Skyping Your Pet is Now a Thing

2014-07-03 02:07:00

Imagine this: You’re on holiday, far away from your beloved pet. You wonder what they’re up to, and how they’re getting on without you. Why not give them a call?

According to new research from car company Hallmark, more than one third of the UK’s car owners have admitted to calling their pet via Skype or FaceTime. So Skyping your pet is a thing now.

Why Skype?

In a strange way, it makes sense. Unlike a phone call, you can see your pet on the screen, and they can see you. Well, in theory they can. Dogs and cats cannot easily distinguish between images on a screen and images in real life. So a flickering image may not immediately register as the face of their owner, but they will recognise your voice as coming from inside a weird metal box. This can be a little distressing for the animal, so it is best to have a trusted pet-sitter on standby to comfort the animal if it starts to get anxious, or tries to get ‘inside’ the computer to be with its owner.

Next Wave of Monitoring

But maybe these Skyping owners have another agenda. Doggie CCTV is already being used in advanced training programmes to assess a dog’s behaviour when left alone in the house. Owners can then monitor the video feed and check out any naughty or worrisome behavioural traits in their dog. After a period of observation, a two-way feed can be set up to allow the owner to verbally train their dog when it does something wrong in front of the camera. The latest monitors can even dispense treats to the dog when it responds to the voice command.

FaceTime and Skype feeds could offer a cheaper alternative to pricey surveillance equipment for devoted pet owners who want well behaved pets, as well as giving them the chance for a quick catch up.

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