A Halifax inventor could have found the answer to help anxious dogs who are left home alone.
James Butterworth, a student at Nottingham Trent University, created The Dog Layer Co. which gives dog owners a notification on their smart phone whenever their pet shows signs of anxiety.
The dog owner then strokes their phone to send a corresponding stroke to the pet, which is delivered by a jacket which inflates and deflates remotely.
The Nottingham Trent University student, from Norwood Green, said: “Leaving your dog home alone can be difficult, especially if it gets anxious. This is a unique solution that reassures the dog as well as the owner.
“This design offers a permanent alternative to the short-term options currently available. Anxiety wraps, for example, can be put on dogs to comfort them but they apply constant pressure which means they can only be worn for a certain amount of time.”
The 22-year-old’s family dog, a much-loved chocolate Labrador called Minstrel, has tested and modelled the jacket
The jacket has silicone nibs attached which create the sensation of being stroked when an airbag with three compartments inflates to gently press them along the dog’s spine.
A heart rate monitor installed in the harness worn by the dog detects when it becomes anxious and sends the data to the owner’s phone in the form of a message from the pet. The owner is then notified again when the dog’s heart rate has dropped to a normal level.
The jacket also comes with a blanket for the dog to lie on which is transformed into a second layer when clipped on. This allows the dog to take their familiar blanket with them for extra reassurance when leaving the house.
James Dale, Head of Product Design at Nottingham Trent University, said: “James has been thorough in his research, resulting in an innovative design which gives dog owners the control to remotely reassure their pet as and when it is required. He has designed a system that can make use of real-time data in an effective way.”