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Best Dog Activity Trackers Tested 2022 : Fitbit for Dogs

Updated: Jun 19

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Did you know that over 50% of dogs in the UK are overweight.

Activity monitors are a great option for helping you keep your best friend in tip-top condition.


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 act as pedometers which 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 you want to monitor their general health.


Pet fitness 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 dog pedometer, 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 2022

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 takes and how well they sleep - 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). Not to mention with no GPS, there are no ongoing monthly costs or subscriptions so they are great value little devices.


Admittedly they can't replace more traditional pet care but they are a useful tool you can use to help assess your dog's health.




FEATURES TO CONSIDER


Before you rush out and buy a dog fitness tracker, let's take a quick look at some of the some options you might want to consider -

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. Is it simply a record of daily steps or more in-depth statistics with sleep patterns, calorie guidelines etc.


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. None of our testers seemed to notice that they were there.


Battery life

Do you want to charge the internal battery or replace it ? How often will the battery need charging or replacing? We provide details on each tracker tested.


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 possible detail. Do you love data and statistics or do you want a simple breakdown ?


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 or friends is an option.



Many long hours were spent researching this buying guide, attaching and reattaching trackers, analysing and comparing the data, and as far as possible, living with each activity tracker for a while.


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 2022

(In Order of Preference)



1. PITPAT

Best Activity Tracker Overall


At the end of our testing process we would recommend the PitPat activity tracker. Designed by a UK company, the dog activity monitor is not only super compact but great value and amazingly easy to use. During testing, we felt the data was the most accurate of the three devices.


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. Clever stuff ...

PitPat activity monitor attaches to a collar

What does the app offer ?


The PitPat tracker stores up to 10 days activity. So you don't need to upload the data daily. Pressing the orange “paw” button sends the data via bluetooth to the PitPat app on your phone.


This worked 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 an exercise goal which you can alter, 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 activity tracker on a blue dogs collar

Is the tracker robust ?


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


Trust us, it's not coming off by mistake!


How much does it cost?


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.


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

Buying Options


You may also be interested in .....

PitPat have recently launched a new weighing bowl. The dog bowl has integrated scales so you can accurately measure your dog's food every time.

 

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.

Dog wearing the PoochPlay activity tracker

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 differently from PitPat or Fitbark.


What does the App offer?


PoochPlay is the only tracker to provide guidance on your dog's diet.

Phone displaying the PoochPlay App

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 Labrador 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.



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.

Phone displaying the PoochPlay Activity app daily screen

How much is it ?

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


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 appears to be an issue with some customers.


PoochPlay activity monitor in four colours

Some reviews complained that the fixing was not robust and 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 which was provided free of charge when we bought the tracker.


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

+ Designed in the UK


Reasons to Avoid

- Movement measurements weren't as accurate as others

- Maybe less secure

 

3. FitBark Activity Tracker

Best for data lovers


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.


Dog wearing a FitBark activity tracker

Where the FitBark is slightly different is they've developed their own point system - bark points.


The more the sensor moves 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.


What does the app offer ?

If you love statistics then this is definitely the activity tracker for you.

Phone screen displaying the FitBark App

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.



Fitbark activity tracker app screen on mobile

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 case in green

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 tie

 

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.


 

You might be interested in....


If you would prefer a GPS Tracker, we recommend taking a look at Tractive GPS for dogs. Like the Activity Monitors featured here, it sits on your dog's collar.


Alternatively you could look at an Apple Airtag collar or holder to track your dog. To read more about whether an Apple AirTag would be a good option for you and your four-legged friend, take a look at our article Best AirTag Dog Collars & Holders




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 our review of Activity Trackers.