The Holiday Tech Gift List for Naughty and Nice Pets

Our cat Eero is capable of a convincing impression of the rapt attention we bestow upon our laptops, as captured last night when we came back into the living room to catch her apparently catching up with her favourite pet blogs. (though we suspect it might be for the warmth emanating from the toasty processor within). Though she's not really big on social networking or watching Animal Planet, she does love when we bring out the laser pointer we purchased for our cats' amusement. Since tis the season for giving, why not get your pet something a little special ontop of the deserved attention and affection they crave most?

You know "best" is thrown out there a little too often, so we understand if you roll your eyes a little bit when we say this is the best pet feeder out there. But it is. The Perfect Petfeeder Luxe is for either naughty or nice pets, cats or dogs. Despite the piggish nature of one of our cats, neither cat has ever battled obesity since its introduction, thanks to the programmable scheduling and portion control. And yes, the price reflects the construction; it's admittedly (very) expensive, but we haven't regretted a day since purchasing a discounted sale model, as it is as much as gift to ourselves as for the pets with the freedom it affords us when we're away for short trips.

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If the fact that our two felines camp out in front of the built-in gas heater each and every night now is any indicator, it should be obvious most pets like to stay nice and toasty. This K&H Thermo-Kitty Bed, as listed in our cat lover's automation roundup, is available in 16" and 20" diameter sizes and should do a serviceable job of keeping small pets warm. Larger dog owners can keep their pets off their beds and on their own heated space with another model, the K&H orthopedic canine heated bed.

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A reminder some animals aren't too fond of technology inside the home, so before buying a tech gift for them consider whether your pet's personality is more playful curiosity opposed to easily stressed. In the case of an easily stressed out dog, something like this proposed GPS-enabled dog collar would come in handy for those dog owners who often find themselves searching for canines easily spooked or with a habit of taking themselves out for a walk sans your accompaniment. We think the incorporation of Google Maps with an Augmented Reality viewer via a smart phone app would make this a must-download for most anyone who allows their pets to roam outside.

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For now, keeping a USB pet ID tag on their collar might be a simple way to make sure your lost pet has the best chance of being returned safely back home. It's no augmented reality app, but it will do the job of providing necessary information about your pet and where they live.

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And last, but not least, is a tech solution not specifically designed for pets, but operates extremely well for monitoring them while you're away. With many of us traveling for the holidays and many people arranging for friends/family to check-in with their pets during both short and long trips, using a high definition monitoring system can give pet owners a little extra piece of mind, allowing visual check-in throughout the house (depending on how many cameras you add). The advantage offered by the system is it is motion-detection activated and also works very well with both iPhones and iPads for monitoring in-tranist, as well as an easy to use web-based monitoring application from any computer with internet access. To be honest, we even like spying on our two troublemakers from the comforts of our bedroom when we hear suspicious activity outside in the other parts of the house.

Of course, all said and done, your cat or dog could care less about the latest tech gadget or gizmo and would much prefer some play time with you. It doesn't take an app or USB accessory to access your pet's happiness…just some attention and love.

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