A Den of Calm: The Kickstarter Tackling Dog Anxiety

Introducing the Engineer-Designed ZENCRATE

By Erik Ryken

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Image credit: ZenCrate

We’ve never seen a solution quite like this for ensuring a dog’s good rest. In equal parts an anti-anxiety remedy as it is a refined furnishing, the ZenCrate by South Florida-based startup PNP Robotics intends to relieve a number of stresses in an anxious dog’s home. Essentially a calming den where your dog can feel safe through a host of triggers – like separation anxiety, thunderstorms, and other noises – the ZenCrate is the first “intelligent” dog crate. Pet owners looking for something less complicated may also be interested in the new Casper Dog Mattress we recently covered.

The feature list on the ZenCrate is so well-equipped you may expect it to warrant a steep learning curve, but it appears the engineers have made a mission of creating an intuitive design that integrates as seamlessly into a living room as it does into a dog’s daily life. Its “smart” features include proximity sensors, wi-fi, and the option of adding a camera. Able to send text messages and emails, it aims to comfort dog owners even while they are away. Responding to a dog’s motion, the proximity sensors automatically activate a calming, curated playlist, a fan for temperature control, and the camera, based on activated settings. These can be configured using iOS and Android apps on a smart phone.

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Image credit: ZenCrate

The ZenCrate sits on vibration-dampening feet, which helps to eliminate low vibrations from thunder, fireworks, and other noise sources. A memory foam mattress maintains a base for the interior, which has been tuned for comfortable acoustics that gently isolate exterior sounds.

Upon first glance the ZenCrate looks nothing like the tech gadget that its features describe. Instead it blends effortlessly with modern or traditional furniture in a timeless stained-wood finish. A detachable door ships with a choice of door inserts, allowing for customization and the option of having the ZenCrate act as an enclosed space or an open den, depending on the preferences of you and your pet. The designers have made a point to produce an easy user assembly process that should only take five minutes with no tools required.

The ZenCrate is available for pre-order on Kickstarter at a variety of pricing options for backers. The current MSRP is set at approximately $449 USD.