Say goodbye to the fear of your dog running out of the yard or playfully jumping your neighbor’s fences; activity trackers for dogs are what all dog owners need. Although they might sound like a luxurious accessory to have, they’re quite simple, unobtrusive devices. Be it for your dog’s location, health, or other stats; these trackers have you covered!
Dog activity trackers are similar to what humans use to track their pulses, steps, and other health information. These tracker devices do just that; keep track of your doggo’s nutritional, medical, and daily information to help you stay up to date. Not to mention, this information will make your vet’s work way easier and help her take better care of your furry friend.
What are Activity Trackers for Dogs?
Usually, they’ll allow you to keep track of steps taken, calories burnt, heartbeat, and other useful stats. Simply put, dog activity trackers allow us busy (but loving) pet owners to keep track of our pet’s health information. There are hundreds of animal trackers on the market right now with different features.
Information aside, these trackers can also help you stay up to date on your dog’s whereabouts. These small tags or trackers can be hooked to your pup’s collars and can help you stay at ease.
Putting a Fitbit on a dog will make your life easier than keeping a dog-sitter. These devices are capable of storing past data so you’re always ready to show this to the vet (on the go if your pup never takes it off!) Excited to learn more about buying one? Let’s discuss some factors to consider before you make the purchase.
How to Choose the Right Dog Activity Tracker?
Many factors are at play here, out of which some can make or break the decision for you. Sturdiness, accuracy, and battery life are just a few to name. Therefore, picking up a dog activity monitor off the shelf would be an unwise choice.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of such factors for you to view. Use this list as your non-exclusive guide to buying dog trackers from anywhere.
Does it operate via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or GPS signals? Does it need subscriptions to packages from cellular service providers? These are just a few questions to search when trying to identify the correct type of activity tracker for you and your dog.
If you’re low on cash, you might want to pick a dog activity tracker that doesn’t require additional subscriptions. A benefit to these packages is that they’re always available. For WiFi or similar methods, you’ll require a device for connectivity at all times. The type you choose can make a difference in terms of money and features.
What good is a tracker if it doesn’t track accurately? Be it calories or your dog’s location, your dog activity tracker has to be accurate in its results. If it lags, stops, or doesn’t display accurate results, it could lead to something unexpected and concern both you and the vets.
Similarly, if you use your tracker to monitor your dog’s health, accuracy matters. If it’s actually accurate, you can present all this information to your vet for a better analysis. It can essentially double as a dog health monitor, which is why this factor remains crucial.
Dogs can be playful at times; a good tracker should be sturdy enough to withstand all sorts of behavior. Be it outdoors or a swim in the water, your dog’s activity tracker shouldn’t break away easily.
Most trackers are lightweight, compact devices that are attached to dog collars. In most cases, smooth plastic is used as a cover for these devices. Now, your dog’s fluffy hair shouldn’t tangle with the straps or the body of the tracker when attached to the collar. A dog’s collar is the perfect part for attachment for trackers as it’s neither near your dog’s paws nor its mouth where there’s a greater chance of it breaking or tearing away.
If the battery life isn’t long enough, you’ll spend half your time charging the device rather than using it. This isn’t the most optimal solution as you’re missing important tracking data. Ideally, the device’s battery should be capable of tracking for at least a couple of days. This way, you won’t be worried about losing your dog’s activity levels.
It will also keep the information stored, allowing you to review it later on. Some trackers provide months of battery time in pursuit of giving you a calming experience. If you’ve left your dog at home and the battery dies; this can be quite concerning. With that said, get a tracker that has a higher battery life; it’s usually signified by a higher mAh value in electronic devices.
Water Resistant or Not
Dogs love to go crazy outdoors and restrictive dog activity trackers won’t do you any good. So, what you need is a tracker that is water-proof to some extent and allows your dog to really explore the nature outdoors.
If, however, you don’t wish to let your pup near water or your dog doesn’t go by itself; water resistance might not be needed. It’s an added feature to most activity monitors and may present a cost in itself. You can choose for a non-waterproof version if you’re short on bucks and replace the device later on. Just be aware that if you live in a rainy area, water-proof resistance may still be needed.
What Does it Track?
Although some devices may offer combined functionality, others won’t. What you can do is keep a check on the list of features you’d like. Here’s a small list of stats most devices can actually track in your pup:
- Steps taken
- Heart Rate
- Calories (and other intake stats)
- Other health factors
Mostly, activity monitors support the well-known fitness tracker, FitBit. Trackers that make use of the technology can track most of your dog’s day, including activity, location, food intake, and weight. Not to mention, you can replay and review all that information at the touch of a button.
7 Best Dog Activity Trackers
Now we can finally reveal the top 7 activity trackers for dogs. Let’s not keep you waiting and dive right in. Here are the best dog activity trackers:
1. FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor
If you’re a fitness freak and want to track your dog’s activity levels at all times, the FitBark 2 is your fitness partner. The activity monitor packs a punch with a durable, waterproof, and rugged material. Want to team up with your pup? The dog tracker even allows you to link your own FitBit or other smartwatches to keep track of the activity levels together. Apart from the main features, the design of the tracker mimics a bone that will help keep your pup’s attire stylish at all times.
One of the best things about the FitBark monitor is its ability to fit dogs of all sizes. The monitor can be gently tied around the dog’s neck and shouldn’t bother them at all. Be it water, grass, or anywhere else, the FitBark hasn’t disappointed owners as its waterproofing and durability has no match. To add to this, the FitBark app also allows you to get in touch with fellow users, dog owners, and vets to help maintain your dog’s health. Some dog owners had trouble getting their FitBark to work with its app. Though that doesn’t affect the quality of the monitor as it’s an add-on feature.
2. WhistleGo Health and Location Tracker
Do you not feel comfortable leaving your pooch behind at home? Well, with the WhistleGo GPS dog collar, you’re in good hands. The tracker offers both convenience and accuracy when it comes to locating your dog, pinpointing the location, and keeping track of its activity levels. Still, if your dog managed to sneak out, the tracker has real-time update functionalities to keep you updated with emails, texts, and in-app notifications. Its battery life supports a rough and tough usage of over 7 days before it needs a charge. It’s also water-resistant to the extent that it covers 3 feet for up to 30 minutes which is optimal for all dogs that love to swim.
The tracker has managed to stay on top for quite a long time, being an all-time favorite for many pet owners. It’s a bit pricey but offers several different features which make it worthwhile. One small issue which bothered a few owners was its updating mechanism. It stopped working after a few months of being used.
3. Petfon GPS Tracker
Don’t want subscription packages to track your pets? Petfon‘s got you covered! With their GPS-enabled tracking system, you can locate your pet at all times. Since it’s designed to be used for walks and outdoor tracking, it’s both rainproof and waterproof. The total standby battery life is of 8-16 hours and the charging case allows you to recharge the device quickly. As for added features, it has geofencing, color-based alarms, and voice texts which can help you track your pup in the nighttime or whenever your pup goes outside.
Pet owners love the tracking functionality of this device by Petfon. Since no cellular signals are required, tracking is much easier with this product. The dog GPS tracker also received good remarks in terms of battery life, with the controllers requiring a charge every 2 hours or so, and the tracker being charged after a day or two.
4. Bartun Pet GPS Tracker
Bartun’s GPS tracker is yet another amazing tracking device with an affordable price point. Both the application and platform are free with the tracker. However, the tracker itself requires a subscription to operate. It also supports geofencing so you can set boundaries after which you’ll be alerted about your pups whereabouts. The tracker also has a steady 20 hours of standby usage (with GPS being on!) Last but not the least, it has two sizes so you can adjust according to your doggo’s size and get the right fit.
The sleek design along with accurate location tracing is one of the best features of this tracker. Owners also love how easy it is to track all past locations, movements, and records. The setup manual was a source of trouble for many pet owners forcing them to set up on their own.
5. Link AKC Smart Dog Collar
We’ve covered some great trackers up there, but they’re not attachable units nor smart collars. Link AKC’s smart collars have a bunch of features in them, including tracking, activity monitoring, stats sharing, alerts, and more. The collar is easily chargeable and also syncs with smartphone applications. It’s also waterproof, allowing the device can take up to 30 minutes of being submerged. The battery life can also last you up to 3 days’ worth of monitoring.
Despite all the added features, the collar didn’t receive much appreciation from dog owners. Only the GPS tracking and dog activity app from Link AKC’s trackers managed to receive positive reviews from the lot. Other than that, the subscription plan, battery life, and waterproofing weren’t the most loved features and received negative reviews.
6. DOTT Bluetooth Dog Tracker
DOTT’s tracker is quite different from traditional models with a cellular signal, GPS, or Wi-Fi-based tracking. Instead, it is compatible with most mobile phone applications using Bluetooth and requires no subscriptions. The device is quite small, lightweight, and has a battery life of up to 6-9 months because it uses no GPS chip. As a tracker, it allows you to take note of all activities your doggo takes part in, including medication, potty breaks, and walks.
Most dog owners appreciated the concept of DOTT’s dog tracker. Since it doesn’t come with a GPS chip, it doesn’t really pinpoint a dog’s location. Rather, the device can emit signals which can be picked by your smartphone. It’s how they advertise their tracker – a “virtual leash” as it allows you to make sure your dog is always in the specified area or not.
7. Pawscout Smarter Pet Tag
Pawscout has released yet another version of their pet tag with way more features. It’s a Bluetooth based pet tag that sends out a beacon signal to update you of your pet’s location. Not only is it optimal for dogs but it can also fit cats of all sizes. Mind you, the tag isn’t a location tracker but only keeps you updated with your pet’s location within the 300 feet radius. Its social media platform soars with fellow pet owners allowing you to track lost pets, share digital profiles, records and whatnot.
Microchips are things of the past. Moreover, pet owners love how accessible it is to keep track of your dog and find him easily. When it comes to the social media platform by Pawscout, owners without a pet tag can also join in. Luckily, all users of the application can capture the beacons’ signals. Moreover, it can help you find your lost pup in the area. Some owners didn’t appreciate the battery life and accuracy of the results from the tag.
Activity Trackers for Dogs – FAQs
Still have a few questions about activity trackers for dogs? Say no more. This section covers some of the most commonly asked questions by pet lovers all over the globe.
Can I track my dog with GPS?
You can easily track your dog using GPS, Wi-Fi, and similar technologies. GPS dog collars are small trackers capable of sending out real-time location updates to a receiver, usually a mobile phone application. These trackers can either be attached to your dog’s collar or you may get a smart GPS-enabled collar itself.
Just to be on the safer side, you can place the GPS device away from your furry friend’s sight. Your pup may be tempted to chew the device if it can see it. However, having the device on will definitely give you a sense of calm knowing you can always tune in to what your doggo is doing.
What is the Best Dog Tracking Device?
FitBark 2 is the most acclaimed dog tracking device amongst pet owners. The monitor mimics the human-version of FitBit for dogs and packs a punch in terms of features. Long battery life, more accurate tracking, location, and sharing are just a few of its outstanding features. Apart from FitBark 2, here’s our list of the best dog tracking devices you can purchase:
- WhistleGo Health and Location Monitor
- Petfon GPS Tracker
- Bartun Pet GPS Tracker
For more information on these, have a look at our review section. We’ve compiled a larger list with extensive reviews for you to make the right choice!
Can I Implant a Tracking Device in My Dog?
Tracking devices can’t be implanted in your dog’s body. Moreover, it is not a safe option. There are many reasons as to why this is a bad idea; the size and battery issues being the biggest. Also, most GPS tracking devices have a battery that has to be charged every now and then. If it’s implanted, it can’t be taken out and placed back in after a charge. It would simply cruel and painful for the pup.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to get a microchip implanted, that process is safe. Local vets can also solve your issue by planting that microchip in between the shoulders. The microchip, however, is a 15-digit code with your information that can only come into action once your lost pup is found. They’re not actual, real-time trackers and do not have the extra features of a dog activity tracker.
Are Dog Activity Trackers Safe?
All dog activity trackers are completely safe. Mostly, these accessories clip with your dog’s collar, making it easy to clip them on and off. They make use of several connectivity technologies to send and receive signals to and from your application.
Since most of these are small devices, your dog won’t even feel it. If you’re worried about the rays from these signals, they’re completely harmless. Moreover, the intensity isn’t too strong, allowing the signals to pass through easily. The only concern that could exist is your dog’s fur getting caught on the clips of the device, just be aware of this.
Which Dog Tracking Device Is the Smallest?
Whistle 3 by WhistleGo is one of the smallest, lightweight, and affordable dog activity trackers amongst the lot. It has all the features you’d find in a full-fledged tracking device and still packs more. Your pup won’t let you wear it around the neck? Put it in a harness pocket or your dog’s bag.
If you’re looking for a more detailed review into the Whistle 3, take a look at our reviews section. It has all the information you’ll need to make a fully informed decision!
Are Dog Activity Trackers Accurate?
Accuracy is one of the biggest concerns with dog activity trackers since they are not as accurate as those made for humans. Therefore, this is a key feature they provide. Dog trackers can’t make use of the design which is implemented on us. Mostly, these devices make use of a special form of motion sensing to keep you up to date with your dog’s location, health, and other levels.
You should always pick a dog activity tracker that has received support or has extensive research. However, high-end manufacturers and vendors will often display tests to show how accurate their location tracking feature is.
Dog activity trackers are a great way to monitor your pet’s location, have recorded and easily accessible health reports, and even share Fitbit information with. Make sure to compare reviews and find the tracker with the features you need to benefit you and your pup’s lifestyle.