Page Contents For Quick Browsing
Overview of Guide Dog Wearables
Gone are the days when dogs were simply kept as pets. Today, they play a more vital role in people’s lives and the community. Thanks to proper training, our canine best friends also help us as guide dogs.
Guide dogs are mainly trained to aid blind and visually impaired people. These dogs serve as their eyes wherever they go. In short, guide dogs are a great help for these individuals. They are also one of the reasons why pet wearables were created to address their unique needs and the challenges they face.
Pet wearables are technologically advanced gadgets specially designed for pets. For guide dogs, wearables such as these below are all beneficial not just for the dog, but for its owner as well. These can be utilized to search for locations of both the pet and the owner, tracking the dog’s health, and other uses.
- GPS (Global Positioning System) Tracker,
- Activity Tracker, and
- Smart Collar
GPS Tracker for Guide Dogs
Dogs are indeed man’s best friend. When families have dogs, they are already considered a family member instead of just a pet. If dogs get lost, everyone will be uneasy until they are safe and sound once more.
But what if your dog also served as your sense of sight? The loss of a guide dog has a more serious effect on individuals who require their assistance daily, but there’s no need to panic.
A GPS tracker is the latest, and probably the best, tracking device on the market today. This pet wearable isn’t complicated, and it works in a similar way to the GPS on cars or smartphones. GPS trackers are also commonly used to track your dog’s location.
Although it may seem like blind people may need the help of others to use the device, the visually impaired owner of the dog can track his dog’s location if they feel the need to do so. Moreover, he will be able to track its actual location real-time with the help of satellite imaging. GPS trackers for guide even lets owners track their pets indoors.
With a pet GPS tracker,
- It’s a lot easier for owners with visual problems to track their dogs that are out in the yard, the house, or in other locations beyond their limited reach.
- Some GPS trackers have the ability to set up an imaginary “safety zone” or boundary for a guide dog. And when the dog goes beyond the set boundary, the device, when paired with a mobile device or a smart watch, will alert the owner. Despite not being able to visually monitor the tracker, owners can then be aware if their dog has left or not.
- Lastly, GPS trackers for dogs have a feature specially created for guide dogs and their owners which let them guide the dog themselves. Although a guide dog functions mainly as their eyes, thanks to this feature owners are given the option of steering the dog when they are diverting from their normal routes.
GPS guided dogs can be controlled in two different ways using GPS trackers:
- First is a handheld unit. This can register and map destinations using vocal commands.
- Second is an attachment to the dog’s handler. This, on the other hand, gives vibration zones to the dog of which direction the owner wants to go – left, right, or forward.
Although the use of a GPS tracker can be quite a challenge in some ways for blind and visually impaired owners, there are a lot of trackers available in the market which is perfect for the special requirements of visually impaired owners of guide dogs.
Activity Tracker for Guide Dogs
For humans, it is not a new thing to be obsessed with health. Each year, health companies create new and innovative equipment to better the monitoring, preventing, and curing of different ailments. There are even apps, software, and online sites where people can monitor their basic health states. These devices and apps allow for the monitoring of:
- blood pressure
- heart rate
- stress level, and other factors.
It is extremely challenging to fully understand and monitor a dog’s needs on a regular basis, especially for people who are blind or for those who have visual impairments. Dogs primarily express themselves through their postures and movements but guide dogs, who are trained to stay calm, refrain from doing anything that may draw attention in public areas. With the aim to address this challenge, activity trackers were created so guide dog owners can be alerted if their dog has any problems.
To make life easier for guide dog owners, activity trackers help them monitor the dog’s overall health and well-being. Trackers are mostly small gadgets that are attached to the dog’s collar, and they are both available in wired and wireless versions.
Different activity trackers and models have multiple health monitoring abilities but are not limited to keeping track of a dog’s breathing patterns and its heart rate.
An activity tracker can also keep tabs on a guide dog’s activity:
- Is he sleeping all day?
- Was he staying in one spot most of the time, which is unusual for him?
- Is he walking slower than normal?
All activities that could indicate health problems such as body temperature, stress, or anxiety, can all be addressed by monitoring his pacing and everyday actions. If a guide dog is exhibiting any unusual behavior indicating stress, an activity tracker will alert an owner to the problem. In case your pup has a medical condition, it can monitor vital signs or help you monitor your guide dog to see if its medications are taking effect or not.
These are just some of the features of pet activity trackers. All of which, when indicating poor signs or a problem with the dog’s health, the owner will be alerted to in real-time immediately. However, to accommodate guide dog owners, these activity trackers come with vibrations or sound alerts for blind or visually impaired owners. Despite a few possible challenges when using the pet wearables, guide dog owners are grateful for the fact that activity trackers have more pros than cons.
Smart Collar for Guide Dogs
Collars are the most popular fashion statements for pets. If you are a dog owner, there is a good chance that at some point, you have made your pet wear a collar bought particularly for fashion above function. And as fashion statements, what’s the trend with collars today?
Today, there are dog collars that are created for function over fashion. Although still made to impress aesthetically as a bonus, they are being purchased for other uses. Pet wearables now include smart collars, which are multi-functioning gadgets for pets such as for guide dogs.
Smart collars can also be called an “all-in-one” gadget as it can do both the functions of a GPS tracker and activity tracker. It provides the blind and visually impaired owners with the ability to track a guide dog’s location and activities, and monitor its health as well, all in one handy gadget.
Additionally, some smart collars can function as training devices for guide dogs. Smart collars can reinforce what guide dogs are not allowed to do automatically, making things easier for their visually impaired masters.
Dogs are considered to be smart animals. They can easily be trained and taught new tricks as well as disciplined.
But guide dogs receive different training altogether, and smart collars will help them serve their owners better. For example, if an owner has a new guide dog, he can train him not to bark at family members by the use of an app which alerts the dog via vibration. Moreover, there are a lot of smart collars in the country for guide dogs with more functionalities that could benefit their blind and visually impaired owners.
Future of Guide Dog Wearables
These technologically advanced pet wearables were tested and proven to address the challenges that blind and visually impaired owners are experiencing when it comes to tracking and monitoring their dogs. It has benefited them in so many different ways in terms of:
- Determining a pet’s location,
- Monitoring its health,
- Training them, and more.
All these seemed impossible decades ago but were now made possible with the use of innovation and technology. So it is not impossible that these gadgets can do more in the future and, better yet, more pet wearables can be invented.
Although these pet wearables already have many incredible features that have already eased the lives of a lot of blind and visually impaired owners and their guide dogs, more features may still be added and improved:
- Such is an audible alert on the gadget itself that their owners can use to locate them more easily with the use of sounds.
- Another is the installation of more functions, or, if possible, all functions can be found in one handy gadget so that results can be monitored in a hassle-free manner.
In the future, companies creating these gadgets can even focus more on the ease of usage for guide dog owners. Since they need assistance with on visual tasks, manufacturers might be interested in creating monitoring and tracking gadgets that would not need eyesight to generate impeccable results. Instead of their eyesight, blind guide dog owners can benefit from audible alerts, or through “feeling” by vibrations.
This will greatly help the owners, especially those spending their days mostly on their own. They do not need to go to their neighbors, or approach anyone else, just to check if their dog’s GPS tracker, activity tracker, or smart collar needs to be tracked visually.