Do you constantly stress out at the prospect of losing or hurting your dog? If yes, then you are not alone. A 2016 article posted on Psychology Today cites that a pet owner’s worst fear is losing a beloved companion. Yes, it is. The question that comes to mind is, how can you mitigate this hardship? The answer, by staying informed about your pet just like you would for another loved one, and this begets the role of a monitoring device for your dog. Monitoring devices keep track of your dog and send alerts upon breach of a pre-set area around your house. However, the market is flooded with so many trackers that finding the best dog activity monitor is like finding needle in a haystack. We help you to review the best trackers out there and you can judge the ones that suit your needs, all by yourself.
Best PickWith unmatched GPS tracking, long battery life and high durability, Whistle 3 stands out among all trackers to be the best monitor money can buy.
Budget PickBeafup offers many functional features at an economical price, making it the BEST Budget monitor among all trackers.
Quick Comparison Between The Best Dog Activity Monitors[table id=154 /]
1. Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor
- SIM-based GPS tracking
- Proactive alerts
- Activity and goal tracker
- Water resistance
- Good battery life
- Nationwide GPS tracking
- Great looks and build quality
- Valuable health insights
- 7 day battery life
- High subscription charges
- Plain-looking collar strap
2. FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor
- FitBark Health Index
- FitBark Sleep Score
- Linking compatibility with human health trackers
- Good battery life
- Robust build quality
- Comprehensive health tracker
- 24/7 tracking of sleep, calories and distance travelled
- Six month battery life
- Lack of GPS tracking
- Bland looks and design
3. PitPat 2 Dog Activity Monitor
- Easy-to-use app
- Measurement of activity metrics
- Great battery life
- Breed-specific recommendations
- Small yet attractive looks
- Feather-light in weight
- One year battery life
- Lack of GPS tracking
- Recharging option not available
4. Findster Duo+
- SIM-free MAZE technology
- Pet activity monitoring
- Real-time GPS tracking
- Optimized for walks with pet
- No monthly subscription fees
- Works off-grid across all countries
- Water-proof and shock resistant
- Limited GPS range from 0.5 to 3 miles
- Low battery capacity
5. Link AKC Smart Dog Collar
- GPS and activity tracker
- Adventures recording feature
- Temperature alerts in hot and cold environment
- Safe up to 30 minutes in 3 feet of water
- Light and sound feature
- Nationwide accurate GPS tracking
- Attractive and fashionable leather belt
- Vet record storage in app
- IP67 rating
- Cellular service plan required for GPS
- Works only in the US
6. Tractive GPS 3G
- Tractive Virtual Fence
- Live location tracking with updates every 2-3 seconds
- Subscription plans starting $5 a month
- Quick 2-hour battery recharge time
- World-wide location tracking, over 150 countries
- IPX7 water-proof and shock resistant
- Location history tracking
- Lack of activity monitoring feature
- Recommended of pets above 9 pounds
- Uninspiring looks
- No mechanism to track goals or wellbeing
- Dual location tracking using GPS and cellular network
- Geo-fence feature with alarm
- Alarm for low power
- 90 days historical route display in GPS tracking
- IP65 water resistance
- Environment-friendly battery technology
- GPS tracking limited to 2G GSM network
- No feature to monitor health metrics
Things to Consider Before Buying the Product
How to choose the best dog activity monitor?Dog activity monitors available today have various features that differentiate them from each other. These monitors can also come in a range of prices from $60 to $199 or higher. Needless to say, the GPS-enabled locators also need you to shell out a service fee ranging from $5 - $15 per month. These devices can be chosen on the basis of features you need in your budget. These features include:
- GPS location tracking
- Activity tracker
- Sleep quality tracker
- Heart and respiratory rate tracking
- Notification alerts
- Health insights
- Long battery life
- Link to human health tracker
- Replaceable battery
- Breed-specific recommendations
- Historical route tracking
What are the advantages of a Dog Activity Monitor?
LocationThese devices can be used to pinpoint a pet’s location using GPS tracking, thereby making sure it doesn’t get lost.
Geo-FenceGeo-fencing is the creation of a virtual boundary geographically using a GPS device. Tracking devices can be used to set location alerts if the pet leaves home.
Access to Health InfoAnother advantage of a Dog Activity Monitor is the ability to keep a record of a pet’s daily activates using embedded sensors. This helps keep track of heart rate, activity and inactivity periods, which can then be used to compare against the pet’s breed, age and weight.
Sleep trackerModern Dog activity monitors also help to keep track of the sleep quality of a pet. Sensors detect if the dog sleeps continuously for a long duration or gets restless in the middle of sleep.
Lose WeightActivity trackers also help the pet to lose weight in a healthy manner. The apps accompanying a tracker allows measuring the dog’s activity, which can be increased or kept constant over time to keep the pet in shape.
Attributes that differentiate Dog Activity Monitors
Choice of GPS technologyWhile many monitors have a GPS tracking system using SIM card and cellular network coverage, a few do not need a SIM or network. This affects the range of the device significantly. While SIM-based devices offer coverage to practically every area, the non-SIM ones work in the radius of a few miles.
Subscription ChargesTrackers with SIM-based GPS also need an additional subscription charge, other than the upfront cost of the device. However, most subscriptions allow you a nationwide coverage to track your pet in case of an emergency.
Battery LifeMost dog activity monitors come with a user-rechargeable battery that runs for a few days and then needs to be recharged. However, some trackers come with a user-replaceable battery which needs no charging but has a shelf life of up to a year. A new battery needs to be bought after every cycle.
Water ResistanceA feature which is highly recommended and is also available across most devices, is resistance to water. Some monitors are certified with an IP65 rating, while others can withstand being underwater for a few minutes. A certain kind of tracker is simply splash resistant and not submersible in water.
App FeaturesAll trackers have different kind of features loaded in them and display using varied metrics in their associated app. While some could have a complete health profile on the basis of exercise levels, calories burnt and sleep monitor; other devices might not have any of these features. A link with human health trackers like Fitbit is also available in a few monitors.
DimensionMost devices have a standard dimension range of 1 to 2 inches each side in a square-shaped setting. These also come with a belt attachment for the pet and is generally wrapped around the collar
BudgetBudget is a big consideration while looking for the best product to suit individual needs. Devices with bigger batter and more app-based features are priced on the higher side compared to no-frills devices that simply come with tracker. The cost of a recurring network coverage plan must also be factored-in while contemplating a purchase.
Essential Tips to use a Dog Activity MonitorThe best way to use a Dog Activity Monitor is to find out your expectation from the product. If you simply want to track your dog and its whereabouts during the day, a simple yet long-range device will suit your needs. However, if you want a complete app-based tracker to monitor health, sleep and activities of your pet, then a full-featured device will do the job. Devices with total activity tracking and without GPS services are also available in the market. If a long range of GPS tracking in your must-have list, a SIM-based network coverage device will fit the bill. Similarly, if you prefer to charge the battery rather than buy a new one regularly, a user-chargeable battery will be the best choice. In effect, as soon as you figure out your and the pet’s needs, any feature can be added to make an informed choice while buying the device.
ConclusionTo summarize, there are many dog activity monitors and trackers available to suit every budget. The new generation of such trackers work in a variety of ranges, employ geo fencing, promise a huge battery life, resist splashes of water, track your dog’s health and regularly innovate to add newer features. We are sure that a dog activity monitor will keep your dog out of harm’s way while promoting health and adventure without stressing you out. It personally gives me great satisfaction to be able to buy something that can protect my dog just like a best friend. Now you can decide if you want to get your dog a best friend. Rather, a second best friend after you, of course.
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