We love pets, but they’re little freeloaders. Between food, litter, toys, and all of the other accessories, it can feel as if you have a very cute roommate that refuses to pay rent. Your pleas to “get a job” may go unanswered, but everyone knows that belly rubs are priceless. We here at WIRED have enough pets among us for a zoo—maybe two—and we’ve tested an awful lot of pet supplies, toys, and gear. For Cyber Monday, a few of our favorites are on sale.
DNA Tests and Subscriptions
Your dog has got a secret ancestry, and they ain’t tellin’ you anytime soon. Figure out where their ancestors hailed from with our guides to the Dog DNA Test Kits, and while you’re at it, flip through our Best Subscription Boxes guide for a couple of recommendations for your furry friend.
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Just like how it’s interesting to see our ancestry, pet DNA tests are a fun thing to learn more about your best pal. Some of them also offer a health aspect, so you can get an idea of what they might struggle with in the future and hopefully help to let them live a long, healthy life. Embark is the most expensive dog test we tried, but it’s jam-packed with information. You can even find your dog’s relatives.
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Cats tend to get overlooked when it comes to DNA and breeds, but this DNA test is super comprehensive—with plenty of health and breed information. It did drop to $69 in 2019, but this isn’t a bad deal. I found out that my orange girl, Eely-Rue, is at risk for dental disease, so now I’m attempting to brush her little fangs.
This deal is for new members and you essentially get two BarkBoxes for the first month when you subscribe to a six- or 12-month plan. Your pup gets a mix of toys, treats, and chews. You probably won’t go through all the treats the company sends, but it’s nice to find good, affordable dog toys that have cute designs to boot. The company donates 10 percent of profits to shelters and rescues across the US and Canada.
Kitty litter is a good start, but you’ll need a lot more to turn your home into your cat’s home, too. Take a look at Pet Supplies and Tips for Newly Adopted Cats and Dogs and Best Cat Toys and Supplies.
Shouldn’t your cat get a sleek litter box so they can do their business in peace? I love Tuft & Paw’s products because they actually look good in your house without losing any appeal for cats, but they’re expensive and rarely go on sale. The Cove Litter Box is too heavy for scratch-crazy cats to knock it around, and it has a scoop, dustpan, and brush that fit right into their own slots on the box. I recommend adding on the Shelter piece, which keeps litter from flying around and gives your pet an extra layer of privacy.
We saw this go down to $13 in June, but there are now more litter options, and therefore prices, available. The $20 sale price is for the clay litter, and you’ll have to sign up for the newsletter to get access, but this deal includes a scoop and dome box cover too. Kitty Poo Club is a litter subscription with boxes made of sturdy recycled cardboard (and they’re recyclable when you’re done). As long as you do actually change the box every month, it shouldn’t leak or fall apart. If you’re fostering or otherwise need temporary boxes for just a few months, it’s a nice subscription to try, but we think you should get your cat a permanent box eventually.
Pet Camera Deals
Go ahead and set up a surveillance state to see what your pet is up to when you aren’t home. They won’t know, anyway. We’ve tested a number of the Best Pet Cameras and, well, we have our opinions on them.
The price of the Furbo Dog Camera (9/10, WIRED Recommends) fluctuates, and $118 is not an uncommon deal. It’s still one of our favorite dog cameras. A bark alert sends notifications to your phone and you can fling treats to your pets from afar. It even takes pictures when your dog gazes into it.
This camera’s price is also up and down, but $180 is where you’ll find it most often. It’s another one of our favorites, designed with cats in mind with a built-in laser you can control from the app. You can check in with two way communication, have a remote play session, or ask Alexa to control the laser if you can’t.
This camera is new and similar to the Furbo in that it flings treats. I (Medea) have been testing it with my cats despite it being marketed towards dogs—my chubby cat is very motivated by treats. Unlike the Furbo, you can rotate the camera 270 degrees to get more of a view of a room. The notifications are instant and when you click them, it takes you directly to a live view (instead of to the main page of the app, like some cameras).
More Pet Tech Deals
We get it. No expense is spared for the health and safety of your special furball. Pet healthcare has gone as high-tech as human healthcare these days. Take a cruise through the Top Veterinary Telemedicine Services and Tech to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy to see which is pure magic and which is more magic trick.
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We tried the older Fi collar and loved it. It uses your home’s Wi-Fi, cellular, and GPS networks to locate your dog if they get lost, and tracks their fitness (step counting is not just for Fitbit wearers!). There’s a light included on the collar for walking at night, and the brand says the battery should last three months. While using this, WIRED senior associate editor Adrienne So got a notification that her dog had escaped. She turned around to see her trotting towards a neighbor’s house.
Catit is obviously made for cats, but the brand’s fountains can be used for dogs too if you think they’ll like one. We tried this one and the stainless-steel-topped one, which is also discounted to $33 ($11 off), and think you’ll be happy with either one. Whichever you choose, you’ll need to keep it very clean and replace the filter once a month. Nearly everything on the Catit site is 25 percent off, including the Vesper seat mentioned below.
More Pet-Friendly Deals
As much as we love ‘em, pets are autonomous, mobile mess-making machines. It’s only fair that the machines to clean up after them are autonomous and mobile, too. Snag yourself an automatic, dirt-sucking robot, but check out our guide to the Best Robot Vacuums first. Also, head over to our guides to the Best Dog Tech and Accessories and Best Cat Toys and Supplies for more.
Having a pet means fur, usually everywhere. A robot vacuum can keep most of that at bay without you having to lift more than your phone. This Roborock is our favorite for pets, as it’s designed specifically for them. It uses ReactiveAI that uses two stereoscopic cameras in front to identify and avoid obstacles like power strips, but most importantly, animal poop. My cats will occasionally get a piece of their droppings stuck to their hair and then sprint around the house until it flies off. If that happens when I’m not paying attention (or not home), I don’t want to look up to find a mess smeared across every inch of my floor.
This is another robot vacuum we love—it’s our favorite of all the bot vacs we tried. It doesn’t have poop detection, but it cleans well and can empty its own bin.