Anyone who's ever lived with a pet knows that they're creatures of habit. And really, smart home technology is really just way of teaching your own house a few good habits of its own. So why not train your home to be a little more pet-friendly? It's easier than you might think.

Mind you, even the smartest pooch might have trouble using a mobile app or dimmer switch, and Amazon's Alexa digital voice assistant does recognize "Woof!" or "Meow" as wake words (at least not yet). But any pet can active a motion sensor if placed in the right spot, and that can make a huge difference for some animals.

Say you have an aging pet whose eyesight isn't what it used to be, but who still needs to get up in the middle of the night for the occasional drink of water. A few motion sensors between their bed and the kitchen couple of programmed to turn on a light or two at 10 percent intensity after bedtime—just enough to keep them from running into a wall, but not bright enough to wake up an slumbering humans.

Chances are good you've also lived with a pet who assumed you were psychic. Maybe he or she stood by the back door expecting to be let out without woofing a word. With a combination of motion sensors and lighting scenes, you can confirm their suspicions. How so? A motion sensor placed by the back door could easily flash a light or lamp on the other side of the house to let you know it's time to go outside!

Motion sensors can also be a great way to keep your pets out of trouble. If you have a room in the house that's off limits to your pets, but isn't protected by a closeable door, you could always have a motion sensor that activates as soon as they cross the threshold, and triggers an audible pre-recorded warning—"Bruno, no!"—on your wireless speaker system.

You may have noticed that most of these suggestions revolve around lending your pet a hand when you're not around, but a smart home system can also bring you a lot closer to your furry loved ones no matter where you are in the world. With a good security camera or two in place, all you have to do is whip out your smartphone to keep an eye on Frisky or Fido, and even have a two-way chat with them, even if you're hours away. Mind you, we're not sure if that's more for your benefit or theirs, but happier pet parents equal happier pets, so who's counting?