You have already decided to equip your dog with an activity monitor. Congratulations! Let’s have a look at my own experienced based Fitbark 2 Review. It is a device designed to give you information about the activity and health of your dog. A small step for you, a great step for the quality of life of your pet. Note: This is not the GPS version to locate your pet. We focus on the activity monitoring version.
THE DIFFERENTIAL VALUE OF FITBARK 2
For a few years, activity monitors for dogs are already in the market. Fitbark 2 is the second generation of the product. The company was founded in 2012 in Kansas,
Fitbark mission is to “get dogs and humans healthy together”. There are many dogs and owners to be addressed with that mission! According to a 2018 study 56% of American dogs are obese (Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, APOP). Owners do a little better with almost 40% of America population (more 93 million people) with an overweight or obese condition (NCHS, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2015–2016)
The difference with other activity monitors is the company approach to research on the behavior and health of dogs. The product has been used to carry out several research studies. These studies are public and accessible on the internet. It is the Fitbark Explore. The results have been consulted on the internet more than 178,000 times.
Not only does Fitbark offer you information about your pet’s activity, but it also allows you to know how it is compared to similar dogs (breed, weight, age). This way you know if your dog is better or better than average.
Other activity monitors can also give you comparative information with other dogs. But with Fitbark you know that this information has been used in research studies, and therefore the reliability of information is guaranteed.
BARKPOINT, THE CANINE ACTIVITY MEASUREMENT UNIT
Thanks to the collaboration with universities and canine research centers, a unit of measure have been defined to account for the activity of dogs. They are the BarkPoints.
The way dogs walk and move is very diverse. With four legs, they take a multitude of steps. It was necessary to find a unit that reflected the level of real activity and calories consumed. That is why the concept of BarkPoint was invented.
Having a relevant measure unit for activity is of course essential. Thanks to that, we can compare the exercise our dog does against similar dogs. You can also define the daily goal, which is an essential motivation factor to increase exercise levels.
INFORMATION FITBARK 2 GIVES YOU
- The activity level measured every 5 minutes. Unit of measure: BarkPoint. Depending on the movements recorded by the 3D accelerometer, the pet’s activity is classified as:
- Play: corresponds to high activity levels, for example running, jumping, chasing, etc. It is typically an activity that the dog performs freely, without being tied.
- Active: walk on a leash or walk around the house.
- Rest: lying, resting, sleeping…
- Calories consumed: basically based on the type of dog (Age, weight, and breed) and its level of activity the calories consumed are calculated. This information is essential to know how much food you should give your dog every day.
- Distance made each day, in miles or kilometers.
Additionally, the application reports two health indexes. These indices have been prepared based on the study of the behavior of many Fitbark dogs.
- Sleep Quality Index: the level of depth of sleep is measured in a strip of 4 hours in a row. Default from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Its value can be from 0 to 100%. In general, a value greater than 84% is good.
- Health index: potential values from 0 to 100%. My 8-year-old dog, which does more activity than 85% of similar dogs (breed, age, weight) is between 94% and 95%.
- Per hour: The hourly view is interesting to understand the activity level when you take a walk or are at home.
- By day: at the end of the day, you can see when he has exercised. The walks are clearly identified as they stand out in the overall day, being classified as a play or active time.
- Weekly: very interesting, you can see at a glance the type of activity of your pet (playing time, active time, rest time). This view quickly informs you of changes in your pet’s behavior. It can be a health alarm system. Imagine that instead of the usual 14 hours rest, they become 8 hours. It is time to look at what may be happening and if necessary visit the veterinarian.
- Monthly: this view is more curious. In which month your dog is most active. In winter, spring, summer or autumn. Now you can know.
GREAT BATTERY !! BUT FIXED TO 1 COLLAR
Like all electronic devices, an activity monitor needs electrical energy. For me, one of the important criteria when choosing a device is that the battery has a good duration. This, in the long run, is essential. No matter how good a device is, if it runs out of battery it is useless. Fitbark is excellent. Already two months since I bought it and it works non-stop!. According to product specifications, the battery should last 6 months. If so, it is extraordinary.
However, Fitbark 2 is attached to the dog’s collar. Therefore, if you like to change your dog’s collar, it may not be the best device for you. Every time you want to change the dog’s collar, you should cut the plastic clamps … that is not very practical. However, for me, I do not change the dog’s collar, unless it is very worn out, it does not pose a problem for me.
ONE OF THE BEST GIFTS YOU CAN MAKE TO YOUR DOG
According to recent market studies, the average annual expenditure of Americans on toys for their pet is $48 dollars (APPA, American Pet Products Association)
The toys and particularly playing with our pets is a great gift for them. We can do that every year.
An activity monitor is a gift that our pets will not be aware of. It is not something they can look for, bite or chase. However, it is a device that will give them more activities and a real improvement in the quality of life.
With few exceptions, dogs whose owners have an activity monitor walk and play more than those who do not.
SO DO NOT WAIT FOR MORE, AND GET AN ACTIVITY MONITOR FOR YOUR DOG! CHOSE FITBARK 2 OR ANY OTHER, BUT GET IN THE TRACKING AND MOTION WORLD MY FRIEND.
Happy to learn about your experience or opinion in regards to activity monitors for dogs. Leave your comment below
If you want to see a great review by @TechManPat, check the following YouTube video. This is back in July 2018. In the end, he does not recommend buying FitBark 2 if for $100 unless “your dog is having some medical issues, and you want to keep an eye on him”. Also, he likes the app but misses good performance and a good dashboard.
As explained in the post, my own experience with Fitbark 2 as January 2020 is great. You get great information, the app performs well, and the price is now at $69,95. So for me is not a techie gadget, but a valuable device to help you to know much more about your dog and his or her quality of life.