Amazon Alexa is not only a phenomenal voice assistant for the needs, desires and personalized automations of humans, but also for our pets.
Would you believe us if we told you that you could use Alexa to play exclusively curated music for your dog, or that you could call a virtual pet trainer if your dog started misbehaving? Guess what? You can! And the intuitive, interactive animal technology doesn’t stop there.
Alexa can use many of its standard features in addition to a range of downloadable skills to make our furry companions’ lives better, and we’ve put together this guide to tell you and your family about a number of Alexa’s pet-friendly features.
A constantly barking dog is a very stressed dog (and an equally stressed group of neighbors). When we’re away, when there’s a storm, or when a stranger comes over that your dog or cat isn’t used to, your pet may not bark or hiss, but deep down they can still be anxious. This is where fantastic skills like comfort my dog and calm my cat come into the game
Free to download and easy to activate (with a voice command or via the Alexa app), these two Alexa skills are essentially the same. If you know (or have a hunch) your pet is stressed, you can launch Comfort or Calm to play a stream of soothing, pet-friendly music from one of your Alexa-compatible smart speakers or displays.
Better yet, you can use the Alexa Sound Detection feature to create a custom Routine that automatically launches the Skill if an Echo device hears your dog barking (no meow or hiss support currently).
And if you’re not a fan of the yoga-centric playlists that Comfort and Calm bring to the table, you can always program an Alexa Routine that starts streaming music from a playlist of your choice, be it Spotify, Apple Music or one other streamers supported by Alexa.
Feeding Rovers table scraps is an age-old tradition of man’s best friend, but the last thing we ever want to do is give our pet something that will make them sick. This is where skills like Dr. Dog into play.
Around Halloween, you might be tempted to feed the pooch a small handful of Twix or Snickers bars (don’t do it!). Well, before you go ahead and make such a decision, you can ask Alexa if your dog can eat chocolate if Dr. Dog is installed. And as soon as dr. Dog responds with a resounding “no,” we hope you put human food on hold.
you can dr Dog ask if your dog can eat a variety of different foods, from meat to vegetables, but at the end of the day, this is an Alexa skill and there’s no better advice than having the words passed to you by a veterinarian. Consider dr. Dog as an unpaid intern in the world of animal health.
Pet training is a profession that can easily be taken for granted, especially when you consider how much a reputable trainer costs per hour or session, which is why Al the Dog Trainer is an Alexa and cost-friendly alternative to traditional training.
In the event that your dog is misbehaving or you have a question about their behavior, how to get them to respond to commands, etc., you can call Al the Dog Trainer (via Alexa) to explain what for a problem you have. If you have anything to do with your pooch, and Al (a real human with a wealth of dog training experience) will provide you with an insightful answer on how to deal with your issues.
And if you have one Yes, really difficult times with your dog, you can even reach out to Al directly! That’s an Alexa skill that goes beyond the parameters of virtual assistance.
Our pets enjoy our company and are often devastated when we go to work or for a little getaway. So what can we do to remind them that we still exist and continue to interact with them? That’s where a smart home camera comes in, and luckily most big-name brands these days are all about interactivity. Let’s unpack that a little further.
Let’s say you want to be able to easily see your four-legged friend. Well, just about any smart security camera, indoors or out, will give you the ability to pull a live feed from a remote location, and Alexa can help you launch that real-time footage through a few routine adjustments.
With the Alexa Sound Detection feature, you can program an Alexa routine that will automatically send your phone a notification if the dog starts barking. If this is an everyday phenomenon (your dog barks when you go to work), it might be a good idea to create a time slot where Alexa Not react to the noise – maybe between 8:00 and 10:00. After all, he or she may just have to get through the initial stress you have when you leave.
If your dog starts howling after that window, you can use Alexa to get a live feed from a security camera when you receive the routine notification. Arlo, Ring and Google Nest are excellent options for keeping an eye on the domicile, but also a regular Echo Show display. And while you might not be able to rotate a Show 5 or 8, the Echo Show 10 sits on a rotating axis that allows you to rotate the lens in any room where the barking was heard.
Here’s a unique idea: If you’re thinking about investing in a robot vacuum cleaner, you can opt for one that includes a built-in surveillance camera. Use Alexa to create a routine that starts the vacuum when the dog starts barking, so not only does your house get cleaner, but you can control the vacuum (using its companion app) to see what’s going on what’s going on doggy.
Now let’s not forget the two-way chat capabilities. Once most of these cameras start showing a live feed, many models (including robotic vacs) will allow you to talk to people (or animals) in the room, and they can respond as well. And for many pets, nothing is more reassuring than the sound of their owner’s words of reassurance.
Giving our pets a treat is a simple but satisfying exchange that both parties appreciate, especially when Alexa can help with the give and take. While the smart assistant won’t be able to open the pantry to get the bones off the top shelf, there’s a whole market for smart pet tech that’s more than suited to the task of distributing kibble.
One of our favorite treat feeders is the, an automatic dispenser that can be programmed to dispense treats at set times. In fact, the Bites 2 is also a great way to keep tabs on and interact with your pets, as the device includes an integrated camera and the option for two-way chat. Best of all, the Bites 2 has Alexa built right into the device, allowing the feeder to function like a standalone Echo peripheral.
Here’s our Alexa-optimized suggestion: Let’s use the example above (Smart Home Cams) to start a routine. Every day between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., Alexa simply ignores your dog’s barking. But if the pooch starts rampaging after 10am, you can program the Alexa sound recognizer to listen for the bark, with the action being Alexa handing out a treat from the Bites 2.
Of course, without routines, you can always use the Alexa app (and the Bites 2) app to manually give out a treat at any time of the day, or use the camera and two-way chat features to engage with your furry buddy to advise.
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