As pet owners, we all want to make sure our animals are happy and healthy.

But how do you do that?

New technology is enabling us to know how they feel even if they can’t talk. Mike Orloff and his best bud Zappa are regulars at the vet these days. “He eats like a mad man and we figured you could throw rocks in his bowl and he’d eat them before he realized it wasn’t food,” Orloff said. “So when he stopped eating, we knew there was something going on.”

Two months ago, the 10-year-old golden retriever was diagnosed with lymphoma. Since then it’s been a grueling task of constant observation and checkups. But a new collar is taking the guesswork out of tracking Zappa’s daily health.

“We’ve never had the ability to monitor remotely how our animals are doing and obviously you can’t ask them,” said veterinarian Teresa Lightfoot. That’s where PetPace comes in. Using miniature sensors, the smart collar tracks vital signs like temperature, pulse rate, respiration and even your pet’s daily activity. The information is all sent to your computer screen or digital device. And if any problems are spotted, you’ll be contacted by your vet through text, email or a phone call. The information is easy to understand and can even offer early detection of deadly diseases. “Is their cardiac medication working? Are they in pain? Oncology patients, the department we’re in, now is very concerned with that,” said Lightfoot. The collar costs about $150 with an ongoing fee of $15 per month, which Orloff said is a small price to pay for family.

“These guys are just part of our family. I mean they are our whole family,” said Orloff. “We do everything with them and everything for them.” The PetPace smart collar is only available in Florida and Massachusetts, with a nationwide rollout later this year. To get one or learn more about the smart collar, visit the PetPace website at
Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.