Fitness trackers for dogs? New range of smart devices being designed to prevent your pet from becoming fat
11/25/2018 // Mary Miller // Views

Most dog owners know the importance of keeping their pets healthy. It's a constant and tireless job of making sure your pampered pooch doesn't eat too much or too little. It's also making sure that your dog gets enough daily exercise but not so much to the point of exhaustion. This in itself is an exhausting task, but now, recent technology might just be able to help keep your dog in shape.

Fitness trackers are wearable devices that monitor one's physical activity. Many people use standard pedometers to keep track of their daily steps. More sophisticated devices keep track of other health metrics, such as calories burned and heart rate. Dog fitness trackers take the same basic idea and apply them to dogs.

The pet industry is booming, with Americans spending roughly over $72 billion on pet products. The market is rife with pet fitness trackers of varying levels of complexity. They range from simple pedometers and pet collars that track a dog's physical activity to entire fitness tracking systems involving internet-connected bowls and automatic feeders to record food and water consumption. These devices make it easier to ensure that your dog isn't overfed or underfed. They can also detect if your dog isn't eating right. For instance, if the system detects that your dog is drinking more water than usual, it may be a sign of kidney problems. (Related: How to keep dogs naturally healthy despite kidney failure.)

Some higher-end systems even include GPS trackers, ball throwing machines to encourage exercise, and cameras that can record and stream HD video straight from the collar. These features are most useful -- but for the attentive dog owner -- are not all that necessary. However, an important aspect to look for in a pet fitness tracker is the ability to measure how intense or rigorous your dog's daily physical activity was. One way to do this is for the fitness tracker to take into account the dog's heart rate. Very few fitness trackers have this feature as it isn't as simple as strapping a Fitbit onto your dog's neck. Dogs have a thicker epidermis around the neck than humans do. As such, the device should be able to get decent, if not accurate, heart reading through all that thick fur and skin.


Each dog is different with its own unique health needs, but a fitness tracker can go a long way in monitoring your dog's overall health. Here are some ways using a dog fitness tracker can benefit you and your dog:

  • Weight loss. Dog fitness trackers can tell you if your dog has had enough exercise for the day or not. If your dog has spent the day lazily sleeping on the porch, you'll be sure to find out about it and know that it's time to take your dog on a brisk evening walk.
  • Improve stimulation. Some pet fitness trackers can differentiate between walks and playtime, which is essential for mental stimulation. Without mental stimulation, your dog may develop destructive behavior. If the tracker lets you know that your dog isn't getting any significant playtime activity, you will want to spend some quality time with your dog before it starts acting out.
  • Monitor walks. A fitness tracker can let you know how much your dog has walked for the day, even if you're not around. You can also download an app that will allow you to monitor your dog's health remotely. This is useful when leaving your dog with a professional dog walker or pet sitter for days at a time.
  • Get fit together. What better motivation is there for you to get fit than to do so alongside your beloved canine companion? Man's best friend can become man's best fitness buddy if you both have fitness trackers to monitor your daily exercise. You can go on walks together and synchronize your activity goals.
  • Ensure quality rest. Some fitness trackers can measure the quality of your dog's sleep. If something is keeping your dog up late at night, you'll know about it and will be able to make the right adjustments for a proper sleeping environment.

If you want to learn more about pets and how to best take care of them, you can read more articles on

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