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I have never thought the words technology and pet would go hand in hand. Pets and animals needing or having technology is nonsensical. As humans, we have grown to need technology. Personally, I wouldn’t ever leave my house without my phone because I need it for every day functions. I get directions, updates, work emails, and all other technological perks that I can’t live without. But what does my dog need technology for?

It wasn’t until a few days ago when I stopped by a bulletin by my neighborhood and saw tons of missing dogs and cats signs that I started to think that perhaps we need technology for our pets in order to keep them safe.

There is a website called whistle.com which works on creating tracking technology for your pet. Their signature item is a tracking device that attaches to a collar for your dog/cat or any animal. With this Whistle device you can constantly track your pet’s location from your phone through their GPS app.

On their app you can customize “safe-zones” such as home or elsewhere. Whenever your pet leaves this safe zone you get an alert. This app and collar also reads your pet’s health, weight, heartbeat, activity, and sleep patterns. It’s like a fitbit but for your pet.

This device is anything but subtle, but the perks speak for themselves. If you have an escape artist dog or an outdoor cat that sometimes will be gone for days on end, this is for you. I own a Shiba that will run away from me the moment she hears her leash snap off. I’ve had two heart-wrenching incidents where my Shiba has run out the door and down the block from our home running full speed. With an app and collar like Whistle, the tracker allows me to follow her movements if she were ever to be on the run.

The collar is 80USD and comes with a guarantee and is also waterproof. The only downside is that there is a monthly service fee of 6USD per month. Overall, you are investing in a safe blanket in case your pet snaps out of his/her leash.

I usually don’t splurge on pet items unless they are necessary for my pet’s safety but I realized that animals are unpredictable. No matter how trained your pet is, accidents still happen. Whether it is someone forgetting to shut the door or dropping a letting a leash slip through your hands, these incidents happen and the consequences can be devastating.

Picturing my baby Shiba (now 14 months old) on the lost pet bulletin at my neighborhood laundromat brought tears to my eyes. Like all pet owners, I have become attached and helplessly in love with my dog. I would do anything to protect my Shiba, even if it means spending more money than I deem necessary for an extra security blanket.

When I bought the tracker off of whistle.com I felt a sense of relief similar to when I registered my dog for medical insurance. This product now feels like a second type of insurance. I know that as long as my dog doesn’t snap out of her collar I will be able to track her no matter how far she gets from me. This security is priceless and makes what I spend on this product seem like nothing in comparison to the comfort I gain.

Every day I make sure the tracker is on her collar and that my app is up to date and working. During my lunch break I now check the app and can see where exactly my dog is (either being walked by my walker or home) and how much activity she’s gotten. Being away from her now feels a bit more relaxing because of whistle.com.

Available now at whistle.com

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