Barking dogs and booming markets: why pet care is a key part of the intelligent home

Neil Cooper

Written by
Neil Cooper, VP Marketing Communications

June 22, 2017

According to Petcube, 95% of American households with pets would describe their animals as a member of their family, often describing themselves as pet parents. In his article for Entrepreneur magazine, Yaroslav Azhnyuk (CEO and co-founder of Petcube) claims that $100bn was spent globally on pets last year with $67bn alone being spent in the US. People clearly and increasingly love their pets and are very keen to spend hard-earned cash (an average of $1200 per pet per year) on keeping them happy and healthy.

This sentiment was echoed in the Economist’s 1843 Magazine recently where the journalist concluded that the status of pets is changing because Millennials are delaying marriage and children, instead deciding to lavish their animals with time and the emotional energy that they would one day show a child.

As an example, owners are investing in their wellbeing, fitting them with wearable devices to monitor their physical health or installing ‘pet cams’ to monitor their emotional health while they are away from home.

The major focus is the wellbeing of dogs, as they are often confined to indoor spaces and are more reliant on their ‘parents’ for support. I don’t think your goldfish will particularly notice that you’ve left and we all know that cats are fairly self-sufficient, after all, it is possible to snack between meals on a small rodent or chaffinch.

In order to satisfy the owner’s need for safety and wellness, modern, intelligent smart home devices like cameras, security devices, central hubs or even bespoke pet monitoring products need to react to what is happening within the home. This could be through motion or visual sensors, which can identify if the dog is walking around.

However, it is not unusual for a dog to walk about the house and the animal may be quite content as it does so. Equally, it is not always possible to place cameras in every location.

The sound of a barking dog is a pretty good indicator of its emotional wellbeing. It can inform an owner if the dog is playful or feeling unsafe or unhappy (perhaps somebody is approaching the house). By detecting and recognising the sound of a dog barking, the intelligent home can respond and either alert the owner, sending them to a live feed from their home camera, or automatically take steps to protect or comfort the dog, such as turning on lights and music, perhaps even allowing the owner to comfort the dog directly or deploy a treat.

To further explain how an intelligent home can respond to a barking dog we produced a short film about Eli and Monty, his pet dachshund, which you can watch below. For more information on our dog bark software sensor click here or contact us.

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