Activity monitors have become a popular piece of technology in the human health field. Now, multiple companies are making activity monitors for pets. While the concept is slightly different, the results are the same. Products like the FitBark 2 are helping pet owners keep their dogs healthy and happy.
Pet technology is always evolving, which helps us monitor our pets, take better care of them and prevent potential health issues. Dog activity trackers are exactly what they sound like – an electronic device that monitors your pet's level of activity.
How does the FitBark 2 device keep track of your dog's activity? What information does it give you? I've been using this tracker on our Labrador, Saddie, for more than a month now. In this review, I'll give you all the details about this tiny device and let you know what information I've learned about my canine companion.
FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor Review
The FitBark 2 activity monitor for dogs is very small. It measures about 1.5″ long and just .5″ wide. It weighs less than 1/3 ounce! Its small size makes this activity monitor perfect for any size dog.
I was worried about the durability of this tracker, because it is so small. Our dogs wrestle a lot, and they are quite active. After more than a month of daily use, our FitBark is showing no signs of wear.
The device is made of a durable high-impact polycarbonate. It's waterproof and will operate in temperatures between -4˚F and 122˚F. This means the FitBark 2 Activity Tracker is suitable for every climate and environment.
- activity level
- sleep quality
- calories burned
- distance traveled
As you will see in my video review above, it provides a lot of information on your dog's overall health and well-being. The monitor tracks your pet 24/7, but it doesn't keep track of steps like human activity trackers. Instead, the FitBark 2 counts your dog's BarkPoints.
According to the FitBark website, BarkPoints are “a proprietary point system that measures physical activity in line with best veterinary practices in terms of “activity counts” generated from 3D accelerometer readings. Accelerometer readings are taken multiple times per seconds and integrated over a 1-minute epoch. A similar point system is widely adopted by researchers who run clinical studies using accelerometers on dogs.”
To put it simply, the more the sensor on your dog's collar moves, the more points he will collect each day. You can set point goals for your dog and compare his activity to that of similar dogs using the system.
The FitBark 2 is rechargeable, and the battery life is a whopping 6 months! This is MUCH longer than comparable canine activity monitors. This monitor can also be linked to human activity monitors including Fitbit, Apple Healthkit or Google Fit devices, allowing you to set fitness goals and track your progress too!
As you will see in my video review, the FitBark app is very user friendly. It's free to download to any Android or iOS device, and it works worldwide as long as you have internet access. Other similar products require cell service, which means they will not work if you're in a dead service area.
You'll have access to the FitBark Health Index via the app. This program is currently in beta. It is a first-of-its-kind metric that tells you how healthy your pup is. It does this by analyzing recent activity and sleep patterns (vs. typical patterns) and typical activity and sleep patterns (vs. similar dogs). It can give you information on your dog's anxiety issues, mobility and even possible skin conditions!
The information gathered by the FitBark 2 will help you track behavior patterns, which will give you an early insight into possible health problems. You can easily share this information with your veterinarian via the app, and the app stores past data allowing you to compare stats from week to week.
This activity tracker for dogs fits any collar less than 1.5″ wide. It attaches quickly and easily with 2 small zip ties. The zip ties keep it tight to the collar and secure, preventing damage and the risk of the device falling off.
As I demonstrate in my video review, after attaching the FitBark 2 you place a plastic cover over it. The covers come in 12 colors to add variety and personalization. They're easy to switch from day to day or from one event to the next.
Unlike other activity trackers, the FitBark does not offer a GPS tracker. It also does not feature a heart rate monitor. However, the company's website does state that they are working on new features, and these are two possible additions that may be included in the future.
They recommend that you do not use this tracker on a harness. If your dog wears a harness daily, it's best to fit the activity monitor on a soft collar that he can wear along with his harness.
You can purchase the FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor on Amazon for $69.99 right now. Unlike other monitors, there are NO monthly fees with the FitBark. Other products charge between $5-$10 as a monthly fee to use cellular signals. FitBark runs solely off WiFi, so there are no additional charges.
If this price doesn't fit into your budget, you can also purchase refurbished models from the FitBark website. These models may have minor aesthetic or packaging defects, but they are tested for functionality. They also include the same 1-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee as a new FitBark.