Pet Proximity Sensor (opposite of most devices)

I have a bit of a unique situation that I’m trying to solve. I’m trying to find a very close proximity sensor, like within a foot or so that can send an alert when triggered. Most products I’ve seen do the opposite, ignoring small pets. I need a dog collar FOB with a sensor that triggers within a foot or two.

We have a small, older dog that doesn’t make much noise but knows to go up to the back slider when he wants to go out. We have 2 cats that are not allowed outside because we live very close to coyotes so a pet door is not an option. I was looking at some pet fencing solutions to keep the cats in but for now I just want an alert when the dog is at the door and wants to go outside so one of us can go let him out.

This would need to be something that attaches to his collar with a sensor placed at the door and triggers when he’s within 1-2 feet of it and sends a real time alert.

A little backstory: it’s never really an issue when the adults are home because we’re either in the living room/kitchen or the dog is with us in the bedroom. The problem is when my son is home alone with him, he’s in his room usually with headphones or music and although he swears that he lets the dog out often, we almost always come home to pee on the floor. Last night we got home around 8pm to a mess, the golden child swore that he had just let the dog out “20 minutes ago” and it’s not his fault. Well, guess what my Samsung open/close sensor I have on the back slider shows that the last time it was closed was at 4:00 PM. That 20 minutes was really 4 hours!

So if I could have a way of alerting everyone’s phones that the little dude is at the door and needs to go out, if I’m away from home I can monitor the slider to make sure it gets opened relatively quickly after receiving the alert and if not I can just call him and tell him to take care of it. As I get deeper into this stuff I could probably automate it (If pet proximity alert triggers and door is not opened within one minute -> then set all lights in the house to strobe lol)

If anyone has any cool alternate ideas I would love to hear them!

These exist. What country are you in and what operating system does your phone use? :smile_cat:

Meanwhile, you might take a look at the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, look down near the bottom of the page for the “project report“ section, and choose the list for animals or for pets. There are some examples there.

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

It’s quite simple to teach most dogs to use a “dog doorbell“ which can either ring chime or send a notification to your phone depending on the specific brand/model. It’s not really any different than the dog learning to scratch at the door when they want to go out, most of them pick it up very quickly. :dog:

This is a typical one that does not integrate with SmartThings.

But if you want ST integration, You can also just use any button that works with your smartthings system that the dog is able to press with either nose or paw. There’s an FAQ discussing some possible options:

FAQ: Button for Paws?

This approach is usually simpler than trying to find a the device that the dog wears. :sunglasses:

US, Android. I did some initial searching before posting but didn’t turn up anything relevant.

Unfortunately the dog is pretty old and mostly blind, kinda dumb, and teaching him to push a button is going to be way more trouble than it’s worth. A collar FOB with a short range sensor is really the ideal solution, just can’t find any products that do that.

Like I said, these exist. Not necessarily with SmartThings integration though. There are most all called RF (for radiofrequency) devices which send a signal to a nearby receiver. It might be your phone, it might be some kind of plug-in Bridge Device. The typical range is 3 m, but some of them are even shorter.

Most of them are designed to unlock a dog door, which is what most of the project reports on the link that I gave you are talking about. Take a look at those, and you’ll see some of the possibilities.

A lot depends on the exact details of what kind of notification do you want to get. Is it only for people who are in the home at that time? Do they all have android phones? Do you need smartthings integration or not?

Also, How much do you want to spend? You have to deal with both the cost of the tag itself and the receiving station for it. If you’re willing to spend, say, $150 you would have several choices. If you want to spend $100 they would still be a couple. If you want to spend under $50, it’s going to get more complicated.

But just as one example, you could use a radius network RadBeacon chip, which costs about $10, and Probably get notifications on android phones at your home, it’s just going to depend on the architecture as to whether you would have full coverage there. You would probably need to add Aa $20 Wi-Fi phone to detect it. (If you want to integrate with SmartThings you’re going to have to start adding at least some third-party apps for another $20 or more.)


Also, some people build their own receiving stations with an Arduino, so that would lower the cost but is obviously much more complex.

Probably not for your house, but included for completeness

Still Another option is a pressure mat that the dog steps onto naturally. For example, these are often used as doorbells for houseboats, but in the past community members have use them at Halloween for special effects, or as a sensor to report that someone is sitting on a couch. They wouldn’t require any special training. The only issue with these is that they will report any time a human steps on them as well, so I understand it may not be what you want. Also the dog might like it too much, and take to sleeping on the mat, that can happen. But I just mention it for completeness. They can be popular for knowing when the dog is ready to come in from the yard. :sunglasses:

Does this prosimity sensor really work? I had no idea that such a tool exists.