One of the challenges in monitoring the health of our pets lies in the fact that they can't tell us when they're starting to feel a little poorly. We generally only know that there's something wrong once it's progressed to the state that it's really obvious. The PetPace collar is designed to let pet owners know that something's up, before it reaches that point.

Sensors in the collar measure the dog or cats' body temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, activity level, calories burned, and body position. This data is wirelessly transmitted to a cloud-based server, then subsequently sent to an app on the user's iOS or Android device after being processed.

When any of the vitals or behavioral parameters start to deviate noticeably from what's normal for that animal's personal profile and/or breed, the app lets the user know via text message, email or push notification. Data can also be forwarded to a veterinarian, both to let them know what has been happening, and to let them track the progress of a patient in real time.

The collar is powered by a lithium-polymer battery that should provide six weeks of use per charge. It's shockproof, water- and dust-resistant, and features a single push-button interface and LED indicator. It comes in three sizes, one of which should reportedly fit any dog or cat weighing 8 lb (3.6 kg) or more.

PetPace is priced at US$150 for the collar, plus there's a $15 monthly service fee. It's being rolled out across the US this summer.

View gallery - 5 images