Over the years, activity tracking and health monitoring devices for pets have grown in popularity. With the mass adoption of wearable technology, smartphones, and smartwatches the ability to keep an eye on your beloved dog from afar is becoming very accessible.
Today's tracking devices go beyond just finding your pet via GPS. There are now devices that allow you to monitor certain health markers and your dog's overall activity levels; kind of like a dog fitbit.
Investing in an activity tracker for your dog could allow you to spot potential health issues earlier as well as keeping tabs on your pup's behaviour, which is always interesting.
Our favourite health monitor for dogs is the FitBark 2. You can read more about it below as well as checking out some other great options.
Best Dog Health Monitors Quick Comparison
Best Dog Activity Tracker Device Reviews
Tracks all changes in behavior including active, rest, and play time.
Waterproof and can withstand your dog’s biting
Only weighs 10 grams and the size fist any dog.
Long battery life of 6 months.
Free smartphone application
Has no GPS tracking capability for finding a lost dog.
FitBark 2 Review
The FitBark 2 tracker is a small bone-shaped gadget that you attach to your dog's existing collar with the included cable ties, which make it very secure. The device helps monitor the behavior of your dog and boasts a wide rabge of trackable metrics. With this device, you can closely monitor the medical condition, sleep patterns, play times, steps and more. Some of the key features of Fit bark 2 include:
Attach this device to your dog's collar and you will start tracking their activities immediately. The device is protected by a poly-carbonate housing; making it impervious for your dog’s biting, while at the same time making it durable and waterproof.
Besides, the device has a waterproof rating of IP67, meaning it will be safe under one-meter deep water for half an hour. The bone-shaped device is also light weighing it at just 10 grams.
The device comes with a three-axis accelerometer which allows you to measure different metrics. It is able to measure the quality of sleep of your dog. With round the clock data on how well your dog is sleeping and how active it is, you can get more insights on your pet's health and behavior.
This information can be very useful for spotting health problems since odd behaviour changes can be seen and you can share that data with your vet.
Long Rechargeable Battery Life
This device uses a lithium-ion polymer battery that can last up to six months on a single charge. When you need to recharge the battery, you can still do so while the device is still attached to the collar, which is a more helpful feature than it sounds.
Fit bark 2 allows you to store a large amount of data: up to 100 days. This means you can just let the tracker do its thing and keep an eye on the data as it syncs straight to the free app.
The FitBark is a super-accurate monitoring device, which is why it has been used by a variety of research institutes and vet schools for trials on new drugs, treatments and dog products.
Strong velcro fastening for easy attachment and removal.
Mulitple dogs. Can sync up to 3 dogs with 1 device.
Compact and comfortable design.
Data must be synced manually to your device.
Battery not rechargeable. must be replaced by user.
No GPS tracking.
PitPat 2 Review
PitPat is our best choice if you want a solid monitor without spending a lot of money. The PitPat 2 is a simple tracker to use and only takes a few minutes to set up. Additonally, it is lightweight (ideal for small dogs), comfortable for your dog and makes use of a velcro attachment so it is easy to remove if need be in order to wash their collar. Here are some key features:
Simple to set up and sync
All you need to do to get started is attach the device to your dog's collar, download the free PitPat app and sync your device to it. It will then begin tracking your dog's activities. You then need to press the button to sync it manually. The device holds 7 days worth of data so this only needs to be done once per week.
Lightweight but Rugged
The PitPat device is very compact and light, which makes it perfect for using with puppies and smaller dogs. However, this doesn't mean it is not durable. The device has been made with dogs specifically in mind so is waterproof and rugged enough for their adventures.
Use with Multiple Dogs
Of course, each of your dogs will need their own PitPat tracking device but you are able to keep tabs on each of them within the same app. You can create multiple profiles, which is very handy as it means you can switch between them quickly and seamlessly with your phone.
I thought this is a key point to mention since it really does make the PitPat 2 a very attractive option. it is around half the price of the more feature-heavy devices. If you want a good activity tracker for your dog that performs well with the basic features, this is certainly the one to go for.
The device is both water and dustproof.
It allows you to manage more than one pet.
It features GPS tracking for finding lost dogs.
Free easy to use application that supports both iOS and Android.
Short battery life thanks to the inclusion of GPS tracking. 4 to 6 days before recharge is needed.
The PawFit is a special activity monitoring device that allows you to monitor your pet's activities including rest hours, calories burned, weight, age and records steps of up to 7 days. It is the only device on the list with a GPS traking function for finding a missing dog. Some of the outstanding features of this device include:
This is the only device on our list that features both health monitoring and GPS tracking. Unfortuantely, the GPS feature does have a negative effect on battery life so I would probably opt for one of the other monitors if the GPS tracking is not a must-have for you.
Dog Safety Alerts
The device uses the latest text to speech technology. If your pet gets lost and anyone finds them, they can press the power button and broadcast your pet's ID and return them to safety. Additonally, the device allows virtual fences to be set up and will alert you if your dog goes beyond them.
The device is IP65 waterproof and dust-proof and has a hardened ABS shell that makes it both drop and bite-resitant. The battery is 700mAh, it supports up to 7-10 days standby and 4-6 days regular use.
The application is compatible with iOS 9.0 and Android version 5.0 and above. With this app, you can see your pet's activities, location and receive alerts. You can manage up to 4 pets inside the app and you can configure up to 10 safety zones.
What is an Activity Monitor for Dogs?
You can think of an activity monitor/tracker a bit like a Fitbit for dogs. Their purpose is to provide data on how your dog is behaving in various different areas of its' life. For example, sleep, exercise and calorie-burn are some common metrics that these trackers keep tabs on.
Dog Activity Monitor Vs. GPS Tracker - What's the difference?
Although these devices can often look very similar, their functions are quite different so it is important to make the distinction between them.
An activity monitor is used for keeping an eye on metrics like sleep quality, activity levels, calorie output, total steps and distance covered. The device then stores this data and feeds it back to an attached app so you can view it in real-time. The idea of activity monitoring is to spot unusual changes in your dog's behaviour that could indicate health issues.
A GPS monitor has one primary function: to track your dog's current location so you can find him/her if they go missing. If this is the function you are looking for, check out our article on the best GPS dog trackers.
Benefits of Using a Doggy Activity Monitor
Track a lot of Information
Dog activity and fitness monitors provide lots of information about your pet. Depending on the brand you are using, a dog activity and fitness monitor can tell you about your pet's activities like how many calories they have been burning, their rest periods, food intake among others. This information is extremely interesting and can help you to optimise your dog's exercise and sleep schedules.
Spot early signs of health trouble
Using the kinds of metrics mentioned above, dog fitness monitors can help you spot any odd behaviour that could be an indicator of an illness or health problem. For example, a drop in activity levels or extraordinary sleep patterns.
Lost Pet Mode and GPS Tracking
As I mentioned in the previous section, GPS trackers have a totally different use-case to activity and health monitors. However, some dog activity and fitness monitors do have GPS tracking built into them , which can help you in case your pet is missing. As long as the tracker is on the collar, finding your pet becomes easy.
Final Thoughts and Recommendation
I am a big fan of anything that gives you the opportunity to keep a closer eye on your dog's overall health and well-being. We are extremely fortunate to live in a world where this kind of technology is so accessible to us.
My current recommendation for the best dog activity and health monitor has to be the FitBark 2. Although it is slightly more expensive than its' competitors, the accuracy and quality of data is well worth it. Click here to see the current price of the FitBark 2.