Want a healthier, happier dog? Are you looking for a way to keep your furry friend motivated and help them achieve their fitness goals? Well, consider getting a fitness tracker fo your dog.
Dog owners can leverage technology through the wearable fitness trackers to monitor the wellness of their four-legged friends. These can pick up any early-onset health and behavioral changes that may indicate underlying problems. The collar-gadget relays information on how much activity and rest your hound is getting as well as pinpointing their location throughout the day all relayed to your smartphone.
With a fitness tracker you take charge of your dog’s wellness. You get incredibly valuable baseline data helping you and your veterinary doctor keep track of your dog’s health over an extended period.
Choosing the right Fitness Tracker for you Dog
Now that the same technology that has benefited humans is making its way to pets, it is important to choose the right device.
First off, you do not want to be stuck with a device with lots of features you will never get to use.
Activity monitors for dogs are divided into three levels:
- A basic activity monitor.
This works very similar to a pedometer and costs the least. Even though these are not the most accurate, they give a general overview of your dog’s activities.
- A sophisticated monitor
This usually featured GPS tracking and more accurate data. You are also able to relay the information to other synced devices. You get better protection for your pet with this and the data is more accurate.
- Advanced devices
With these, you can track the heart rate, respiration, body temperature and movements. You can have one with cameras and calorie intake counter.
Functions to look for in a fitness tracker
- GPS tracker
Missing pets are a real concern for any dog owner especially since dogs have a way of getting themselves in trouble. This is especially helpful for urban dwellers as dogs suffer from noise anxiety which translates to them dashing off unexpectedly. Additionally, a GPS tracker on your Fitbit will help you notice any change in activity. This information could be used to flag any oncoming illnesses saving you further complications.
- Bluetooth Connectivity
Syncing your dog’s Fitbit with a Bluetooth device comes in handy especially when you need to find out the location of your pet.
- Ability to sync to App for Veterinary Records
For dog owners leading busy lives, having an activity tracker that can efficiently relay the record to the vets. Here, you can sync the data to your phone or directly to your dog’s file at the vet’s office.
- Progress tracker
Fortunately, this function is a standard in the pet technology industry. With this function, you are able to track your dog’s progress and compare this to other dogs of similar breed, age and size.
Reasons to get an Activity Tracker for Your Dog
- Help your dog lose weight
Obesity is a common disorder among dogs of all ages and has been on a steady rise in the recent past. Notably, castrated and indoor dogs have a higher risk of becoming obese. Additionally, recent data indicates there are dogs with a genetic predisposition to obesity. Consequences range from blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and immobility of the pet. Fortunately, combining diet and a workout regimen can have your dog back in good health in no time.An activity tracker can help track the amount of exercise your dog is getting. Combining the tracker with an application to keep track of the pet’s heart rate, day’s activities and rest intervals will be handy when designing an activity log for the dog. These can then be turned into actionable behavior helping you make better choices for the pet throughout the day.
- Enables you to keep track of your dog’s stimulation
Many behavioral issues in canines stem from lack of sufficient stimulation. While your dog’s thought and emotions may not be as complex as our own, they still need their minds stimulated. An activity tracker will show you the difference in the intensities of their activities to make sure their minds are stimulated enough. This is particularly useful for pet owners dealing with destructive dogs. The tracker will show you the intervals when the dog is not getting enough stimulating engagement leading to flair-ups.
- Helps monitor your dog’s outings when they are with the walker
Most dog owners constantly pound over what the sitter does when they are out with their dog. This fear is alleviated further when the pet starts to add on weight or becomes extra clingy when they return home from their walk. Well, a fitness tracker, one specially fitted with a GPS tracker, will help you monitor its activity when they are out on their walk. You can remotely access the data on the path they followed, the stopovers and the intensity of the activities they got into while at the park or during the walk.Fitbit will put your mind at ease about your four-legged friend while ensuring you get value for your money from the caretaker especially when you go on vacation.
- Helps you both get fit together
Are you on the lookout for a device that will help you and your furry friend achieve your fitness goals? Well, consider an activity tracker. It is given that if your dog is wearing an activity tracker, so are you. You can input predetermined distances and activities to ensure you not only spend quality time together but reach your fitness goals as a team.
- Keep track of the quality of rest your pet’s getting
While there are benefits to walking your dog, dogs require rest days too.Rest habits and requirements differ across breeds. Notably, older dogs require significantly more sleep. To maximize on the rest days, ensure your dog has no interaction with the outside world. This will act as a stress detox for the dog ensuring their emotional well-being.Your device logs can help you achieve the required rest time for your breed ensuring a balance between mental and physical stimulation and rest.
- You can extend your personal style to your dog with the fitness tracker
The world of pet fitness trackers has a come a long way so much so that it is possible to match your personal style with that of your pooch. You can get matching sets of trackers which is a sure way to start conversations at the dog park.
Considerations when choosing a fitness tracker
Are you considering hydrotherapy for your dog? Maybe you want to keep your working dog in shape, ease its arthritic pain or get some practice on an operated limp. Well, consider tracked water therapy.You want to go for a pet activity tracker that can sustain water pressure of up to 50 meters. Additionally, you could consider getting tracker adjustable modes to help with goal setting.
- Battery life and Charging
To get the most out of the fitness for your pet, you need to have him wearing it on a regular basis. You cannot afford to have the fitness tracker go dead on you and miss out on all the important stats. When choosing the activity tracker, go for a device that features a replaceable coin cell battery that is rated for a longer period of use.Other than getting a super durable activity tracker, you can set up a calendar reminder based on the manufacturer’s rated battery life.When it comes to battery life, it is imperative to note that activity trackers featuring sophisticated add-ons like the GPS have a shorter battery life. Basic units only tracking the dog’s activity generally last longer.
You want to go for a tracker with an OLED screen. These will usually display the pet’s daily metrics and with a little tweaking, you could have the same relayed to your smartphone. Most users report that having an LED display is less distracting to the pet.
- Spec- Weight and Size
The most important consideration when choosing a fitness tracker should be the size and weight of the device. You have to consider the size of your dog when shopping. Ideally, a smaller unit will not impair the dog’s movement. Most manufacturers advertise their units as being feather-weight but you may want to try a couple on your dog to see just how much they like it.
- Location tracking
Having a GPS tracker in-built with your activity tracker provides more value for your money. While this may cost a pretty penny, having real-time location sent to your phone will help you locate your pet all through and give you all the data you crave.
- Subscription Charges
Subscription charges on pet activity trackers are dependent on the complexity of the device. When you go for a simple unit and work with the current set-up, you do not have to incur any subscription fees.Notably, when you want to use GPS tracking or have a camera installed on the tracker, you will have to pay a subscription fee as agreed upon at the point of purchase.
In the recent past, the accuracy of activity trackers has come under question. It is, therefore, necessary for consumers to be aware that the device may not provide the most accurate data. This is especially true for variables such as energy expenditure and calorie intake.Fortunately, industry players have adopted advanced technology to help yield the most accurate data.The best fitness trackers use algorithms to analyze your pet’s movement to ascertain the heart rate accurately represents the pet’s activity.
Best Fitness Trackers for Dogs
Developed by veterinary doctors, the Fitbark is cleverly bone-shaped. This second-generation fitness tracker uses an accelerometer to track your dog. The Fitbark eliminates the need for a subscription service. When you buy the tracker, you input the dog’s weight, breed, and activity. From this, a daily target is set and feedback relayed to a synced gadget. The wearable breaks down the information into graphs and the pet owner is able to track the dog’s activities, rest and calorie intake.The Fitbark has a battery life of approximately 6 months. This provides uninterrupted feedback that comes in handy at the next veterinary visit. It weighs a meager 10g means your dog will not be stuck with a heavy wearable. The charger point is firmly closed and covered with a rubber cap ensuring your unit remains waterproof.With the Fitbark you are provided with a daily health index which considers your dog’s breed, age, and weight. Basically, this monitor’s your dog’s activities and compares the same to dogs of similar parameters.
The Pitpat has to be the simplest activity tracker in the market today and takes just a few minutes to have up and running. At just 12g, the tracker is lightweight and comes attached to a Velcro that goes around the dog’s collar. This tracker is particularly attractive to dog owners with smaller breeds as it does not slip off as easy.As you are setting up the tracker, you get to create a profile for your furry friend. Here, you input their breed, gender, birthday and weight, and a goal is calculated. When you engage in any activity, you press the paw icon and the tracker syncs with the app on your phone. All the information including the duration of the workout is relayed to the phone real time.A neat feature of the Pitpat activity tracker is the community created by the developers. Here, dog owners using the tracker can connect with other pet owners sharing their experiences. Additionally, the App provides you with exercise suggestions making sure you explore more activities other than just walks.
At just 6g, this dog activity tracker is considered featherweight and can easily be attached to the collar. After attaching the tracker, you connect it to your Bluetooth device which then syncs to your smartphone. On the application, you provide information on your dog including their lifestyle. Here, you are provided with a set of five measures ranging from active to very lazy.Compared to other trackers in the market, PoochPlay requires a more detailed background of your pet. They require more than just the pet’s age, weight, and breed. You have to provide information on their training level, their deworming and vaccination dates and the microchip number. Additionally, the application prompts you to look at the dog’s body condition and provide the score. This requires you to examine the shape of your dog from the top and the side.PoochPlay is particularly attractive to individuals who have just adopted their first dog. It provides you with recommendations for food intake and information on the range of available dog food brands. It also provides you with a suggested timetable of activities ensuring your dog gets the mental and physical stimulation they require.
Notably, the developers have made it possible to monitor all aspects of your dog’s health and safety. They have added a calendar into the app to provide you with regular reminders for vet checks.One downside of the PoochPlay is that it fails to attach as securely to the harness. Most users are therefore required to purchase a secure band just to keep it in place. Additionally, it does not come with a GPS tracker and does not feature a detailed sleep tracker.
Featuring a bowtie design, the 20g WonderWoof presents dog owners with daily information on the dog’s activity. This is relayed to the smartphone via Bluetooth and provides you with real-time data on how the dog is doing on its daily activity targets.Developers have input a reminder feature where dog owners get alerts at feeding time, activity and medication times. Surprisingly, they have incorporated a grooming alert to have you brush your four-legged friend’s teeth.Exceptionally, WonderWoof is the most stylish of the pet fitness trackers available. The slick black bow-tie tracker enables dog owners to match their style to that of their dog and is often a conversation starter. The tracker is also available in aquamarine making it even more versatile.
The downside to this stylish tracker is that it lacks a GPS tracker and fails to perfectly attach to the collar. This makes it less suitable for dogs that avid diggers and love quick dashes.
- Kippy Vita
Kippy Vita is the most expensive of the bunch but offers some interesting features. Not only is the gadget an activity tracker but with a subscription fee of $4, you also get to harness the live GPS tracker feature.Dog owners get a daily fitness goal and if required, an activity and rest timetable. Additionally, the tracker features a ‘geo-fence” feature that helps dog owners create a virtual safe area for the dog to roam.The downsides to Kippy Vita tracker include:
- 3-4 days battery life
- 50g in weight
- Not waterproof
- Costly subscription fees
Taking care of your furry friend has never been easier. Wearable technology to monitor dogs’ wellness is taking the pet technology world by a storm. You are now able to track changes in your dog’s activity over a period which you would have otherwise missed. With as little as $20, you will be able to have that baseline data that could mean the difference between taking charge of your dog’s health or living in bliss. Take charge of your dog’s health and enjoy a healthy life together.