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Chinese New Year marks the start of the Year of the Dog. The perfect time to look at the tech - useful, fun and far-fetched - geared towards our very best friends.

Reward your furry pal with more than a tennis ball, a scratch behind the ears and a bone. In this Year of the Dog, treat him to a futuristic gadget to make his life infinitesimally better, and yours a whole lot more high-tech.

Collar him

It’s important to have your pet microchipped. But you can go one step further with a smart pet tag that allows you to track your pooch, and make sure he’s getting enough exercise. The LINK AKC collar records your dog’s activity, adjusted according to his breed and age, keeps note of when his vaccinations are due, tells you if he’s too hot or cold, and alerts you if he goes too far from home.  

Bath him

If soap and water isn’t your dog’s vibe, consider the Bissell BarkBath, a vacuum cleaner-like system that dispenses a small amount of water beneath the fur while you stroke your dog. It promises no mess and little fuss - unless your dog is scared of the vacuum cleaner, of course.

Play with him

There’s more than one automatic ball launcher available in South Africa. This clever gadget means you can kick back and relax while the machine keeps Fido entertained. Most allow your dog to fetch the ball and drop it back into the machine, creating an endless loop of fun.

Feed him

If you have to be away from your dog over a mealtime, rest assured - there’s a gadget for that! Smartphone operated feeders, like the Petwant, allow you to dispense food from afar. You can set times, or you can log in from wherever you are and feed your dog if you’ve been out longer than you expected. The gadget also allows you to see your dog via the video camera, and even talk to him in real time or via recorded messages.

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