New Dog Collar Sends Text to Alert Owners of an Overheating Pet

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The "Dog Caller" will send a text to owners when their dog is beginning to overheat.




En route to go camping in a small Ontario town, Aaron Starkman made a quick pit stop to purchase a camping stove. Since it was pouring, Starkman figured leaving his golden retriever, Hefty, in the car for a few minutes would be ok.

After being stuck in a 20 minute lineup, Starkman left the store to find the rain had cleared and the sun was beaming down. To his horror, he found Hefty struggling in the heat. Hefty survived, but Starkman was shaken up over the close call.

“I almost was one of those awful people you read about,” he said of the long-ago incident. “Nobody knows it’s just a matter of minutes.”

This summer, Starkman was horrified at the number of heat exhaustion cases that killed a number of dogs who were left in cars. This is when he decided to take action.

Starkman, along with a team at Rethink, his ad agency, came together to invent a dog collar. This isn’t any old dog collar though. This collar is able to detect your dog’s temperature and text your cell phone if your pooch is becoming overheated.

Alerts will be received via text to notify you if your dog is overheating.

The “Dog Caller” contains a SIM card, a thermistor, several LEDs and a coded chip. The collar works much like a cell phone, but without a keypad or screen.

The collar monitors your pets temperature, and then sends an alert when their temperature passes 26 degrees Celsius. This gives the owner time to get to their pet before it’s too late.

Starkman made it very clear, however, that the collar is not being created as a solution for owners to leave their pets in hot cars.

“We never ever under any circumstance want anyone leaving a dog in a car,” Starkman said, “but if the collar does end up saving a dog in a car, we’ll obviously be thrilled in that result.”

Starkman believes the collar will be extremely beneficial for emergency situations, such as power outages that leave your dog in an overheated apartment.

Although Rethink is better known for their beer advertisements, the “Dog Caller” is being invented as part of a campaign. Starkman, who is a partner and creative director at the agency, hopes that the project will “actually do something to save dogs’ lives.”

The collar is expected to hit pet stores next year.

Although the collar is still in the prototype phase, Rethink is in the process of conducting a more immediate plan of action to prevent heat-related dog deaths. In a partnership with the Toronto Humane Society, Rethink is creating a web campaign and TV commercial for “Doggy Havens.” These Doggy Havens will be dog friendly stores that will allow your pooch to enjoy cool air conditioning on hot days.

6 thoughts on “New Dog Collar Sends Text to Alert Owners of an Overheating Pet”

  1. As I’ve already said, people that have to rely on a text to tell them something that their own common sense fails to, shouldn’t probably own a dog at all.

  2. A new e-collar for dogs was launched this week in Canada and the USA. It is intended to alert a dog owner through text alert that the interior of their car is too hot or too cold for their dog left in the vehicle alone. But how realistic is it to expect irresponsible dog owners to respond in a timely manner to the alert received? Or is it more likely that the dog will now be left in the car until
    the alarm is sounded which may be too late for the dog in distress.

    Let’s not underestimate how this new gadget undermines the Public Message for people NOT to leave their dogs inside vehicles unattended during extreme heat or cold alerts. Actually it lures other dog owners into a false sense of security that they can leave their dog in the car even during high or low temperatures.

    But like all electronic devices this product is not fool proof and if it fails to deliver the necessary alert msg to the owner then the dog will suffer or die if not rescued from the car in time.

    Also with this new system in the marketplace – many people who otherwise might have called the authorities seeing a dog locked in a car when temperatures soar or drop below freezing might not do anything believing the owner is on their way back to the vehicle. Which reduces the chances of dogs being rescued in time.

    This gadget should be banned and deemed the worst invention on the market for 2012! Its sole purpose is not to save dogs but rather to make the inventors and sellers make money.

  3. I would love it if this collar could also detect smoke – so that if a pet is in a home where there is a fire, it will send a txt to the owner (& perhaps a few others on the emergency phone list) that can respond. – I was searching for something like this for my dog & came across a product called the pet fire alert collar from 2006, but have not seen it make it to market – I’d buy one though if it existed. – Tina


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