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DogTV, iPad Apps For Cats, And Other Ridiculously Tricked-Out Tech For Pets

The world’s first television channel for dogs comes to DirecTV on August 1, joining a litter of content and tech for our furry friends.

DogTV, the first satellite network to air programming exclusively tailored to dogs, has been picked up by DirecTV, which will offering the channel to subscribers starting August 1.

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The 24/7 channel airs original content designed to keep stay-at-home pooches from developing poor behavioral conditions like boredom, mental fatigue, and depression. Short, three- to six-minute segments expose dogs to various scenes, sounds, and images designed for “relaxation,” “stimulation,” and “exposure.” All three types of content are supposed to work together to deliver a zesty shakeup to your dog’s daily routine. The network says its programming took four years to develop with the help of pet experts.

DogTV will be available to DirecTV subscribers for $4.99 a month. That might not seem like much to spend on your pet, but consider that Americans spend an estimated $55 billion a year on their pets. More of these pet products are beginning to resemble very human playthings, from headphones to iPad apps. Here’s a look at five of them:

1. Friskies has three different iPad apps for cats: Cat Fishing, Tasty Treasure Hunt, and Party Mix-Up are based on research on how cats respond to different stimuli.


2. The Talk To Me Treatball keeps dogs company during the day by playing a pre-recorded message to them when it is nudged. It also dispenses treats.

3. GoDogGo is an automatic ball launcher for pets whose owners are either gone all day, or too lazy to throw a ball.

4. The DJ Deadmau5 partnered with headphone maker Sol Republic to create a $1,000 headset for his cat, Professor Meowingtons. The company sold a limited run of the headphones as a fundraiser for ASPCA. They were not an April Fools’ joke.

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5. Yummypets is a social network for pets, but it’s more like a role-playing game for humans who can create profiles essentially impersonating their pets. As your pet, you can post photos, videos, status updates, classifieds–it even comes with its own version of the rating game “Hot or Not.”
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[Image: Flickr user llimllib]

About the author

Christina is an associate editor at Fast Company, where she writes about technology, social media, and business.

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