Help idle pets have a ball

December 29, 2017
Brendan Howard, Business Channel Director

Brendan Howard oversees veterinary business, practice management and life-balance content for dvm360.com, dvm360 magazine, Firstline and Vetted, and plans the Practice Management track at all three Fetch dvm360 conferences.Brendan has proudly served under the Veterinary Economics and dvm360 banners for more than 10 years. Before that, he worked as a journalist, writer and editor at Entrepreneur magazine and a top filmed entertainment magazine in Southern California. Brendan received a Masters in English Literature from University of California, Riverside, in 1999.

One of dogs favorite toys joins the recent wave of interactive pet electronics. You decide whether its a good match for your veterinary clients or in your hospital or boarding.

This dog is on the hunt ... (Images courtesy of Pebby)Balls have been perennial favorites for pets, especially dogs. You can catch them. You can throw them. Best of all, they roll unpredictably. Layer on some tech, and you've got the Pebby and its Kickstarter campaign for a smart-collar-and-pet combo. Right now, pet owners have poured more than $500,000 in Kickstarter and more than $600,000 at Indiegogo in funding and preorder dollars.

Pebby is the latest entry in the pet toy portion of the pet enrichment craze (which we recently covered in this dvm360 Leadership Challenge) for newer, better, faster, more futuristic animal recreation.

If clients seek your advice for keeping their stay-at-home critters entertained and active, here's what this roly-poly pet activity partner has going for it:

This Pebby is getting an external makeover with new colors.A collar activity tracker that talks to the ball (both WiFi-enabled), with notifications to the pet owner's smartphone app as well as “nudges” when the pet's at home and wants to start the Pebby play party with you

Two-way communication from smartphone app to ball, with “woof,” “meow” or pre-recorded voice message possibilities

A 720p camera in the ball with a wide-angle fish-eye view to record video and take pics at the touch of a button with the smartphone app

A laser, for cats (and cat-like dogs)

Smartphone-controlled movements and actions or Auto-Play function to keep pets busy while the pet owner's away

A wireless station that pet owners can steer the ball near and then let the auto-align function dock it for charging

Interchanging caps to change the exterior look > LED lights for night-time navigation and play

Up to 12 hours' charge for the ball and eight days' charge for the collar

Waterproof assembly.

Pebby is scheduled for mass-market launch first-quarter 2018, with more than 15,000 units already preordered. Preorder price starts at $189.

The calm before the crazy cat-toy storm.