10 Reasons For You To Use Skype For Your Pets
We all know that Skype a great way to stay in touch and communicate with your friends and family so why not use Skype for your pets too! Skype now has a Pet Brand Ambassador (whatever next?), Paris Permenter, who uses Skype both to stay in touch with her pets when she’s traveling without them and also to introduce her friends to her pets as they’re a big part of her life. She has put together this helpful list of 10 reasons for pet owners on how you can use Skype to keep in touch with their furry loved ones.
1. So you can share your pet with others.
Not all pets like to socialize. Our cats, for example, are very happy homebodies. They definitely don’t want to travel. Even when people come to visit our home, they’re quite happy ignoring them. However, if I’m using Skype, our cat Inca loves to come sit in my lap and even looks into the webcam. My friends are able to see Inca just being Inca, not frightened as they would see her if I took her to their home for a visit.
2. For the joy of seeing your pets when you’re traveling.
We love to take our dogs traveling with us but they can’t always go on every trip. Recently I spoke at a cat conference where our dogs really wouldn’t have been a good fit; it was nice to return to my room at the end of the day and hop on Skype to see them.
3. To check up on your pet’s health.
Are you worried about your cat eating while you’re away? You can place an automatic feeder beside your webcam and, at the scheduled time, check the feeder to see if your cat comes at the sound of the food. Or just check to see if the food is sitting untouched at the end of the day. That glimpse, even without seeing your cat, may give you a clue into how your pet is feeling.
4. To give your pet a boost when you’re away.
Not every pet will want to see and hear you while you’re away but, for some, it can be comforting to interact with you while you’re gone. If your dog has separation anxiety, for example, it’s better to peek in on him without making a sound; your voice can cause added anxiety. Balanced dogs at home with a pet sitter may enjoy “talking” with you while you’re gone, however.
5. To chat with your pet sitter when you’re traveling.
A talk via Skype to your pet sitter is the best way to put your mind at ease when you’re traveling. Your pet sitter can bring pets up to the webcam, except in the case of pets with separation anxiety, and you can answer any questions the pet sitter has in your absence — then return to the business of your trip with the peace of mind of knowing that all’s well with your pets.
6. To check on your pets from work.
Even if your travels don’t take you beyond your office, Skype can be a great way to check in on your pets and make sure your bird is just merrily sitting on it’s perch or that your ferrets are simply hanging out in their playpen.
7. To use as a nanny cam to watch your pet sitter.
You may have hired a new pet sitter, so Skype can be an excellent way to keep on eye on your pet sitter to make sure that he or she is interacting with your precious little friends in the manner you instructed.
8. To check your pet’s behavior when you leave the house.
Do you wonder what your dog does when you leave? Is he showing signs of separation anxiety? Or just napping all day? If you’ve received reports of barking (or you’ve seen evidence of destruction), when is that happening in the day? Checking in via Skype can be a great way to pinpoint behavior issues.
9. To make sure your pet’s automatic feeder is working in your absence.
Many cat lovers leave their cats with food and water overnight without a pet sitter. If you do, Skype can be an excellent way to check in and make sure that automatic feeder is working properly, that your cat hasn’t turned over the water bowl, etc. Leaving food and water near the webcam can keep them in sight for a quick check-in.
10. To teach an old dog new tricks.
With positive reinforcement training, some great treats, and the help of a friend, you can teach your dog to look at the monitor. Like all training, it’s an ongoing process and one you want to start in advance of a time when you really want your dog to come look at the monitor, like during your cross-country trip.
How do you get your pets to take a Skype call?
This are all great ideas, but you may have noticed that most of these tips require your pets to answer the Skype call. But as we all know when we are away from our menageries our little loved ones are very busy and may not be able to get to the laptop or desktop in time to take the call. This is where a handy little feature in the preferences comes in useful.
You can set up Skype in your home computers to autoanswer! You can find the instructions on how to set this up with this useful article here.
Look out for our next feature in this series, Skype for small birds and goldfish!