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Top 3 Dog Activity Trackers UK : Fitbit for Dogs Review

Updated: Sep 14

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You could think of them as a Fitbit for dogs, mounted on their collar, sensors monitor your dog’s movement and rest giving you a picture of their activity levels. It’s a fun new way to encourage you and your dog to be active. These doggie wearables let you see what your pet is doing every minute of the day.

Dog wearing activity tracker with children in a field

If left on your dog's collar overnight, these activity monitors record your dogs sleep pattern which can be incredibly useful when monitoring their general health.


Activity trackers are proving to be a massive hit with dog lovers especially those who already love their hugely popular human smart bands (Fitbit, Apple Watch).


Freddie and his friends Henry and Otis tested three of the best Dog Activity Trackers in the UK - PitPat, PoochPlay and FitBark 2.


We purchased all three trackers to offer a unbiased side-by-side comparison of each tracker, the associated app, accuracy of data and general ease of use over a period of a month.


Table of Contents

Buying Guide for Dog Activity Trackers

Features to Consider

Best Dog Activity Trackers 2021

1. PitPat

2. PoochPlay

3. FitBark

Our Verdict


BUYING GUIDE FOR DOG ACTIVITY TRACKERS



The first thing to say is that activity trackers are not GPS trackers, so they can't find a lost dog. However, they can help you discover just how many steps your dog is doing - you might be surprised.


If your pooch is a tad overweight, these little devices can really help get them back to peak fitness. They use smart technology to monitor and access your dog's movements throughout the day (and night if you wish). An of course with no GPS, there are no ongoing monthly costs so they are great value little devices.


Whilst they don't aim to replace more traditional pet care, they are a useful tool you can utilise to help assess your dog's health.



FEATURES TO CONSIDER


Before you rush out and buy a fitness tracker for your dog, let's take a quick look at some of the some things to keep in mind

Waterproof – If your dog loves water than opt for a waterproof monitor or it may have a very short life !

Fitness tracking capabilities – consider what health and fitness tracking elements you value.

Size and attachment – Check the size and weight especially if you have a small breed dog. Considerable thought has gone into the design of all three monitors we test to ensure that the trackers are extremely lightweight.

Battery life – Do you want to charge the internal battery or replace it ? How often will the battery need charging or replacing?

Apps – most trackers require the you to download a mobile app in order for you to track fitness data. Some offer simple graphs and data whilst others have options to view every detail. Do you want the more in-depth apps?

Extra Features – Some devices offer additional features e.g. food guidance or the option to enter vaccination schedules. Also the ability to share information with other family members of friends is an option.


So, let’s take a look at the Top 3 Activity Trackers available in the UK today and see what features they have to offer both you and your dog.




BEST DOG ACTIVITY TRACKERS 2021

(In Order of Preference)



1. PITPAT BEST OVERALL


PITPAT is a leading pet-tech company based in Cambridge UK launched back in 2014 . They designed a dog activity monitor which is super compact and attaches to your dog's collar.


How does PITPAT work ?

Once the PitPat device is attached to your dog's collar, every minute spent walking, running and playing counts towards their daily exercise goal.


The technology analyses movements every 10 minutes to decide what activity your dog is doing during that period.


PitPat uses their tech to distinguish between walking and running – by sensing the natural “gait” motion of your dog.

PitPat activity monitor attaches to a collar


What does the app offer ?

The PitPat tracker stores up to 10 days activity. Pressing the orange “paw” button sends the data via Bluetooth to the PitPat app on your phone. This worked perfectly consistently during our tests.


The app asks you to input some basic information then it recommends a daily exercise goal. For a 3 year old healthy cockapoo like Henry or Freddie, PitPat suggested 40 minutes a day.


Phone screen displaying the PitPat app

As well as exercise goal, PitPat enables you to record your dog's weight and set an ideal weight goal, assess body condition & earn badges.


The free app can be downloaded on several devices letting the whole family view your dog's activity and progress.


We loved checking on how many badges and streaks our dogs earned every week and it definitely encouraged us to walk further.

Pitpat app on a mobile phone showing badges earnt

Is the tracker robust ?

PitPat weighs just 16g, is waterproof and attaches to the collar with parachute grade velcro.


How much does it cost?

Let's talk money... PitPat offers two purchase options - a £39.00 One-off Payment or £4 a month subscription which includes a few extras.


We felt that a straight one-off purchase with no ongoing costs offered the best value.


PitPat activity tracker on a blue dogs collar

Weight - 16g

Reasons to Buy

+ Easy to Use

+ Intuitive App

+ Secure on the collar

+ One-off payment option

+ Designed in the UK


Reasons to Avoid

- Low initial daily exercise goal


Pitpat Pawscore 5/5


2. PoochPlay Activity Tracker LIGHTEST OPTION


PoochPlay are a company set up by an electronics engineer with more than ten years experience developing web and mobile platforms, his love of dogs eventually led him to found PoochPlay. This, like PitPat, is a dog activity monitor designed in the UK.


How does PoochPlay work?

The PoochPlay Activity Tracker uses the same technology as PitPat and FitBark to tell you just how active your dog is.


It categorises your dog's movement into three types- Very Active, Active & Rest.

  • Very Active - your dog has more than 30 moves in one minute.

  • Active - your dog moves 1-29 moves per minute.

  • Rest - your dog doesn’t move.

The app and tracker upload the data when you select 'Update'.


We found that the PoochPlay Tracker recorded walks very differently from PitPat or Fitbark.

Dog wearing the PoochPlay activity tracker

What does the App offer?

PoochPlay is the only tracker to provide guidance on your dog's diet. By selecting your dog's brand of food, the app can advise on food based on activity levels.


PoochPlay suggests a daily activity goal, based on breed, age etc, which in Otis case a 5yr old Lab was 60 minutes.


It's also the only Activity Tracker which offers a Personal Assistant option to keep track of your vaccinations and grooming schedule.


Phone displaying the PoochPlay App


Does it need charging ?

The PoochPlay Activity Tracker contains a battery which should last 6 months. It is the same type of battery found in many watches so should be straightforward to replace.


How much is it ?

The cheapest of the Activity Trackers, it's a simple one-off payment of £29.99. There are no subscription payments.


Phone displaying the PoochPlay Activity app daily screen


PoochPlay device

Is the tracker robust?

The Tracker is very light at only 6g and waterproof. It sits in a silicone holder attached to the collar. It's the collar attachment that seems to be an issue.


Many reviews complained that the fixing was not robust and some dog lovers had lost their monitor whilst out walking.


It did seem the least secure of the monitors we tested so we opted to use the Extreme Band An extreme band was provided free of charge when we bought the PoochPlay Activity Monitor and we didn't experience any issues with it falling off the collar.

Weight - 6g

Reasons to Buy

+ Cheapest Monitor tested

+ Easy to use App

+ Food intake advice


Reasons to Avoid

- Movement measurements weren't as accurate as others

- Maybe less secure


Poochplay Pawscore 4/5

3. FitBark Activity Tracker FOR SUPERIOR DATA

FitBark are a US company producing a number of pet tracking products. This review looks at the FitBark 2 which is the latest version available in the UK. If you were wondering - the company is not affiliated with FitBit.



How does FitBark work?

FitBark 2 monitors your dog’s activity just like PitPat with a tracker on the collar.


Where the FitBark is slightly different is they've developed their own point system - bark points. The more the sensor moves on your dog’s collar, the more bark points it collects.


To gauge distance travelled, FitBark analysed a variety of dogs. You have the opportunity to alter the bark points to accurately represent your dog's distance.

Dog wearing a FitBark activity tracker

What does the app offer ?


If you love statistics then this is definitely the Activity Tracker for you. The FitBark app has a wealth of information beautifully displayed in a series of graphs.


You can track your dog by hour, the calories burnt, distance covered and bark points. The data is displayed in a variety of colourful charts with hourly, daily, weekly and monthly views.


We found it initially quite complicated but after a few days it became more familiar but still not particularly intuitive.


Phone screen displaying the FitBark App

You can invite contacts to download the app and then use it as a mini social media tool, with photos and updates for friends and family.


We loved this, as the family could comment on Freddies antics when they were away.


How much does it cost?

There is a one-off payment for the FitBark with no ongoing subscription payments.

Price - $80 which equates to approx. £57, so slightly more expensive than PoochPlay and PitPat.


Fitbark activity tracker app screen on mobile

Is the tracker robust ?

The FitBark weighs only 10g and is attached to the collar with a very low tech solution - a couple of cable ties!


Whilst the cable ties appeared to do a decent job and the tracker felt secure, we couldn't help thinking that it was a cheap attachment option.


Additional soft, colourful covers are available if you want a change from black.

Weight - 10g

Reasons to Buy

+ If you love data

+ Use as mini social media tool

+ Option to add photos, notes etc.

Reasons to Avoid

- Most expensive monitor tested

- Complicated app

- Cheap attachment with cable ties


Fitbark Pawscore 4/5


OUR VERDICT


Overall, we found all three were impressive little devices using new technology to enhance not replace traditional pet care.


Because they don't use GPS, all three activity trackers have an amazing battery life, which is a big tick for us, frankly we have enough tech to charge every night we certainly don’t want anymore! Plus there are no subscription payments (unless you choose this additional option available with PitPat), so no ongoing costs to incur.


We considered the PitPat device was the easiest app to understand with key statistics displayed in simple graphics. It also appeared the most accurate device initially (FitBark 2 improved once the bark points were calibrated).


If you want to buy British then PitPat and PoochPlay are great options and certainly give the US designed FitBark a run for it's money.


In all three cases whilst the results may not be exact, few activity trackers are, fitbits for dogs do provide you with far more insight than no tracker whatsoever.


RELATED POST Best Dog Poo Bag Holders

Love walking with your dog but hate the whole scooping the poop ? Why not check out our article on poo bag holders. We buy, test and review the best dog poo bag holders available to buy today in the UK. Whilst not an essential piece of canine kit, they are a convenient way to carry poo bags on those dog walks. We delve into which dispensers work well, are good value for money and come with free poo bags !




We hope you enjoyed reading our review as much as Freddie, Otis and Henry enjoyed testing the trackers ! Thank you for stopping by and reading Smart Bark's review of Activity Trackers.