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How Can Artificial Intelligence Help with Pet Care?

dog automatic feeder

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning used to be something we only saw in movies and on television. Today, AI is everywhere and is advancing at a rapid pace.

Instead of worrying about robots potentially taking over the world and ruining human civilization as we know it, we’re focusing on the positives of these big tech advancements. Here we will discuss the current capabilities of artificial intelligence and how it can help us better care for our pets.

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Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

While closely related, AI and machine learning are different overall but go hand in hand in the development and utilization of these advanced technologies.

  • Artificial Intelligence—Defined as the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. Artificial intelligence is a form of computer science that leads a computer system to mimic human intelligence. Artificial intelligence systems do not require pre-programming but use algorithms.
  • Machine LearningMachine learning, also referred to as ML, is defined as the study of computer algorithms to improve automatically through experiences and the use of data. Machine learning is a branch or subfield of AI that focuses on the use of algorithms and statistical models to analyze and draw predictions and inferences from the collected data.
Robot vacuum cleaner on carpet
Image Credit: ron2025, Pixabay

How Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Can Help with Pet Care at Home

Pet Tracking

Have you noticed the capabilities of the most high-tech pet trackers on the market today? These trackers do much more than just relay your pet’s precise location, they can monitor and track most of your pet’s daily activities like movements, sleep patterns, and more. These devices also allow you to set up geofencing to ensure you are notified if your pet goes outside a designated area.

The algorithm in the trackers can notify you per your preferences and will also alert you if there is a change in your pet’s normal patterns. This can allow you to look further into any behavioral changes and contact your veterinarian if there is a potential health concern.

hunting dog with training collar
Image Credit: PaigeWhite, Shutterstock

Pet Cameras

Pet cameras can be just as advanced as the security cameras we use for our homes. There is video analytics software programmed to notice any unusual behaviors and will alert you accordingly. These cameras can connect to apps and communicate with you directly through your phone and allow you to peer in on your pet at any time. You can even use these cameras to communicate with your pet through microphones. Most of these cameras will also connect to Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa to work hand in hand for your convenience.

Smart Feeders

A smart feeder has abilities that would be hard to believe even just a short time ago. These feeders are now capable of customizing your pet’s mealtimes, scheduling, and dispersing the right quantity for feedings, and can even determine when the pet food is running low, and you know when it’s time to buy more food. In addition to that, some will even connect you to coupons and discounts on food and supplies.

Smart feeders can also monitor your pet’s eating habits and will notify you if anything unusual is happening. These algorithms are so advanced they can alert you to changes in the consumption of water or food to let you know it may be worth a veterinary checkup. Most of these smart feeders will work alongside your mobile device so that you can give voice demands and have complete control of your pet’s diet, even from afar.

cat eating in automatic feeder
image Credit: gofra, Shutterstock

Cleaning

You have probably already heard of the robotic vacuums that are taking the world by storm with their automatic cleaning abilities. Well, this can be very helpful to pet parents too. There’s nothing like having a robotic vacuum handle the pet hair and mess while you are away or even doing some other chore in the home. These vacuums are incredible, they use piezoelectric sensors to detect dirt and mess. Some can even learn floor plans and will be at your disposal for cleaning anytime you need it.

cat near vacuum
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Fitness and Companionship Robots

Currently, robots are being developed to help pets keep fit and active through play. These robots will be designed with an AI that can recognize obstacles in the house such as walls and furniture to prevent it from getting stuck while playing with your pet. There are also robotic pets that are currently used for the purpose of human companionship but could easily be adapted to companionship for your pet. These robots are not considered pet products, but actual robots. These robots are said to be able to connect on an emotional level and interact like a live pet.

Dog Walking

Currently in the works are AI-based on-demand dog-walking technologies. This would give owners a more personalized dog-walking service that could track routes, bathroom breaks, interactions with others, and even the duration of the walk.

walking with dog
Image Credit: Piqsels

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How Artificial Intelligence Can Help with Veterinary Care

In addition to helping with pet care at home, AI and machine learning are making leaps and bounds in medical care for both humans and animals.

cat in laboratory
Image credit: Kzenon, Shutterstock

Pet Telehealth

Veterinary telehealth is a growing industry that is becoming more and more conveniently available. Some of the apps that connect you to devices such as pet cameras and trackers will also connect you directly to a veterinarian as needed either through the app or directly through your mobile phone through text or call.

A chatbot is a popular software that closely mimics a natural human conversation that is either written or spoken. Chatbot is used in a variety of settings, but veterinary clinics can now install chatbots on their websites as the first level of interaction with their clients. These highly advanced bots can also answer pet health questions and analyze symptoms and provide medical information all on their own. If the doctor is needed, the bot will determine that and offer a direct connection to the veterinarian.

Diagnostics

Machine learning and AI are very efficient and can provide accurate diagnostics in a medical setting.  Concerning diagnostic imaging, machine learning works by analyzing a bank of images to learn parts of the anatomy to properly judge what is normal. The more images provided; the more precise the machine’s understanding becomes. Once the software determines what is normal, it can then identify suspected abnormalities for the veterinarian.

cat having X-ray
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

Patient Monitoring

Similar to how you can monitor your pet at home via a tracker or camera, veterinarians will be utilizing AI to monitor patients. AI will be able to monitor vital signs, eating and drinking behavior, and notify of anything unusual that needs to be addressed.

Drug Development

Artificial Intelligence can potentially make the drug development processes faster and more cost-effective. The goals for AI used in the pharmaceutical industry are to reduce the time it takes for drugs to become available to patients in need.

Surgery

Artificial Intelligence has already made its way into the operating room. A lot of human surgeries are completed using robots that are controlled by the surgeon and the same goes for veterinary medicine. AI-based algorithms combined with the precision and control of these surgical robots are revolutionizing surgery into a new age of medical care.

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Conclusion

Machine learning and AI are making great strides in the world of pet care, whether it be at home or in the veterinary clinic. At home, it can help with tracking, health, and behavior monitoring, feeding, cleaning, and much more. When it comes to medical care, AI can save time and improve accuracy in all areas.


Featured Image Credit: muslody.com, Shutterstock

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