Sometimes a simple gadget can be just as useful as a complex one. The Dog-e-minder is one such gadget that is not only for you, but your pooch as well. It’s a simple electronic device that tells you when your dog was last walked, fed, and medicated. The Dog-e-minder is designed to look like a dog tag, but personally we think that it looks like a tamagotchi toy. However there is no pixelated character inside of it that needs to be taken care of, but instead it helps you take care of a real animal – your pet! The device easily slips on to your dog’s collar and it has a ring on it that allows it to always face front – so no twisting or turning here. It also comes in four different colors: Black, Pink, White, or Blue.
We received a sample of the Dog-e-minder to test out. The first thing you need to do is program your dog’s name, your telephone number, the date, and lastly the time. When we got our review unit it already came pre-programmed with a name, but I wanted to make the experience as real as possible and I wanted to input the identity of my real dog. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to erase the information that was already on the device – I looked on the website for information – nothing. No matter what I pressed nothing was allowing me to edit it. So after playing around with it for about an hour, I decided to just take the battery out, and then voila – the unit erased all the information that was previously stored on it and I could then start from scratch.
The Dog-E-Minder has three buttons that are supposed to be symbols for the actions/needs of your dog. The Hydrant button indicates the last time the dog was walked. The Bone button is supposed to symbolize food. When pressed it will tell you the last time the dog was fed. Lastly, the RX button tells you the last time medication was given to your dog. For some pets, this button may never have to be used.
When in setup mode, the Hydrant, Bone, and RX buttons are used to help program the device. You can scroll up and down by pushing either the Hydrant or RX button to spell your dog’s name out, input the date, time, and your phone number. It took about 5 minutes to complete this task. Once your dog’s name is inputted as well as the correct date, time etc…the information is stored and the Hydrant, RX, and Bone buttons now become used for other forms of information.
So it was time to put this little gizmo to task. I took my dog out for a walk – when I came back in I held down the hydrant button for about 3 seconds, and the date and time that I had completed this task was saved into the device. So the next time my dog walker walks my dog, all they need to do is press once on that button and it will tell them the last time I walked her. After I fed my pup, I also pressed down on the Bone button and it saved the time details of when I fed her, and the same goes for the RX button when I gave her a PetTab (doggie vitamin). She also took a sloppy drink of water and dipped the Dog-e-Minder in the bowl while doing so, and fortunately the device continued to work fine.
Saving these times on the Dog-e-minder allows me to keep track of the times I feed, walk, and give her medicine. For monthly pills it’s a great idea, since all I have to do is press the RX button and be sure to give it to her at the same time and date every month. Keeping track of the times of her walks has allowed me to be more considerate of her between walks, and the same could be said about time in between feedings.
The Dog-e-Minder is a great idea for families with kids who may have just gotten a new family pet. Parents can keep track of when the dog’s needs were attended too, and they can potentially use it to check if kids are lying about whether they did indeed take the dog out or feed it. It’s also good for people who like to be strict about schedules – for some reason this little plastic device becomes very intimating and reminds you that your pet has needs at certain times of the day. However, the device is probably more suitable for larger dogs, because of it’s size of it may be too big for small dogs. Even my small sized pooch was trying to get at it to eat it! However if the device were to be any smaller than it is now, you wouldn’t be able to read it.
Overall, the Dog-Minder is a cute little gizmo that lets you keep on top of your pets needs, and it also makes you an even more responsible owner. However, I was disappointed that it didn’t have a programmable alarm. It would also have been nice if the device featured a flashing LED backlight or beeping alert to remind you that a walk, food, or even medicine is due soon. It would have also been cool to include some type of computer interaction via USB, so that maybe people could upload a log of when the dog was walked. That kind of functionality would be ideal to have if you left your pet with someone and that way you could keep track of what is going on. However if all these fancy features were stuffed inside of it, than chances are that the Dog-e-minder would cost quite a bit more than the $19.95 it currently retails for.
The Good: Great way to keep track of when your pets needs were last attended too. Easy metal ring lets it slip on to collar easily. Clear digital display. Affordable price.
The Bad: May be a bit too big in size for smaller dogs. Really needs a reset button. There is no alarm function to indicate when your dog needs to be attended to next.