Each year, Australians spend $8 billion on our furry (or feathered or scaly) friends, and that’s no surprise – for many of us our pets are just part of the family.

We love our pets. We dote on them, we let them jump on the furniture when nobody’s looking, we buy them the latest pet accessories and even clothes, and now we’re buying them their own tech.

For my family, it’s our 10 year old Maltese-Cavalier Cross, Summer.

After work every day, we come home and ask our partners and kids how their day was, but have you ever wondered what your four-legged family members are up to when you’re out?

Maybe when the humans leave they go all Secret Life of Pets on us… or maybe they don’t.

To keep an eye on Summer, we’ve set up Telstra Smart Home so we can use our smartphones to look at our indoor and outdoor cameras while we’re at work and find out what mischief she’s getting up to.

Sadly, we’ve found out she’s not having a Secret Life of Pets or Toy Story type of life. Most of the time she’s just happy chasing her ball around the backyard, or sleeping on one of the couches.

While knowing what she’s up to day-to-day is comforting, it also give us peace of mind when she’s sick or if there’s a storm that she’s ok – she has been known to freak out a bit!

It’s not all about keeping an eye on Summer though.

With my wife about to have our third baby, we’re prepared to rush off at any minute. With so many things to think about when the little one comes along, dropping Summer off somewhere on the way to the hospital is one less thing to worry about.

Using our smart lock, we can leave Summer at home and text our neighbour a code to our smart lock so she can get in, feed her and maybe even take her for a walk, without needing to sort out a spare key.

Mat Gibbs has been trialling Telstra Smart Home ahead of it becoming available to customers later this year. To register your interest, visit www.telstra.com/smart-home