How Connected Pet Tech is Changing the Fate of Lost Pets and More

More than 10 million loved pets go missing every year, many of which never find their way back to the families who love them despite having microchips and other forms of identification. Working in the industry I find it shocking to so often hear comments like “my dog would never go missing”, “my cat is an indoor cat” and “my pet already has a microchip.”

Microchips are mandatory now in over 75 countries; inserted into the scruff of the animal, they act as a permanent means of identification. The major flaw of microchips, however, is the corresponding information on the database needs to be kept up to date; sadly this is often not the case. Pet Gazette recently reported findings from the charity Dogs Trust showing more than 4,700 stray dogs in the UK alone last year couldn’t be reunited with their owners due to outdated microchip information. That is the equivalent of one in eight pets in the UK. It’s also noteworthy that just under 3,500 “stray” dogs were put down last year.

Connected pet technology is a rapidly growing sector within the pet industry and it is completely changing the dynamics of pet ownership. Owners are now able to watch and interact with their pets remotely with products like Petcube. Remote treating and feeding have been made possible with Petnet and now even activity monitors and GPS trackers such as Fitbark and Pod are making it possible to manage pet health and safety.

As a pet owner and someone who has suffered the loss of Rango, I truly believe that you should do everything possible to protect your animal from harm. Pets cannot communicate that they’re lost or ask for help to get home. This is why having clear and simple forms of identification are so important (collar, tag and microchip), but today technology is enabling pet owners to take preventative measures, GPS tracking devices in particular will alert pet owners when a pet escapes and facilitate its quick recovery.

Tracking devices are not yet commonplace, but the market is rapidly growing and advancements in technology have reduced the size and weight of these devices to be suitable for both cats and dogs. By using a tracker in conjunction with traditional forms of identification pets have a better chance of being found and returned safely should they go missing. GPS tracking devices such as Pod allow responsible pet owners to be more proactive in managing the life and safety of their animal without having to depend on others (animal services, charities, pounds, vets, neighbors and councils etc).

Two important factors to consider

The ability to request the approximate position of a missing pet on demand reduces search time, recovery and exposure to danger, giving the owner greater piece of mind.
Being alerted to a pet escaping a designated safe zone reduces the time and distance the pet is able to cover, which helps the owner to recover the pet prior to getting in harm’s way.

Ultimately, the longer a pet is missing the less likely it is to be recovered safely, which is why connected GPS tracking technology is so relevant in helping to reduce the number of lost pets. With statistics showing 1 in 3 pets go missing in their lifetime, and personally having heard so many heartbreaking lost pet stories, I wonder how long it will be before tracking units become a staple like the tag and microchip.?

Pod is now refining the Pod Trackers app to be an open platform for all pet owners in an effort to help reduce the massive number of pets that never find their way home. The new app will allow all pet owners to quickly and easily register their animals and keep basic information up to date, reducing the risk of your pet being found not being able to be returned. It will also enable you to instantly notify relevant parties should your pet go missing, by sending out a digital version of a lost pet poster to all vets, pounds, hospitals and other pet owners within a dynamic search zone based off a number of factors, including your pets last known position, breed, age and time missing.