend is. As well as looking at over 250 dog breeds, the Embark Dog DNA test also alerts you to any hereditary diseases you should be looking out for – all from a single cheek swab.
Best of all, Embark's relative finder allows you to search for dogs that match your own pup's DNA, potentially reuniting long-lost canine families. Aw.
While this particular product is US-only, there are lots of other dog DNA tests out there – UK viewers should check out the Wisdom Panel 2.0 Dog DNA test.
Furbo Dog Camera
The most stylish pet camera you can buy
It may be called the Furbo Dog Camera, but this smart pet cam could be used for your cats, rabbits, and gerbils (we could go on) too.
It’s the most stylish camera on the list, with a sleek white body and wooden lid, with built-in LEDs that indicate its connectivity status.
Like the Petcube models, the Furbo Dog Camera boasts HD video and gives you a 160-degree view of your room; the camera feed does have a slight lag, but it’s only a matter of seconds behind real-time. It also has night-vision, allowing you to see your pet in the dark – handy if you’re leaving your pet at home for a night out.
The treat dispenser works in a similar way to the Petcube Bites 2, allowing you to fling treats towards your pet by swiping your finger in the Furbo app.
Two-way audio lets you speak to your pets while out and about, while real-time barking alerts send notification to your smartphone or tablet any time the camera detects the sound of barking.
Varram Pet Fitness Robot
The perfect friend for lazy pets
Want to encourage your lazy pet to move a little more? This cute robotic toy plays with your pet by zooming around the room and rewards their interaction by dispensing treats – keeping them fit and staving off the loneliness when you're away.
With an IPX4 waterproof rating, it can withstand a little slobber if your pet's a chewer, and a protective case should keep it intact from even the most enthusiastic players.
You can either play manually or schedule the robot to interact with your pet at specific times, even regulating how many treats it dispenses. Sixteen preset motions and obstacle-avoidance technology means the Varram Pet Fitness Robot should keep your dog or cat on its toes (without crashing into your walls).