Many people know home automation provides benefits to humans. With connected devices such as smart thermostats, cameras, locks and light bulbs, people can now live in more comfort, safety, security and cost savings.
But for the humans with furry or feathered friends, questions inevitably arise about home automation and pet safety. Will the smart home hurt the dog, cat, hamster or parakeet? Or will the connected devices give pets the same benefits they give humans?
The truth lies in the second question. Home automation gadgets help your pets lead healthier, safer lives. To choose the best smart products for you and your pet, follow these guidelines:
- Start With a Hub
While you could add a smart thermostat or camera to your home first, you might consider beginning with a hub. A home automation hub acts as the brain of your home, helping to integrate and manage as many or as few smart home devices as you choose. Amazon Alexa and Google Home provide voice-driven hubs, but Samsung and Apple also offer similar products. The key to choosing a home automation hub is to think about the products and services you already use, and then select the hub that works with those things.
- Prevent Pet Theft
In recent years, "dog flipping" has become increasingly common. The practice entails stealing, buying or adopting a dog before selling the dog to the highest bidder. While most of the crimes occur outside the home, you shouldn't leave anything to chance. Protect your home and pup with a smart security system. If a stranger appears in your home's vicinity, the system will send a notification to your smartphone, ensuring your pet stays where you want them—at home, safe and secure.
- Keep Pets Comfortable
Before programmable and smart thermostats, pet owners trusted fate. They set the temperature, headed to work and hoped their pet would stay cool or warm. Today, smart thermostats offer a much-improved scenario, adjusting as needed and allowing you control from the office if you forget to set it. By investing in one, you guarantee you come home to a happy pet, not an overheated or shivering one.
- Feed Pets on Time
You want to feed your pet at the same time, every day, but let's face facts: life happens. A meeting runs late or you get stuck in traffic. Fortunately, your pet can still receive its favorite, healthy food on time with a smart pet feeder. You'll want to conduct some research to find the ideal one; each feeder comes with unique features, such as remote feeding capabilities or meal timers that prevent your pet from eating too quickly.
- Give Pets Smart Doors
Dog and cat doors might have been irritants a few years ago, but the doors have gotten "smart." Now you can set timers, as well as allow automatic exit and entry. These smart pet doors can be lifesavers during the night or a long day at work, helping your pet stay healthy and comfortable. Plus, the doors sometimes reward you with another benefit—a tighter seal that keeps heating and cooling inside the home.
Of course, the items listed here are merely the beginning of pet-friendly home automation. You could also look into smart cameras, smart doghouses, activity trackers and smart toys; however, start with the five tips detailed here. They will set you on the right foot with home automation and ensure home comfort and safety for you and your pet.
Sage Singleton is a home and community safety expert for SafeWise. Singleton has written for a variety of audiences ranging from government sites to lifestyle magazines. In her free time, she enjoys wedding planning and learning French.