Activity monitors are being used by people to get and stay fit and healthy. They are now very popular with people to keep their pets fit and healthy also. This may seem a bit gimmicky to some people, but there are many good reasons to get an activity monitor for your dog.
A dog activity tracker monitor syncs automatically with your smartphone via wifi or Bluetooth recording your dog’s physical movement, what type of activity your dog is doing such as walking, running, playing or sleeping.
There are a number of different types of activity tracker which may provide different information or not have certain features. You need to decide what features are most important to you. No single pet activity monitor ticks all the boxes.
1. Manage your dog’s weight
The information you receive from your activity tracker allow you to measure your dog’s activity so you can increase it gradually to prevent injury or maintain the level that keeps your dog in shape.
2. Get more exercise together
If your dog is wearing an activity tracker when you go out for walks together it is almost like you are wearing one too. You can set activity and distance goals for you to achieve together. This will give you a better reason to spend time together and strengthen your bond.
3. Keep your dog stimulated
If you have an issue with your dog being destructive at home it is a sign that your dog is bored and not sufficiently stimulated. Based on the feedback you receive you can take steps to solve this problem. This may mean a walk before leaving or when you return or providing puzzle toys and activities for your dog when you are out. For more on providing mental enrichment for your dog read “Mental enrichment and Mind stimulation for dogs”
4. Monitor your dog when with someone else
If you use a professional dog walker or pet minder you can monitor how much activity your dog is getting when they are with that person. This is a good way to make sure you are getting value for money from your pet professional. It is also good to know whether your dog needs another walk or play when you get home. This can also be used if you are going on vacation and leaving your dog with a sitter or boarding kennel. When you get home you will know if they had sufficient exercise in your absence and how well rested your dog without you.
5. Monitor quality of rest
Dogs of different breeds and ages have different rest habits and some activity monitors (such as the Fitbark2) the quality of your dog’s rest. You can even compare it to the large database of other similar dogs. It also allows you to tell if your dog wakes up at the same time each night and figure out if there is a reason for this such as a neighbor arriving home.
6. Veterinary and health use
With a dog activity monitor, you will be able to see if your dog’s activity level or rest changes possibly indicating they may be sick.
Some dog activity trackers have a veterinary use and may track certain physiological parameters such as body temperature, breathing, and heart rate. This data can be useful to your vet or yourself monitoring a sick dog. Examples of this may be:
– helping to assess seizures and identifying changes before a seizure begins
– for pregnancy to predict the timing of whelping
– pain relief after an operation. A high heart rate may indicate that pain relief is insufficient.
– arthritis to manage activity levels. For more on this read “Exercise for an Arthritic dog”
– skin issues by measuring how often a dog itches themselves.
– can set up automatic notifications to your smartphone with reminders for medication, fluid intake and meal times
7. Exercise Restriction
There may be times during your dog life when they may be on exercise restriction such as post-surgery. A dog activity tracker will enable you to ensure that your dog is not overdoing it when they are supposed to be resting and recovering
Some dog activity trackers include GPS location tracking if you lose your dog or if they escape and go on an adventure. You will always know where they have been and their current location. There are also tamper-proof collar versions, deterring dog thieves by ensuring that the animal’s location will always be available to you.
9. Compare to similar dogs
A dog activity monitor enables you to compare your dog to other similar dogs. This way you can see if your dog is getting as much activity as other dogs and whether or not you may need to increase walks or play time.
Which Activity tracker is best for your dog?
It can be difficult to choose a dog activity tracker and no single device at this stage offers all the features and information you may seek. By deciding on what your particular objectives are you can eliminate any of the products that don’t suit that purpose.
Probably the most popular of the dog activity monitors. Allows you to understand your dog’s health by tracking their progress and the kind of day they are having by way of an activity/time breakdown. You can also compare your dog’s progress to other dogs of the same breed to see what is normal. By linking to your fitness tracker you can compare your activity level to that of your dog. Does not have a GPS location feature. There are no monthly subscription fees to worry about.
Track activity levels, quality of sleep, distance traveled, calories burned and overall health 24-7
Battery life up to 6 months; Tough, rugged and waterproof, FitBark 2 fits dogs of any size
Link your Fitbit, Apple Watch, Health Kit or Google Fit device and build healthy habits together
Monitor mobility, anxiety, and skin conditions through changes in the FitBark Health Index and Sleep Score
View the Petfit 2 on Amazon
The Whistle 3 is an all in one GPS and activity monitor. GPS is in the United States only. It does require a low-cost subscription plan as it is like a cell phone for your dog. You can get a text, app or email notification if your dog leaves their safe place and you can see your dog’s location over the last 24 hours to see where they went and when. It even gives you a map of your dog’s steps down to the exact paw up to 3,000 miles away.
Like the other dog activity monitors it tracks your dog’s daily activity and rest(walking, running, playing, active, or resting).
Track activity and rest with a visual summary of your dog’s daily activity. Set a daily goal and monitor your pet’s progress.
Keep track of medications, a food log or make notes of things you noticed that day.
Continue to get updates on your pup’s progress while you’re away with Whistle’s WiFi capabilities. Just connect Whistle to the network where your pup is spending her day, and you’ll be able to track her progress even if you’re not around.
Whistle pet tracker uses Bluetooth to show with whom your pup is spending time. (Note: You’ll need to sync the phones’ of both parties with Whistle 3 via Bluetooth to receive this information.)
Share your adventures with other pet owners through photos.
View the Whistle 3 Pet Tracker on Amazon
The activity function shows you a screen with three rings detailing the number of minutes your pet has spent walking, playing, and resting.
These rings will fill up as your pet starts to get active. Once they reach your set goals, a star will appear.
It also shows an hourly breakdown that graphs these three activities as well as a daily summary of rings, showing you how active your pets were in the past week.
You can turn on Zone Alerts, which send a notification or email whenever your pet leaves a designated safe zone, defined through a combination of Wi-Fi and GPS. It allows you to set up multiple zones, too, so if you often take your pet round to someone else’s house this can be set in the app.
There is also Adventure Recording, which turns on the GPS tracking permanently and thereby draws a mapped route of where your pet has been throughout the day. So if you ever wanted to know how much ground was covered by your dog playing fetch, now you’ll know. Like the other dog activity monitors with a GPS location function, there is a monthly subscription.
Global GPS pet tracker with escape alerts, activity monitoring & adventure recording
The smallest GPS pet tracker that fits any size collar – suitable for both dogs and cats
Designed for pets and pet parents – the small waterproof unit includes removable batteries
4 tracking technologies allow you to track your pet indoors and outdoors
View the POD 3 on Amazon
Unlike the other dog activity trackers that clip on to your dog’s existing collar, the Link AKC is a collar itself with a removable and rechargeable tracking unit. It comes in five sizes, and all are adjustable in a stylish light brown stitched leather. One unique feature of this smart collar is the built-in LED light that helps your dog be seen at night and sound alert to assist in training both of which can be controlled remotely using the app. It’s similar to the Whistle with its pinpoint GPS technology. This is only available in the United States. Like the Whistle 3, it does require a monthly subscription.
Three GPS zones for your dog’s location: with you (within Bluetooth range of your phone), near the base station (around a certain radius of where charging device is plugged in) and away (not lost, but outside the safe zone).
Vet records and reminders, temperature alerts and activity tracker.
Virtual scrapbook to record and remember adventures with photos and notes.
24/7 access to vet professionals in case of an emergency.
Battery life up to 2 days and water resistant up to 3 feet.
View the Link AKC Smart Collar on Amazon
PetKit Fit P2
The PetKit Fit P2 is a nice small metallic disk making it suitable for any size dog. It is unique to the other in that it uses The Cloud to collect and store data. After analysis and calculations, the data is sent to your smartphone free app as a full report of your dog’s activity and performance.
It can be paired with a sensor food bowl so it can calculate your dog’s food intake against calories used making it ideal for a weight loss or maintenance program.
Many of the dog activity monitors come with a rechargeable battery. The Fit P2 uses a push battery that lasts for up to 6 months. When it is due to be changed the phone app will notify you. Does not have GPS location feature.
Bluetooth device tracks sleep, calories, activity, and moods
Lightweight, small, durable and water-resistant design
6-month battery life
Combine this device with any pet kit fresh Bowl to Track calorie Consumption and calories burned
Cloud-based and compatible with all Android and iOS devices
View the PetKit Fit P2 on Amazon
A dog activity monitor will enable you to monitor and manage your dog’s exercise, activity and rest. It is also a good way to monitor your dog’s health highlighting any concerns that may indicate your dog is sick. If you are wanting GPS location function also there is going to be a monthly subscription cost. Outside of the United States the POD 3 does have global GPS positioning.
If you don’t require a GPS location function my pick is the Fitbark 2 or if weight loss is your goal the PetKit Fit P2 is a good option.