It’s no secret that exercise is vital to your dog’s health and quality of life, but sometimes it’s hard to know everything about your dog’s daily activity.
You can’t always be with them all day long, after all. For those times you’re away, it can be helpful to have a dog activity monitor to keep track of your dog’s daily exercise. We’ve put together reviews for three different ones to help you decide on the best dog activity monitor for your pet.
But first, are you interested in learning more about what to look for when picking the right dog activity monitor?
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- How do dog activity monitors work?
- What are the benefits of a dog activity monitor?
- How to choose the best dog activity monitor?
- What to look for when evaluating dog activity monitors?
- Best for Overall Activity and GPS Location
- Best Budget Activity Dog Tracker
- Premium Activity Dog Tracker
How Do Dog Activity Monitors Work?
Dog activity monitors clip directly on to your dog’s collar or come in the form of a dog tag. Different monitors come with different uses (like for local use vs. distance tracking and GPS technology), but many connect to an app for your phone that allows you to track your dog’s daily activity.
They’re used for tracking walks, playtime, and even rest, and they can help improve your dog’s lifestyle, as well as yours.
What are the benefits of a Dog Activity Monitor?
There are tons of ways a dog activity monitor can benefit your dog and you. If you’re looking for a good way to track your pet’s activity when you’re not around, this is probably the best way to do it. Here are a few of the benefits to using these monitors:
- Weight Loss: If your dog is overweight and your veterinarian advises you to create a weight loss plan, an activity tracker can be a great way to see how much exercise your dog is actually getting. That way, you can adjust your dog’s schedule and time spent being active according to his weight loss needs.
- Stimulating Exercise: There’s a difference between walks and playtime, and some trackers can register that difference. They’ll let you know if your dog is getting enough activity outside of his walks.
- Monitor Walks: Let’s say you have someone else walking your dog, whether that’s a regular dog walker while you’re at work or a friend pet-sitting while you’re on vacation. Dog activity monitors can show you how much time your dog spent going on walks while you were gone.
- Monitor Dog’s Rest: While it’s important for your dog to have daily exercise, it’s important for him to have quality rest, too. Some trackers will let you know when your dog is at rest or if there are disturbances in his sleep patterns.
How to Choose the Best Dog Activity Monitor?
There are a bunch of different options for these activity monitors, so the first thing you might want to do is figure out why you need it. Is it to help your pet lose weight? Do you want to monitor the quality of his exercise? Are you just curious about your pet’s exercise when you’re not there?
WiFi and GPS trackers allow you to keep track of your pet’s activity and his whereabouts using technology that connects to your smartphone via an app or through your internet connection. These types of monitors can be great if your dog spends more time outside or if you’re worried about them getting out of your yard. A GPS monitor could be a huge asset for finding a missing pup.
Home activity monitors are not always equipped with GPS tracking features and are a more casual way to see what your dog is up to all day. They usually have set limitations for where the tracker can sense your dog, but once your dog is outside those limits, they’re not much help in finding him.
The monitor you use depends entirely on your and your dog’s needs. Keep in mind the price varies depending on how much technology the tracker uses, so if you don’t need it for GPS purposes, you might stick with the home dog activity monitors. Otherwise, think about what features you’d like to have and shop around to see what fits your dog best.
What to Look For When Evaluating Dog Activity Monitors?
While each dog activity tracker is a little bit different, there are certain attributes that are good to look for (or at least to know about) when you’re searching for the one that suits you and your dog. Here are a few of the features common to most dog activity monitors:
- GPS tracking
- Shows activity level and calories burned
- Goal setters
- Progress reports
- Settings for “safe area” for your dog
- Distance tracker
While every monitor may not have every features listed here, there are also many other features not listed that may be available on certain monitors. Some have bluetooth capabilities and others allow you to program to do lists into the trackers as well.
What we love:
- GPS technology and safe area settings
- Sends alerts for pet location
- Can track anywhere in US
- Long lasting battery and quick to charge
- Tracking for past 24 hours
- Good for a range of dog sizes
What we don’t love:
- Cannot track outside of US
- Additional subscription plan needed for app and tracking
- Sometimes has connectivity issues with WiFi and tracking
Why it’s great: The Whistle 3 monitor can not only track your pet using its GPS technology, but it can also tell you where your dog has been over the past 24 hours. This tracker is a lot like a cell phone and does require a monthly subscription for a small fee that you can purchase when you get the Whistle app so the monitor can connect to your smartphone.
The Whistle 3 monitor lets you set up a safe area for your dog. If the tracker notices your dog leaving the safe area, the subscription and app come in handy. You’ll get a notification that lets you know your pet is outside or getting close to the line of the safe zone.
This tracker makes it easy to keep up with your dog’s daily activity, too, so you can see if he’s at the right weight for his age and breed. It can attach to different collar sizes, and it accommodates a wide range of pet sizes. Any dog 8 pounds or over can use this device, and dogs can even take it in the water, since it’s waterproof. The battery life lasts up to a week, and it recharges in a couple of hours!
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Some reviewers, however, have had problems with the Wifi connecting to the tracker and not being able to detect their pets once they leave the safe area. Others report the battery draining faster than described.
Customer service also seems to be quite limited and not always helpful in assisting people with locating the tracker or reestablishing connection with the tracker once lost.
What we love:
- Tracks a wide range of activities
- Tracks sleep and dog’s overall health
- Suitable for all dog breeds
- Lasting battery life
- Connects to your devices so you get fit with your dog
What we don’t love:
- No GPS tracking
- Cover falls off easily
- May fall off your dog’s collar while exercising
What we love: There are plenty of awesome features to this activity monitor besides its clever name! It can track your dog’s activity on a number of different levels, including his overall activity, the distance he travels, the calories he burns while he exercises, and even his sleep quality. Putting it all together can give you a better idea of your dog’s overall health and that can help you tailor his activity schedule accordingly.
Plus, it can monitor your dog’s emotional state and let you know if he’s getting anxious. There are settings in the FitBark Health Index and Sleep Score areas of the device that even allow you to keep track of any problems with skin conditions or other health issues your dog may have.
The FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor links to your FitBit (or other human health monitoring device you might have) to help you work together with your dog so neither of you are alone in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. The battery for this device lasts quite a while, too. It can keep going for up to 6 months, and the tracker itself is waterproof and very sturdy.
What we don’t love: The downsides to this model are pretty minor for the most part. A few other reviewers have said that the plastic covering on the device falls off easily and there’s a charge to replace it. It may also fall off of the dog’s collar, so you may want to keep an eye on it if you choose to get this monitor.
Also, this dog activity monitor does not double as a GPS, so it will not help you track your pet if he escapes, though if you’re looking for a home-based monitor, this product works well.
The Garmin Delta Smart is a great product for dog owners who are seeking to not only understand their dog’s health but also want to train their dog to improve their behavior.
What we love:
- Shows lots of different stats for activity and rest
- Helps train your dog with training signals
- Keep Away Tags mark off limits areas
- Free app for tracking activity
What we don’t love:
- Disconnects easily
- Delivers training signal at random
- Short tracking range
- Device breaks easily
- Very expensive for overall quality
What we love: The Garmin Delta Smart Dog Training System shows you different stats about your dog beyond when he’s active. It shows when he’s resting, how long he’s active for, and how intense that activity is. You can see your dog’s entire schedule via an app (which is free, by the way).
This monitor also helps you train your dog! You can set up alert zones with Keep Away Tags that train your dog to stay away from areas where you don’t want him to go. The Keep Away Tags are sold separately, but they can be worth it if you don’t want your dog marking his territory on your trash bins or lawn decorations.
The monitor has another setting that lets you choose what kind of correction signal your dog gets when he misbehaves. The signals will help your dog learn what you want him to do and where you don’t want him to go, as well as using bark detection to keep him quieter.
What we don’t love: There are a few negatives to this dog activity monitor, though. Many people feel that the device is suited better to activity tracking and lacks in the training department.
Its range is short, so if your dog is more than 10 meters away, it will probably disconnect from your app. It may also malfunction and deliver a training signal to your dog without reason, which doesn’t really help when you want to associate the signal with a behavioral change.
The Bluetooth connection isn’t always great either, and the device itself may not be very sturdy.
These are only a few of the available options for dog activity monitors. Each serves a similar purpose, but they all have unique features that set them apart from each other. Even though they all have their own value, the one we’ve decided has the most overall benefit is the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor.
This tracker is one of the most accurate in terms of GPS tracking and it’s not too expensive for what it offers. It has a lasting battery and can provide information from the last 24 hours of tracking. We think these features and the minimal issues reported with this monitor make it an excellent choice for you and your dog!