Useful gadgets

I had written earlier about some insane gadgets on the market for dogs and cats. Here are some more. These are slightly more sensible and I am sure the Indian inventor can modify them to be useful in our context:


*Going on a long drive with a pet ? Take the CarBowls, a water bowl with a splash preventing rim and a bottom bowl for snacks . These bowls snap together and can fit into the Car cup holder.


*Do you want to let the dog out when it is raining, or it is really hot or really cold? Get a makeshift bathroom in the balcony or the verandah. Its an automated, 8 sq.ft. turf or synthetic grass litter box for dogs with a metal frame. It includes a nifty 14 ft. drainage hose that can be directed to your floor drain, or even a nearby gutter. It can be washed easily.


*If your pet wanders off, an alarm sounds to let you know. A tag is attached to the pet’s collar and the main unit shows which direction to head to collect the pet. It has a 600 ft range.


*Acat litter which is not only biodegradable, but acts as an illness detection and odour eliminator. The litter actually changes colour if your cat has any sign of urinary stone or kidney problems, bladder infection, or liver disease.


*Some pets have a habit of chewing on electrical cords. Make your home electrical cords, puppy or rabbit proof. Make cord protectors. The clear tubing slips over the electrical cord to provide a protective layer. They are heavy-gauge, so they resist even the most determined chewer. They are also infused with citrus scent and a bitter taste that won’t wash away that should make the cords less attractive to your pet.


*Microchips that can be injected into your pet to find him if he gets lost or stolen.


*Birds need a lot of amusement. A solid hardwood playground with swings and perches and arches for small birds assembles in minutes and has a washable laminate base for easy cleanup.


* A bell collar for cats that roam outside. It will warn birds off but it will also limit their ability to catch mice.


* Do you have a pet who will not take his medicine. Get Pillpockets, small natural treats for cats and dogs with built in pouches where a tablet/capsule/liquid medication can be hidden. The treats mask the smell and taste of medicine to make sure your cat/dog takes his medicine successfully.


*A water-cooler unit which automatically fills a pet bowl, located at the base, with cool, clean water. This will make it possible for you to take short trips away from home without worrying about whether someone is refilling the water bowl.


*You can do it with food as well, specially if you live alone with your pet and need to travel. An automatic pet feeder gives 1-2 cups of food at 3 selected times a day. By selecting the portion sizes and dispensing frequency, you can ensure that your pet will not starve or overeat. But remember: you should always ask someone to check in on your pet, even if it’s just for companionship and exercise.


*Have your neighbours complained that your dog’s barking has driven them mad. There is an electronic gadget which trains your dog to stop barking using advanced microphone and ultrasonic technology. The sound of a dog barking causes this device to sound an alarm at a frequency that only dogs can hear, deterring them from making noise.


*Pets are largely sedentary. So their nails which would have been naturally cut by running. But now they have to be cut manually and this is risky because it is difficult to tell where the nail stops and the blood vessels begins. This nail clipper’s red, yellow, and green lights help you know when it’s not safe to cut, when to proceed with caution, and when it’s safe to clip. If you don’t want to spend money on a professional groomer, but feel nervous about taking matters in to your own hands, these clippers might prove useful.


* As a dog owner whose dogs regularly climb on sofas when they think no one is looking , this is something that I wish I had used. A shock mat that you can put onto sofas and chairs which gives a mild and harmless shock to animals who climb on it. Soon they get out of the habit. Much better than shouting in front of guests!


* If shocking is too strong for you, try a vibration pet trainer. This sits on any surface, a sofa, bed counter, hood of a car and detects vibrations. The smallest of pawsteps will set off its alarm scaring the animal away. You can even hang it from tables that your pets like scratching.


*Having problems brushing your dog. Try a Groom tool: claws that comb and a suction that sucks away the hair.

Cats need scratching posts to keep their nails healthy. If you don’t provide one, you will lose your furniture. But to divert a cat from furniture to a post you have to be tricky. A unique scratching post for felines is a 14-inch-high bark-covered cedar log, and suspended from it are a mouse stuffed with catnip and a ball that the cat can poke at.


*Do your dog’s ear fall into his food and water? To solve a problem that has been a nuisance to hounds, try dog snoods. A snood is simply a long tube which can be made from a long piece of rectangular stretchy material sewn together at the edge. Measure your dog’s neck to find out how long your rectangle should be and sew or even add other fastening devices such as buttons to make it easier to take on and off. Put it on him before mealtimes so that the ears are kept in.


I have taken days to find these gadgets. In the process I have found so many more insane ones that I will write about them again. I thought the only crazies in the world were the ones that rang up my office. But obviously, the world is full of them . Who is crazier – the people who make them or the ones that buy them ?


Maneka Sanjay Gandhi


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