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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Just as humans use technology to connect with one another, they're now using machines to interact with their pets, too.

The big picture: Apps and devices are now offering pet owners a more intimate look at their animals' well-being, from veterinary care to fitness.

Details: Technology dips into pet care with:

  • Pet fitness trackers: Much like a FitBit or Apple Watch, companies are now producing wearable fitness-tracking devices for pets. The gadgets offer insights into exercise and nutrition, allowing owners to know, for example, when their pet could use a walk or run. The gadgets often come with GPS trackers, giving owners the ability to keep tabs on their animals' whereabouts.
  • Camera monitoring and intercoms: In-house monitoring systems and intercoms can connect to an owner's personal device, allowing them to view their pets and talk to them. Some also come with treat dispensers to "relieve boredom."
  • On-demand pet walkers and sitters: Pet lovers can now support the gig economy, with on-demand dog walking and pet sitting apps. Two popular platforms, Wag and Rover, for example, allow customers to use their phones to request the services of trained walkers. GPS technology even tracks the walker's route and provides updates to owners about the trip's duration and direction.
  • Telehealth for pets: Remote veterinary services are on the rise, allowing owners to access pet care without leaving home.
  • Microchip pet doors: To ensure pesky intruders such as raccoons or mice stay outside, pet doors are now able to recognize animals' microchips or collar tags as a sort of key for entry to locked pet doors.

The bottom line: As the industry continues to innovate, pet owners can expect more insights into their animals and their health, allowing them to better care for their pets.

Go deeper: How a faulty dog leash became a new threat for Amazon and crew

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.