Walking the dog becomes easier with new invention
Young dogs need around an hour of daily exercise, while some dogs bred for sports or herding activities may need much more. The Animal Foundation warns of the health and behavioural implications of an inactive hound, saying "a sedentary pooch can quickly become an overweight one".
With Britons having very little time on their hands for their pooches, they are hiring professional dog walkers instead - and it is a lucrative trade. Professional dog walkers earn a fifth more than the average UK salary, but still work less than half the average hours.
The Guardian reports that a dog walker could get their month's work done in just 15 days. If they charged £11.50 an hour and perform 197 walks per month (at a rate of 13 walks per day), they could easily make the average UK salary of £27,200. Add five more days to their schedule and they could earn £35,000 a year.
An employee at Ford has come up with a solution to spare the expense: the Dog Nanny. Using a smartphone app, owners are able to monitor walks, dish out treats and pick up after the pet.
Designer Itzel Cortes said the Dog Nanny was created out of necessity: "I love my Dachshund but I'm not able to take her for a walk as often as I would like.
"'Dog Nanny' would mean she could go out when she wanted and I could still make sure she was okay, watch her and talk to her."
According to City AM, Ford workers submitted plans for more than 8,000 inventions last year - nearly double the number submitted in 2014.
Other inventions include a hands-free umbrella, a drone to help blind people get out and about, and an SOS drone for emergencies.
Walter Piils, supervisor at Ford's Innovation Management for Mobility Research, believes that employees should be encouraged to be creative.
He said: "Ford's greatest resource is, and always has been, its employees. Innovation is as much at the heart of how our designers and engineers think now, as it was when Henry Ford first set about transforming the way we move."