Even though we at Pivot haven’t ventured into the inventions-for-pets industry – yet – that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciatea nice dog high chair, like the one IKEA introduced a few years ago. (OK, OK, that one was an April Fool’s joke…and a pretty good one, if you ask us.)

We’ve got our share of enthusiastic pet parents here at the company, and we’ve been known to buy the occasional doggie backpack or antibacterial, silicone collapsible dog bowl. So here are a few of our favorite pet inventions from around the web, some way out there, some that actually look pretty useful.

  1. Hammacher Schlemmer’s Canine’s Rain Coat. What dog wouldn’t want to wear a little coat with a see-through plastic hood that sits just above its head? If you’re thinking “every dog,” well, we might be with you on that. But who knows? Maybe the dogs who live in Seattle and Portland would disagree.
  1. Pet Treadmill. Hammacher Schlemmer does it again with the Pet Treadmill, which is just what it sounds like. When your pet can’t get exercise outside, just put her on this treadmill. According to the description, most pets will reap benefits from 45 minutes of walking or trotting. As for how you get your pet to stay on the treadmill for 45 minutes, well, that’s a whole different issue. Someone should invent something to fix that problem.
  1. FitBark. The FitBark is a mobile app that works a bit like the FitBit for humans – except this one’s for dogs. Using a sensor that fits onto your dog’s collar, FitBark measures your dog’s sleep and activity cycles and then translates that into BarkPoints. This allows you to monitor your dog’s progress and lifestyle, while – hopefully – encouraging you to become more active as well.
  1. One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel. Assuming you have room in your house for a 48” diameter wheel, this kitty exercise wheel could be pretty cool. It’s certainly better than having an unhealthy, overweight housecat. And it’s designed to be extra safe, with no spokes to catch your cat’s paw and wide enough to protect your cat’s joints while they run.
  1. The BowLingual Dog Translator. Presented at the 2009 Tokyo Toy Show, this gadget purports to be able to translate your dog’s emotions based on the tone of their voice – or bark. And as of 2011, the translator was going to be released as an iPhone app that would let you post what your dog was “saying” to Twitter.
  1. Pet Chime Doorbell. With this paw-operated doorbell, you can teach your dog to let you know when they need to go outside or come back in. It’s a little silly, but it could make a nice change from barking, whining, and scratching.
  1. The Paw Plunger. It’s like a golf ball washer for your dog’s paws! Tired of those muddy pawprints all over the house? Get this paw washer – you fill it with water, stick your dog’s paw inside, and the soft bristles get rid of all the dirt, mud, and debris that would otherwise be in your house.
  1. The Eyenimal Petcam. Want a dog’s (or cat’s) eye view of the world? All you have to do is attach this lightweight camera to your pet’s collar, and you’ll get a chance to see what it is they do all day – or at least for 2 hours and 30 minutes, which is the battery life. The camera even records audio.
  1. The Dog Stairlift concept item. Yep, this is the exact dog equivalent of the stairlift that helps senior humans get up and down stairs when their joints or stability don’t allow them to do it on their own. However, this item wasn’t specifically designed for old or handicapped dogs – it was designed for obese ones. Apparently, an insurance company estimated that over half of the UK’s dogs would be obese by 2022…and hence, they’d need something like this to get upstairs.
  1. Haptic feedback harness. We saved the best for last. This haptic feedback harness, originally designed to allow the blind to monitor their dog’s well-being, vibrates in time with a dog’s breathing and heart rate. The harness can be set to notify the handler continuously, or just when those vital signs change significantly. Another useful application of this product is to remotely monitor search and rescue dogs.

Are you working on your next great pet invention? If you need help with any part of the process, contact Pivot for a free consultation. We can help with everything from product design services to business development. Easy (and free!) You should check out our premium features.