Everyone knows that dogs need plenty of exercise to keep healthy. Unfortunately, there really is no way you can have eyes on your dog 24/7 to make sure that it gets the right amount of activity levels it needs. What you can do, however, is to use the best dog activity monitor to help you keep tabs of your pet’s daily activities so you’ll know what to do next. Sadly, the market can be unforgiving as it can be flooded with GPS and RF pet tracker knockoffs that do nothing but send you false alarms and frustratingly inaccurate pet information. That’s why we’ve taken it on ourselves to search the market for the 5 best dog activity monitors.
Our Top Picks for the Best Dog Activity Monitors:
1. Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor by Whistle
If you’re really after the security and safety of your pets regardless of where you may be, then the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor is a must-have. As an activity monitor you can review what your pooch has been doing and went to in the past 24 hours, making you full cognizant of your pooch’s activities. What is also amazing about Whistle 3 is that it can also utilize both WiFi internet and cellular connections to pinpoint the exact location of your pet. And while Bluetooth-enabled devices will only help you keep tabs on your pet’s location so long as your pet is within a 50-foot max radius, Whistle 3 covers an amazing 3000-mile radius.
It comes with fully customizable pet safe zones, too so you can designate areas wherein to ‘confine’ your pets in a virtual kennel; if they move outside this ‘safe zone’ you’d receive notification from Whistle 3 in an instant. While the cost of the device itself is reasonable, the monthly recurring fees can really make the system quite expensive. But, looking at all the benefits you’re getting, it simply is a wise investment.
- Combination of highly advanced cellular and GPS pet tracking technology
- GPS pet tracking and pet activity monitoring technologies
- Fully automated 24/7 location alerts and notification systems
- Customizable safe zones for pets
- 24-hour pet trip recall
- Water-proof and durable design for pooches weighing at least 8 pounds
- Nationwide 3,000-mile coverage for exceptional pet location capabilities
- Pet safe zones for added pet security
- 24/7 real-time pet activity tracking
- 7-day battery life with 2-hour fast-charging capabilities
- Works on GPS, Wi-Fi, or cellular technologies or all 3 for greater pet location accuracy
- Requires subscription to AT&T
- Quite expensive
- Cannot be used on dogs lighter than 8 pounds
2. Dog Activity Monitor by FitBark
If you really want to monitor your pet’s activity levels including its sleep and rest, the FitBark’s Dog Activity Monitor fits the bill perfectly. Its whimsical dog bone design is an added bonus to augment the stylish collar of your pooch. FitBark works like the FitBit system that most of us are familiar with. This also means that you can customize the health goals for your pooch.
It instantly connects to all Bluetooth devices that have the FitBark app allowing access to a community of FitBark users so you can easily share your dog’s activities and download benchmarking information for your guidance. There are some issues as to the reliability and durability of the unit, however. Some users report of the device no longer working after only several days of use. There are also issues about the difficulty of synchronizing data. For its price, it is quite expensive considering that you don’t even get a GPS tracking solution. Regardless, if you consider the number of those saying good things about the FitBark you’d be expected to get one for your pet, too.
- Dedicated pet activity tracker with customizable health goals
- Whimsical, lightweight, and waterproof design
- 14-day lithium polymer battery life with fast-charging capabilities
- FitBark app and online community
- Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and automatic synchronization
- Useful information about dog activities including sleep and recreation
- Doesn’t require any subscription
- Instantly connects and synchronizes with FitBark app
- Exceptionally long battery life
- Whimsical design looks good on any collar
- Not fully waterproof as advertised
- Not a GPS pet tracker so searching for your dog if it gets lost will be quite challenging
- Issues with data synchronization
- Issues with product durability and reliability as some units ‘die’ within a few days
3. Tagg GPS Tracker by Whistle
For a GPS pet tracker that is supposed to run on a 10-time award-winning technology, it pains a lot of pet owners to see the overpriced and poorly-designed Tagg GPS Tracker make its way into the collars of their respective dogs. Tagg is a GPS tracker that relies on orbiting satellites for pinpointing the exact location of your pet. There are issues with the tracking capabilities of the Tagg, with many saying it is not real-time at all. And if you happen to have a jackrabbit for a dog, then you’d know that it is utterly useless to rely on a system that lags behind in its tracking capabilities.
For all its downsides, there are a few good ones, too. For starters, it is waterproof and constructed of durable materials. Tagg comes with an app which you can use to monitor your pet’s daily activity levels, making sure they get the right amounts of exercise to overcome the risk of obesity. With these good points which, unfortunately, pales in comparison to the Whistle 3 it really doesn’t make any sense why it’s priced higher than similar systems.
- Runs on a 10-time award-winning GPS pet tracker technology
- Automatic push notifications
- Fits most collars
- Comes with app for monitoring pet activity levels
- Nifty, lightweight, and compact design that looks cool on your pet’s collar
- Comes with pet activity monitoring app available on iOS and Android devices
- The interactive directional map greatly aids in tracking your pet
- Allows for the establishment of pet safe zones
- Requires subscription to Verizon
- More expensive than similar pet tracker and activity monitor systems
- 3-to-5 minute delays in pet tracking capabilities
- Issues with device easily falling off
- Mediocre battery life
- Poor customer service
4. Smart Dog Collar by Link AKC
The Link AKC Smart Dog Collar has a lot of similarities with the Whistle 3 and Tagg systems especially in terms of providing for dual functionality in terms of pet activity monitoring and GPS pet tracking. However, the Link AKC sits between Tagg and Whistle 3 when it comes to price; its design is closer to Tagg while its operating performance is closer to Whistle 3. Its main attraction is its lovable design that comes with a tracker unit that matches well with its complementary collar.
One useful feature of the Link AKC is that it alerts you to the ambient temperature of the surroundings where your pooch is currently in. If it is outside the normal temperature parameters it pushes a notice so you can take your pooch to safety. The Link AKC also doubles as a training collar because of its integrated LED light and sound effects that you can remotely control through your phone. It also stores veterinary records as well as sends out reminders for your pet’s health activities. The experiences and moments you share with your pooch can also be stored.
- Pet GPS tracker and activity monitor in a collar
- Securely fits to any doggie collar
- Works on both GPS and cellular networks
- Comes with customizable pet activity goals and monitoring app
- Remote activation and deactivation of sound and LED light
- Ambient temperature notifications
- Highly accurate and extra-fast pet location tracking
- Insightful pet activity monitoring information for custom-fit dog activities
- Real-time notifications for ambient temperature and dog-out alerts
- Efficient activity and health records management
- Lovable collar attachment design
- Can only be used in the US
- Requires monthly subscription
- More expensive than Whistle 3
- Can only be used on dogs that weigh at least 10 pounds
5. Pet Tracker by Tuokiy
Toukiy’s Pet Tracker works essentially like FitBit activity tracker giving you an amazing array of information about your dog’s daily activities including its rest, sleep, playtime, naptime, and even exercise. Unfortunately, we’ve seen reports of these so-called ‘pet activity reports’ to be erroneous with the pet not doing anything at all yet the app says it has accomplished its daily activity goals.
Nevertheless, the Tuokiy is lightweight and super-thin that it can be attached to almost any other kind of pet harness, collar, or leash and your pet won’t be bothered by it. It has Bluetooth anti-lost functionality, too, which sends out notification that your pet is out of range. Sadly, you will not be able to pinpoint exactly where your pooch is because the Tuokiy is not a GPS pet tracker. It only tells you if your dog is already outside the Bluetooth range of the device so you’d still have to resort to the old-fashioned method of searching for your lost dog.
For its price, it sure comes out as a great buy. But if you’re looking for a real pet tracker especially when your dog is lost, we’d say you’re better off with more expensive gadgets that have full GPS tracking functionality.
- A dedicated 24/7 pet activity tracker
- Thin, lightweight, and IP66 waterproof design
- Event note functionality
- With anti-lost Bluetooth pet tracker functionality
- Works essentially like FitBit activity tracker
- Attaches to almost any leash, collar, or harness
- Event notification and reminder
- Virtual leash with anti-lost functionality
- Doesn’t require subscriptions
- Not a GPS tracker so you cannot rely on it to locate your dog in case it’s lost or wandered off
- Bluetooth anti-lost function only works insofar as dog is within range
- Issues with reliability of pet activity data
Best Dog Monitor Buying Guide
Buying a dog monitor for your pet dog can be excruciatingly frustrating especially if you are not really confident about what you need to look for. There are also products that have performed relatively well in that past but their technologies have now become obsolete that they’ve already been overshadowed by flaws in their systems. In our continuing effort to provide you with credible information to aid in your decision-making, we’re sharing this buying guide so you’ll be better-informed of the right dog activity monitor you have to buy for your pet.
What is a Dog Monitor?
As the name implies, a dog monitor is a device that keep track of your dog’s levels of activity based on whether it is moving or not. Well, that is an oversimplified way of describing the complex algorithm that occurs inside the processors of these gadgets. What essentially happens is that different sensors integrated into the device monitor your dog’s health parameters to come up with a fairly accurate picture of its levels of ‘physical activity’. The accuracy and validity of the information on activity levels are, thus dependent on the sensitivity and computing accuracy of the system. If the sensors are not getting the right data then you really cannot expect to generate highly-accurate activity level information.
Depending on how the dog monitor is designed, it can also include a variety of other functions such as the following.
GPS pet tracking
This is one of the most important add-on features to any dog activity monitor as it gives you the ability to pinpoint the precise location of your pooch in case they wander off. It is a lot better than merely relying on Bluetooth or even radio frequency location and tracking capabilities since you can make full use of the extended coverage of GPS systems.
Since Bluetooth connectivity follows a device-to-device communication pattern, this functionality is exceptional for identifying who is with your pooch any time. It can also work to determine if your pooch is still within Bluetooth range.
Veterinary records management apps
Many dog monitors come with applications that allow for the integration of veterinary and other pet-related health records for a more efficient management of veterinary care.
This is now considered a standard in many dog monitors. It allows for the more effective tracking of a dog’s progress in relation to its personal best and compared to other dogs of the same breed.
What Makes a Good Dog Monitor?
Looking at the market you’ll be greeted with a lot of dog monitors that promise a lot of stuff. But the bottom line remains, what makes a good dog monitor? While different brands will have different interpretations of what constitutes the essentials, here are a few things that separate the best from the mediocre ones.
You want a device that can give you highly accurate information about your dog’s activity levels and not just some results coming from dubious algorithmic processes. Highly accurate data can help you devise a more appropriate plan of activities for your pooch.
Tracks health parameters
While activity level monitoring is helpful, the addition of other health and veterinary parameters should give you a better picture of your pet’s overall health status. This provides exceptional feedback on whether you’re doing great as a pet parent or not.
Easy to use
No one likes very complicated processes and operations. If you can get the information that you want in a few swipes of your smartphone or in as little effort setting up the activity tracker on your pet, then it should be an excellent buy.
Durable and waterproof
What’s the use of an activity tracker if it can only be used by your pet indoors or that it won’t even last a few minutes of rough play? Durability and weatherproofing are two properties that all dog monitors should have.
Which Pet Tracker Should You Pick – GPS or Radio Frequency?
When it comes to pet trackers, you’re essentially left with 2 fundamental designs: GPS or radio frequency. Technically your choice actually depends on how far off your pooch will typically venture on its own. If your dog is not really known for venturing very far from you, then an RF pet tracker should suffice. However if your pooch runs faster than a fox and ventures way further than a lioness, then a GPS tracker should be in the offing. While both rely on a clear line of sight to establish communication between the receiving unit and the base unit, the range in a radio frequency unit is more limited than that of a GPS. Most RF units have a working radius of up to several hundreds of feet. For a GPS unit, you’re looking at several hundred miles. Naturally, GPS trackers will be more expensive so you might also want to factor that in your decision.
Monitoring your pet’s activity levels is essential for keeping them healthy and fit. While you may not be able to do this personally on a round-the-clock basis, you can use any of the products we featured in this post to help you design a more purposeful activity for your pet. However, we do recommend getting the unit with an integrated GPS pet tracker to get the most value for every penny that you spend.