Value of Enrichment: In order to live a full, satisfied life, all dogs need activity and enrichment to fill their day. It helps them tap into some of their primal drives and gives them the same satisfaction that we might get from a great workout.
It’s also really important for full, satisfied life, for a dog to be pain-free.
Pain gets in the way: More dogs have painful conditions like Osteoarthritis – 1 in 5 dogs in the US - than those diagnosed with it (25% of cases). Dogs can’t tell you they are in pain with verbal language. They do this instead by “showing” us through movement. It’s one of the most impactful things in a dog's life, and undiagnosed pain can be one of the largest drivers of behavioral or communication challenges. In other words, it can greatly harm the human-animal bond, but be undetectable to the human.
Companion sees pain: With infinite patience and perfect memory, the video camera in Companion picks up on all these types of movement communication and informs you if your dog is in pain from some of the most common conditions. For instance
- The large differences in movements, like a dog who stops feeling comfortable moving from a sit to a down while practicing with the Companion each day
- Or the subtle movements like a dog slightly favoring their left side as they move from a down to a stand
- Or the near impossible to detect, like subtle changes in a dog's back or neck position over months that can indicate a variety of neurological conditions
So, in effect, while providing enrichment for your dog throughout the day, it is using those same activities to watch for what your dog is already communicating about its comfort and pain.
Better with time: This is separate from the value of the dog simply being given a delightful activity to be physically active in through the day. As dogs age, keeping them active becomes more and more important to retain their body's dexterity and capabilities, which allow it to live a full life – “use it or lose it”. So, as dogs age and the possibility of joint disease increases, having a device like Companion can be more and more important for your dog to lead a full life.