A Video Game Console to Detect Dementia in Dogs Has Been Created by U.K. Pair

Remember the Whac-a-Mole video game inspired by the popular arcade, carnival, and fairground games? Well, a pair in the U.K. have reportedly capitalized on it to come up with a way to test the cognitive abilities (or decline) of dogs. In this case, the modified whac-a-mole video console is paired with a health tracker fitted to your dog’s collar. The tracker helps provide data to an app concerning the animal’s physical well-being and brain activity. Designed by Joipaw, creators Dersim Avdar and Marco Jenny are the brains behind the invention.

Photo: Pixabay/Vizslafotozas


Being touted by the company as the first holistic dog-health tracking platform, the Joipaw website adds that it’s backed by a decade of scientific research. Their stated objective is to help every dog on the planet live a longer, healthier, and happier life. They hope to accomplish this through canine games meant to stimulate the animal’s brain.

Scientists believe the key to staving off early-onset dementia is to keep physically and mentally engaged. It’s the old “use it or lose it” adage that reminds us that our muscles — and the brain is one — must be exercised regularly or they atrophy and essentially become useless.

Mental & Physical Stimulation for Dogs

The product includes a dog-friendly touchscreen attached to a height-adjustable stand that doubles as an automated treat dispenser. With it, you can run interactive puzzle games that are constantly updated and challenging in nature. You can also add speakers, a microphone, and an HD camera. The tracker is designed to work with a collar your pet wears when interacting with the unit. The total package is described as an all-in-one health platform for your pup.

Photo: Pixabay/yousafbhutta

Combining Play & Science

It appears as though Joipaw is still in the development or production stage because the website encourages visitors to reserve theirs now, but it doesn’t specify how far along they are in the process. Advertised as a way to share hours of entertainment and bonding time with your dog, they also suggest it’s a great way to deal with canine separation anxiety, boredom, and the destructive behavior that can come with both issues. If you go the full speakers, microphone, and HD camera route, you can also treat it as one of those devices for keeping an eye on your pet and interacting with them while you’re away.

It’s certainly an intriguing idea for monitoring mental decline if it works as advertised. Would you get one for your dog?

People, Pets & Planet

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