With the world-famous Westminster Dog Show in full swing this week (and with cats this year!), we're thinking a lot about our own furry friends. And we do love to pamper them: Americans spent an estimated $62.75 billion on Fido and Fluffy last year, according to the American Pet Products Association. That comes after a 2013 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that said U.S. households spent more money per year on their pets ($500+) than they spent on alcohol ($456) or men and boys clothing ($404).
Not surprisingly, the biggest portion of that spending goes to food and healthcare. But there's also a booming pet toy market. And like most things these days, those toys are increasingly going high-tech. If you're the parent of a fury friend looking to get them something special, here are a few new options to consider:
If you don't work in a pet-friendly office environment, there's still a way to interact with your dog during the workday. Furbo has an embedded camera that acts partially as a home monitor and partially as a tool for pet voyeurs. You can even talk to your dog via a two-way microphone/speaker combo, though it's likely to mightily confuse your pet.
One way to ease that anxiety? You're also able to remotely give them a treat. It doesn't really build loyalty to you, since the dog has no idea who's causing the food to shoot out of the system, but they'll stay happy — and may refrain from destroying that throw pillow.