New technology helps keep pets safe while traveling


For many people, the health and happiness of their pets is a prime concern during travel. In fact, according to a recent survey, 48 percent of pet owners said that they actually care about their pets’ comfort more than their own when traveling. And while traveling with pets can be stressful — for the owner and the pet — the latest technology can help travelers rest easy knowing that their furry friends are safe and secure, no matter where they go.

Stay connected in the air

Air travel can be very stressful for pets and their owners, especially if pet owners find that their pet is not allowed to fly in the main passenger cabin. This means being separated from the pet as it is sent to the cargo area. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that two million animals fly via cargo each year.

This shift can take an emotional toll on both owner and pet as the animal finds itself in an unfamiliar area with new sights and sounds — not to mention movement during take-off and landing. Not surprisingly, this change can cause major anxiety. Sitting in the passenger cabin with no knowledge of how a pet is doing can be hard for owners, too.

Fortunately, advancements with Internet of Things (IoT) and sensor technology can help improve this situation. A new app called Digi-Pet™ has the potential to provide added safety for pets traveling in the cargo hold, as well as more visibility for the owner. For example, with Digi-Pet, smart sensors placed on a kennel or carrier track the health and comfort of the pet during transit, including temperature, oxygen levels and vibration. Data can be tracked by airlines throughout the process as a way to study and improve the pet travel experience.

The solution was developed by global information technology company Unisys Corporation. Dheeraj Kohli, global leader for the travel and transportation practice at Unisys, first conceived of the idea after having to travel with his pet pug, Buster. Those experiences showed him there was a need for people traveling with animals.

“Our pets are members of the family,” said Kohli. “It’s nerve-wracking to send them to another part of an airplane even for just a few hours. With Digi-Pet, we are providing airlines with a way to improve how they transport animals, as well as deliver a better customer experience by providing assurance that their furry family members are well cared for.”

The pet-friendliest places at your fingertips

Digi-Pet is just one of the latest examples of how technology is being designed to help travelers and their four-legged friends make the most of their journey.

The free app BringFido, for example, lists the best hotels, beaches, restaurants, campgrounds and much more for pet owners. You can also find essential details about hotel pet reservation policies and fees that are often left out on other sites.

Dog Park Finder Plus is another app that provides a user-friendly map displaying dog parks in a given area. Using the current location, it searches the area and displays green dots on the map for dog-friendly parks and red dots for "no dogs allowed" parks.

GPS tracking for easy identification

A lost pet is a scary proposition for any pet owner. That's why, if you haven’t already, now is the time to look into collars equipped with GPS tracking technology. These collars can measure activity levels and provide recommendations on how you can change or modify your pet’s activity, keep veterinarian records and also sport a light so you can see your dog in the dark. Most importantly, it will ensure that you’ll be reunited in the case of any type of accidental separation.

With pet technology tools on the rise, there are many options for keeping your furry friend (and you) safe and relaxed while you travel. Explore your options today and you will both enjoy your next adventure that much more.