Whether most people know it or not, they depend on automated solutions pretty often.

Automatic updates to computer systems, automatic diagnostic alerts on cars, automatic reorders on certain products – automation is everywhere. And, despite the fears about this technology, it’s something people trust more than they realize.

But how much should a person trust autonomy? Are there some industries where it is just too risky to rely on bots and smart algorithms rather than human labor?

Almost anyone who has a pet believes in guarding it with their life. They want the best for it and won’t rely on subpar products or unproven solutions to care for their pet.

But automated pet care products are catching on fast.

Whether it’s an automated cat food dispenser or an automated pet door, there are many devices that rely on smart machines to help owners care for their pets.

But are these devices worth it?

Has the technology progressed fast enough that these devices can help owners without putting their pets in harm’s way?

How Do Automated Pet Care Products Work?

Automating things like food dispensers and pet-washing machines is done for one simple reason – to make things easier on the owner. However, this doesn’t mean the technology necessarily puts the pet at any more risk than they’d be if they had a human caring for them without the help of machines.

automated cat liter box

Image via Epitome

Automated pet products are created by analyzing the needs of animals and brainstorming ways to help address those needs without requiring as much from the owners.

For example, an automated cat feeder or automated dog feeder may be designed to disperse food in set amounts at certain times. This means even if the owner is away for work, vacation, or other obligations, their pets can get the exact amount of food they need. This helps owners avoid having to pay someone to feed their animals, and also ensures the animals won’t overeat due to a large lump-sum amount of food being left out for them.

Automated cat litter boxes are also a popular option. These units help grind up waste and filter it from clean litter. The waste material is then filtered into a dedicated disposal area, making it easy for owners to unload and clean without requiring them to sift through the animal’s litter box themselves.

Simple solutions like this utilize basic safety features such as weight recognition and safety timers, so the unit will not process the waste once it detects the animal in inside. It even waits for a period of time after the animal leaves before processing the waste, just as an added safety precaution.

Can Animal-Product Automation Help Shelters?

Shelters and kennels are a welcomed sight to many animals that have no other place to turn to for food, shelter, and medical care.

Automated pet feeder

Image via Petsho Blog

But one of the main struggles these organizations usually face is a lack of staff members. It can be easier for animals to arrive at the locations faster than human help, meaning a worker could have ten, twenty, or even fifty animals to keep an eye on at a time.

Automated dog wash systems, automated pet door setups, and even automatic feeders can all be used to take the load off rescue shelter staffs. Automatic doors make it easy for pets to go in and out of an enclosure without concerns about them getting stuck or being struck by the door.

Likewise, automated dog wash or cat wash systems can help ensure animals are cleaned daily so they are at reduced risk for developing illnesses.

In this aspect, pet care products enhanced by automation technology can actually make things safer for animals. Even the owner who is very particular about what their animal eats and where they go could benefit from using automated products.

What About the Future of Pet-Product Automation?

As with all technologies, automated pet care products will continue to evolve in the future.

With automatic food dispensers, doors, and cleaners becoming more common, it may only be a matter of time before more options become available.

For example, it may not be long before automated systems are designed to detect potential diseases in animals. Just as a blood sample or even saliva sample can be tested to determine whether a pet is at risk for certain ailments, advanced systems could potentially enable owners to run their own reliable, non-invasive tests to gauge their pets’ health at home.

Everyone who has a pet knows it is a big responsibility. While it can be tough to turn to robotics for help caring for a pet, it can also be a beneficial move.

Feature image via Metro

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