The last we heard, there were 77.5 million pet dogs in the U.S. It's said that four out of every 10 households includes a dog.

The last we heard, there were 77.5 million pet dogs in the U.S. It's said that four out of every 10 households includes a dog.

In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association's 2009-10 National Pet Owners Survey, 7 percent of pet owners have made financial provisions for their furry friends in wills. (Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley probably set the record in 2007 when she passed away and bequeathed $12 million to her beloved Maltese; I hear the Maltese was miffed it wasn't more.)

Fifteen percent of dog owners say they'll tend to their pet's health needs before their own. More than one-third of women maintain their pets listen better than their husbands.

Little wonder, then, that we treat our canine friends to all sorts of special gadgets and treats.

The Pet High Chair ($50 from hammacher.com) allows you to enjoy the company of your dog at the dinner table. If you can get your canine to sit still long enough, this chair attaches to a table and will hold a pooch weighing up to 10 pounds.

The Pet Doorbell Wireless Chime Mat ($78 from petgadgets.com) is one way your dog can tell you it's time to go out. Rover simply steps on the mat and the point is made. The gadget has 12 selectable chimes. This method beats my dog's "let's go out signal" first thing in the morning of jumping on my chest and licking my face.

PupCakes 2 Go ($10 from luckypawsonline.com) is a wheat and soy concoction that mixes with peanut butter and water so you can treat your canine to a special snack during the day. Each packet contains a microwavable pan and enough ingredients for six treats. After two-and-a-half minutes in the microwave and another 10 minutes to cool, these treats are ready for your best friend to chow down.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com