By NAME, ASSA ABLOY Smart Living Expert

Smart home, happy pets

Smart solutions can benefit dogs and cats… and their owners

Despite its name, the “Internet of Things” is really about people. Its devices, processes and technologies are there to make lives easier and more convenient. And perhaps not just for us.

If your household has any furry residents, you’ll know they need love and patience, not to mention companionship. Their demands don’t stop when we’re away, overnight on business or for a week-long vacation — which is where smart home technology can help.

Clever, user-friendly smart devices are already sold in pet stores across Europe. My cats come and go through a small plastic door. It unlocks automatically when it senses their microchip. Random strays or the hungry cat next door can’t get in.

Ever since his cat went missing for two days last year, a friend of mine fitted a Tile Bluetooth tracker to her collar, making her much easier to find.

Automated feeders can also respond to a specific ID microchip, ensuring a pet gets food or medication only at the right times. The Feed and Go smart feeder goes even further. This intelligent food bowl is controlled via a smartphone app and your home Wi-Fi network. It has a built-in webcam, voice recorder and the ability to schedule feeding or to open a tray from anywhere.

A smarter solution for the personal touch

But for any long trip away from home, your pets probably still want the human touch. Cats like company. Dogs need exercise. Both are best delivered by a real person. This is where a smart door lock like the ENTR can help.

The standard dog walker service alleviates lonely days for pets. But it brings a new set of concerns for you — around home security. Giving a dog walker full access to your home can feel uncomfortable, especially someone you just hired. On the other hand, without access, Fido can’t be walked, fed, or entertained. What to do?

 

With a connected smart door lock like the ENTR, you can program different users into the system. So, a designated pet carer can enter to your home only at specified times over a week or weekend. You can share a digital key which is valid for a single use, or one that expires when you decide. You can see from your smartphone exactly when your front door was opened or closed. And if you use a service that doesn’t work out, there’s no worry about a copied keys floating around somewhere.

Your furry friend may not notice any difference with a smart door lock. But you will.