If you love to stay active with your dog, or need some motivation to get more exercise together, a dog activity tracker might be the perfect way to reach your goals. There are several trackers currently on the market. Each is slightly different, but they all track your dog’s activity and encourage you to spend more time bonding with your best friend.
Read on for six reasons why you should try out the latest in doggy-wearable tech:
6. Help Your Dog Lose Weight
One of the top reasons to get an activity tracker for your dog is to help them lose weight in a healthy way. Trackers and their accompanying apps allow you to measure your dog’s activity so you can increase it gradually over time or maintain a level that keeps your dog in shape.
Julia Morely’s rescued Chihuahua, Lu-seal, was overweight when she came into their lives, and she used the FitBark activity tracker to get Lu-seal back to a healthy weight.
“It helps me see how much activity she gets so if she’s not meeting her goal we take her out for an extra walk in the evening or play a little bit more to make sure she’s getting enough activity,” Morely says. Lu-seal went from 16 pounds to 8 pounds with the help of her owner and the activity tracker.
5. Make Sure Your Dog is Stimulated
Pet activity trackers like Poof show a difference between walks and playtime, so you can see if your pet is getting enough stimulation to keep their mind in shape, too.
Brett Reynolds, a certified professional dog trainer at The Dog Stop, believes that activity trackers may also help you get to the bottom of destructive behavior.
“If someone has an issue with their dog being destructive at home, it could be a sign that the dog isn’t getting enough stimulating interaction,” he says. “With a tracking app you could see that between 3 and 6 p.m., your dog gets no activity at all and when you’re home in the evening they act out. Based on that, I would recommend taking your dog out for a walk or play time as soon as you get home.”
4. Monitor Walks with Your Dog Walker
If you have a friend or professional dog walker take your dog out, an activity tracker can help you monitor just how much exercise your pup gets on those outings. When you get home from a long day, just sync the tracker with the corresponding mobile app and you’ll see how much more exercise your dog needs that evening. If the tracker app indicates that your dog had plenty of walks that day, then you might want to add more evening play time instead of another long walk.
This can be also be used if you’re going on vacation and leaving your dog with a sitter for several days or a week. When you get home, you’ll know if they were able to stick to your dog’s routine, how much exercise they got together and how well rested your pup was without you.
3. Get Fit Together
If your dog wears an activity tracker to record their walks, then it’s almost like you’re wearing one too, as the distance travelled while walking your dog on the leash will be the same for both of you. You can set distance and activity goals for you and your dog to reach together, giving you an ever better reason to spend time together.
Rebecca Johnson of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction says that, “activity devices are going to be incredibly important for pet owners on a number of levels to ensure that their pets get adequate exercise and that they themselves are, too.”
Not to mention that getting in shape is a lot more fun with a four-legged friend by your side.
2. See If Your Pet Is Getting Quality Rest
Different breeds have different rest habits, and some activity trackers (like FitBark) measure the quality of your pet’s sleep. They’ve used the information collected by their tracker to measure data from over 250 breeds around the world.
You can also use the data on your dog’s tracker to determine if something wakes them up at the same time each night, like a delivery truck. Use this information to help your dog get a better night’s rest by having them sleep in a different room or by going to bed earlier.
1. Use It as a Conversation Starter
If you’re someone who likes to have the latest tech accessories, then a dog activity tracker is the perfect way to extend your personal style to your dog. The various activity trackers on the market come in many colors and styles like little bone shapes or round discs. The Wonderwoof even comes with interchangeable bands in gingham, striped or polka dot patterns.
You’ll be the talk of the dog park when everyone asks what’s attached to your dog’s collar. It’s a great way to get start a conversation with other dog lovers and make some new friends. Who knows? They might even join you and your dog in an activity challenge that you can track with your new gadget.