What else is your latch key pooch to do while you’re gone all day at work? Fire up a video game, of course!  CleverPet is a new gaming console aiming to keep Fido busy when you’re away.  “Because a dog with a job is a happy dog.”

My quick take:

The CleverPet gaming system looks like a Roomba, tests your pet’s brain like Lumosity and works similar to that old school Simon light up game from childhood. Did I mention there are edible treats involved afterwards?  Seriously, where can I get one for myself?

At first this sounded crazy to me too.  A gaming console for your pet?  It is a big leap to think that the digital addictions that have overtaken us human beings as early as our toddler years can work for pets too.  But the reasoning behind it has some logic:  In the same way a dog learns to roll over, he can also learn to paw-press a button to retrieve a snack.  Change the buttons randomly and it turns into educational entertainment, similar to what Leapfrog is for kids, but for your pet.  The end result could mean your best bud is less bored while alone, making a happier pet to come home to who is less likely to tear apart your couch while you’re in Chi-town for the weekend. Sweet. You will be the pet parent that everyone talks about with this device.

What is it? The CleverPet is a WiFi connected device that uses dry dog food in compartments controlled by 3 touch pads that also light up. For example, touchpad number 2 lights up, Fido taps it and the treat compartment opens up with a dry dog treat.  He wants to try again and again. Once the basics are mastered, the device is smart enough to adapt to the pooch’s patterns and makes the game more difficult.  There’s even a microphone where you can record your own voice to play as part of the game.

With your 4-legged friend’s idle paws engaged and his brain busy, he could be happier, or at a minimum, less likely to chew up your bedspread.

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The fine print:

The device is available for pre-order NOW on CleverPet’s website for $249, which is $30 off the standard price and is currently available with free shipping.  Items won’t ship until spring of 2015, so don’t expect this to be Fido’s Hanukkah present this year.  With start-ups there’s always a risk of delays in getting the product manufactured on time but with this sort of “luxury” pet item, what’s the real hurry?   There can also be all sorts of kinks in the first release of products too – so buyer beware.  The company did successfully raise over $100k in its kickstarter campaign, but a lot could happen a year’s time.

Get it now:


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