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New technology is catching up with our pets and there are all sorts of innovative, bizarre and unusual products in the pipeline, many of which are due to hit the high street some time soon.

One of them is the remarkable PetPace smart collar, which helps owners identify when their beloved dog isn’t feeling too good.

Dogs, as well as cats and other pets, often do their best to hide the symptoms of illness from their owners. So Asaf Dagan, the chief veterinary surgeon at PetPace in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, has invented a smart collar to alert owners when their pooch starts feeling poorly.

Comparing your dog’s vital signs with same-breed norms

The collar is studded with wireless sensors which monitor the pet’s vital signs including body temperature, pulse and respiration. It also looks at the animal’s activity patterns and the number of calories he or she burns.

While your pooch is eating, sleeping or playing the device compares the data collected with other relevant, breed-specific data. If your pet’s vital statistics start to differ from the breed’s norm in a way that can signal illness, disease or discomfort, the collar sends an alert to the owner’s smartphone as well as direct to their vet.

Picking up early signs of discomfort

The collar has been designed to pick up the early signs before they progress and become an issue. It means your dog’s illness, discomfort, disease or pain won’t go unnoticed.

The device works in real-time too, which means your vet has the exact information they need to make a clear, accurate diagnosis, and can also keep track of how the animal reacts to medicines and therapies.

What does it look like? It’s just like an ordinary collar, but it comes in a very smart deep purple colour. It isn’t the least bit bulky or awkward. Like our Jamjacks, the comfy alternative to the old-fashioned Buster collar, it’s nice to wear. But it isn’t cheap. The PetPace collar costs $150 plus $15 a month for the monitoring service.

When might you appreciate one?

Maybe your dog is diabetic, or has another condition that can flare up and cause issues. In which case close monitoring might be a really good idea. On the other hand, if your dog is young and healthy is there really any need to monitor their every move as though they’re some kind of unexploded bomb that could go off in your face at any moment?

There are also numerous self-monitoring tools on sale for humans, to help us keep an eye on our vital signs and whatnot. Some people want to know exactly what their body is doing at any one time, others are happy to let it do its job without constant monitoring. It looks like its horses for courses, and the same probably goes for the PetPace collar.

Here’s where to get one

The PetPace collar is also available for cats, great news when they can be such inscrutable creatures. If you want to buy one for your dog or cat you can buy direct from the PetPace website:

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