When 65% of American households own a pet—which adds up to almost 80 million households—you know a lot of cats and dogs spend a lot of time home alone as Americans head to school and work. And as much as we’d like to believe they simply sleep all those hours away staying out of trouble until we walk through the door, the reality is they might not—which can be a stress factor for those of us trying to focus on work yet distracted by the “what ifs” at home.
Technology can help. Home security and home automation have come a long way in capabilities and features, and they can give you a great deal of peace of mind when you’re fretting over Fido.
Choosing a pet-friendly home security system
If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a pet left at home while you’re away at work, consider a home security system but make sure it’s a pet friendly one. Look for a home security system with a pet friendly motion detector, one that won’t give you false alarms because it can sense the difference between the motion of a pet vs. an intruder.
Also look for a home security system that includes video monitoring you can access remotely. This kind of live video streaming to your mobile phone or computer enables you to actually see what your dogs and cats are up to throughout the day in your absence. (Note: In order to prevent yourself from being regularly distracted by checking up on pets throughout the day—or forgetting to do so, we suggest scheduling these “check ins” as part of your work day.)
The benefits of a home automation system extend to pets too. You might be tempted to turn the heat off while you’re gone to conserve energy. A home automation system lets you reduce the amount of energy you’re using while still keeping pets at a comfortable temperature. Ditto for air conditioning during the summer. You can keep the house cool enough for the pets yet still decrease the energy used, then set it to turn higher before you’re scheduled to get home.
Automating the lights can be a benefit to pets too, alleviating the nervousness they might feel when darkness is falling and you’re still not home.
And consider non-tech ways to watch over your pets too
Although technology can be a huge help in keeping an eye on cats and dogs while you’re away, so can good old-fashioned neighbors and dog walkers. Definitely invest in a pet-friendly home security system for your peace of mind. Also consider giving a neighborhood teenager a way to make a little extra cash too, by stopping by your house to clean the litter box or to take the dog for a walk. Your pets will appreciate not being neglected all day! Remotely keeping tabs on them gives you peace of mind, but they need a little TLC while you’re away as well. And then they’ll be even happier to see you when you walk through the door! OK, the dogs will be…the cats, not so much.