If you are thinking about investing in a fitness tracker for your dog, there are many options for you to choose from, based on your dog’s needs.
Dogs, like humans, need a certain amount of daily activity in order to stay fit and healthy – not just physically, but mentally as well. But knowing if your dog is getting adequate exercise can sometimes be challenging, especially if he’s left alone for long periods during the day, or if you’ve been tracking your own steps during your daily walks, but aren’t sure how to track his.
The Top 8 Dog Fitness Trackers are:
- PETBLE Dog Fitness Activity Tracker
- FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor
- Whistle FIT Smart Pet Health and Fitness Tracker
- The PETKIT P2 Smart Pet Activity Tracking Device
- PETFON Dog GPS Tracker With Dog Activity Monitor
- Tractive Waterproof GPS Dog Tracker (GPS)
- Fi Series 2 (GPS)
- PetPace (GPS)
Fitness trackers for dogs are still a relatively new idea to the dog fitness world. Because of this, you may feel skeptical of what is out there, and whether or not the investment you are thinking about making is actually going to give you accurate information and be worth the cost associated with buying a device like this.
I will be honest. I was late to the game of buying myself a fitness tracker. Though I am an avid exerciser, I wasn’t sure I really needed to track my every step, my sleep patterns and my calories burned each day. But, now that I broke down and bought one, I am super glad I did. After having done extensive research, I also purchased one for my pup. If you’re in the market for a dog fitness tracker, take advantage of my findings and decide which one is right for your four-legged bestie.
Best Dog Fitness Trackers
Monitoring our fitness is not only becoming more popular, but it’s also becoming more necessary. Studies show that a sedentary lifestyle can be as harmful as smoking or eating too much fast food.
Our dogs are also suffering from a lack of activity. Obesity in dogs has become the number one cause of health related issues, even for breeds that don’t desire or require much activity. We all will benefit from moving more, and making sure your pet gets the exercise he needs will go a long way in guaranteeing he has a high quality and healthy life. But figuring out which fitness tracker to invest in can be hard. There are so many factors to consider, such as ease of use, style, cost, and convenience. Here are some great options to consider:
1. PETBLE Dog Fitness Activity Tracker
If you are looking for a simple activity tracker, the PETBLE Dog Fitness Activity Tracker is a great place to start. This little device acts almost like a human equivalent of a pedometer – it’s simple, with not a lot of bells and whistles.
This manageable device will track your dog’s physical activity throughout the day, as well as his sleep. Even when your phone is out of range, it will store your dog’s steps and sleep information and you can download it later when you are able to access it.
This lightweight monitor comes in two colors, yellow and purple. It doesn’t require anything more than a Bluetooth connection to work. One of the reasons it’s so affordable – and a great tracker to start with – is there are no monthly subscription fees, which is rare for a device that can do what it does. It’s also lightweight; which is also nice for dogs who may be smaller, or not sure they want to wear a cumbersome monitor around, especially when they aren’t used to it.
2. FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor
FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor is a great choice for a dog owner who wants a bit of everything, for a reasonable price. The FitBark will allow you to track how long your dog’s been active, how long he’s been asleep, and his calories burned.
This slim, lightweight tracker (that comes in the shape of a bone! Too cute!) claims that it will also track your dog’s stress levels and skin condition. It has a battery that lasts for up to 6 months and is rechargeable. It can also be paired with your Fitbit or Apple Watch and is waterproof.
Cost: $70 range
No subscription is needed, but can be purchased for added features.
3. Whistle FIT Smart Pet Health and Fitness Tracker
The Whistle FIT Smart Pet Health and Fitness Tracker is a fitness device with all the bells and whistles. Even though your bestie can’t communicate with you, you will feel like they can when wearing this device.
This lime-green, slim square tracker will tell you when your pooch is licking, scratching, and eating. It will also let you know when he is drinking water throughout the day and eating, and will give you end-of-week updates to let you know if any of his patterns have changed.
Cost: $50 range
A monthly subscription is needed.
4. The PETKIT P2 Smart Pet Activity Tracking Device
The PETKIT P2 is a good alternative if you are wanting to try out a fitness tracking device for your dog, but don’t want to spend a lot of money until you’re sure it’s right for you.
This light-weight, round little tracker just clips onto your dog’s already-existing collar and sticks to the basics – the amount of sleep, amount of movement, and if his stress levels seem higher than normal.
You can also buy a PETKIT bowl that, when paired with the tracker, will provide you with the number of calories consumed, as the bowl and tracker can be linked to each other. This device has a nice battery life, clocking in at 5 months, and is also waterproof.
Cost: $40 range
No monthly subscription needed
5. PETFON Dog GPS Tracker With Dog Activity Monitor
There are a few things that make PETFON an interesting choice for those who want to track their dog’s activity and location. Yes, PETFON is more expensive than some on this list, but it doesn’t have a monthly subscription for this level of sophistication, which is really nice.
The PETFON also has specific qualities that are great for the more active pet (and human!) It can track your pet up to 3.5 miles away, so for an active dog, this is ideal. It’s 100% waterproof, extremely lightweight and durable, and also has a built-in night light for those pups and pet owners who like to log more steps at night.
Don’t let the price deter you if durability, accuracy, and no monthly fees are things you are looking for in a tracker for your pet.
Cost: $200 range
No monthly subscription is needed.
6. Tractive Waterproof GPS Dog Tracker (GPS)
Another great option for your dog’s fitness tracker is the Tractive dog tracker. Not only is this device an activity tracker, but also has GPS worldwide coverage and will track your dog’s location as well.
This durable, and 100% waterproof is a popular option, as its price is reasonable and its reviews have been strong. It does require a monthly subscription, like some of the others on this list, but if you’re looking for lots of detail and want to know your dog’s location at all times, the Tractive might be the best choice for you.
Cost: $50 range
A monthly subscription is needed.
7. Fi Series 2 (GPS)
For those who want to invest a bit more, and want the ability to track their dog’s fitness and activity level, the Fi Series 2 is the tracker you are looking for.
This device, which comes in a multitude of colors and sizes, will give you 24/7 GPS tracking capability, is totally waterproof, and has a 3-month battery life.
The Fi is more customizable than most, taking your dog’s breed, size, lifestyle, and sex into consideration when you first set it up. It will come up with specific step goals for your pup and even has a community of other Fi participants that you can connect to for some additional competitive fun!
Cost: $100 range
A monthly subscription is needed.
9. PetPace (GPS)
PetPace is the most expensive and sophisticated contender on my list. Though the price tag is hefty, if you need something more than just activity or location tracking, this is going to be the device you choose.
PetPace sets itself on a different level than the others because of its ability to not only track activity and location but also provide you with more medical information than some of the other trackers on this list. It will share with you your dog’s current temperature, respiration, pulse, and more.
For the pet owner that needs to closely monitor every aspect of their dog’s life, this may be a good choice if the budget allows.
Cost: $200 range
A monthly subscription is needed.
What to Look For in a Dog Fitness Tracker
Your reasons for researching dog fitness trackers are unique to you and your pet. Are you worried about some recent weight gain (his, not yours!) and want to make sure you are both out moving more? Are you away from your pet for a big part of the day and want to know what he’s doing, if he’s drinking enough water or getting enough sleep? Or, does your dog have some medical issues that need to be monitored a bit more closely, and a good tracker is going to help you do that?
Whatever your reasons, they are yours and they are valid. I’ve given you seven different fitness trackers to consider when looking at your dog’s needs. Here are some other things to look for before making a decision on which one is right for both of you.
Ease of Use
As with any sort of exercise equipment, we can do all the research we want, invest wisely, and commit to it, but unless it’s relatively easy to use, it is going to sit in the closet or collect dust in a drawer somewhere. Part of finding the right activity plan is finding something we will use consistently without much thought.
Dog fitness trackers vary in size, design, and comfort. Some of them may have materials that rub your dog’s neck wrong or are easy for him to try and chew. Make sure you think about these things when purchasing one, as well as the size of your dog. Heavy, more cumbersome devices aren’t going to work well for your Shih Tzu and ones that are too small aren’t going to fit on the collar of your Labrador.
Another thing to think about when purchasing a tracker is how easy it’s going to be for you to use. You may like the idea of lots of statistics and analytics, but if it means it’s going to be hard for you to get the basic information you’re looking for, going with a more streamlined model may be better for you.
Cost deserves to be a big one. Most of us don’t mind spending some of our hard-earned cash on our four-legged friends. And, if you’re buying an item like a fitness tracker, you’re probably pretty invested in your dog’s overall health.
That said, these gadgets can be expensive. Many of them are more than a one-time purchase price if they also have monthly subscription fees. And for those of you who may just be starting to entertain the idea of a dog fitness tracker, you may want to start with a modestly-priced model before investing in something more expensive.
Some of the trackers I reviewed above have a lot to offer at a reasonable price. Others are more of an investment, but will provide you with endless data on your dog that may be important to you. Whatever your current needs, factoring the cost into your decision will help you make the right one.
How long your dog’s tracker can last in between charges will be important to you if you are unexcited about having yet another device in your house that has to be constantly plugged in. Anyone who has been out for a long hike and wants to know how many steps they’ve taken, only to look down and see their fitness tracker has run out of juice knows how key a device with long battery life is.
Most of the devices mentioned above have a battery life of at least three months, but many can go for up to six months without a charge. Another important feature is whether or not they send you a notification when the battery is getting low. This will allow you to make sure everything is fully charged before you set out on that long hike with your pooch!
What Do You Want to Track
Another big thing to think about before you invest in a tracker is what, exactly, are you interested in tracking? With so many bells and whistles, this one can be kind of complicated.
If you are just looking to know how much activity your pet is getting throughout the day, sticking with a pedometer-type track will be perfect for you. This is ideal for the pet and person who like to keep track of how many steps they took during their daily walk, run or hike and want to know if they need to head back out after dinner to meet their daily step goal. First-time tracker users will often start with one of these models.
If, however, you want significantly more daily data on your dog, you are going to want to look at one of the more sophisticated models, such as the ones that not only analyze their activity, but also their sleep patterns, heart rate, pulse, and even stress levels. Some can even be set to break down their caloric intake during the day when paired with other equipment, such as especially-designed dog food dishes! (Hmmm…do they make these for humans?)
For those of you who want to keep tabs on your dog's movement during the day, the fitness trackers that offer GPS capability will be the right device for you. These are ideal for people who are away from their dog for much of the day, who perhaps employ dog walkers and want to know the amount of time their dog was walked and to where, or for those pet owners who have an escape artist at home and manages to get out of backyards or back doors easily.
Finally, an often overlooked but vital piece of your decision should be whether or not your dog fitness tracker is a one-time purchase, or needs a subscription service to work. This can add a significant difference to the cost over time and can be a big factor in your long-term motivation to keep using it.
We all have learned to live in a world where monthly subscription services are everywhere. From movie streaming to food delivery meal plans, you are probably paying a monthly fee for at least one convenience in your life. There is nothing wrong with this, and many of us love the ability to have entertainment, information, or food at our fingertips.
But, as with any other product’s subscription plan, make sure you know what you are signing up for before you make that initial purchase of your pup’s fitness tracker. Many of the models come with different options for you to choose from and you can customize what works for your budget and the amount of information you desire. Oftentimes, you can also change your subscription plan later if your current one isn’t working for you. Reading the fine print will ensure you are getting the product you really want.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright