The Dog that Doesn't Need Walking: Toys Serve as Companions
Publish Date: January
THE DOG THAT DOESN’T NEED WALKING: TOYS SERVE AS COMPANIONS
Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend, and for good reason. Pets can feel like members of the family and provide important companionship for people of all ages. Despite the obvious benefits of owning a pet, pet ownership can be difficult for some, especially senior citizens. Feeding schedules, walks, and trips to the vet can require a lot of energy and be a hassle that not all seniors in the United States can handle. Additionally, paying for pet food, grooming, and other services can be a costly endeavor that not all seniors can afford. Well known toy company Hasbro sees a solution to the problem of seniors who want the companionship that comes with having a pet but are unable to care for one: a line of lifelike robotic pets.
Through their “Joy for All Ages” line, Hasbro is attempting to reach a consumer base that it doesn’t often market to: senior citizens. Recognizing the desire for companionship, Hasbro entered the arena of advanced companion robots in 2015 with several models of lifelike companion cats. The cats have been hugely successful and have spurred the release of a robotic golden retriever puppy in the fall of 2016. Retailing between $99 and $119, these robotic pets have realistic fur coats, purr and bark in response to petting patterns, and even have gentle heartbeats that can be felt in their chests. In a world with a rapidly aging population, it’s clear more and more companies will offer senior citizens affordable and low-maintenance pet replacements in the form of companion robots.