The FitBark 2 - Review
The Fitbark is basically a FitBit for your dog! It is a tool that can help you monitor your dogs health and exercise. I have been using the FitBark for a little over a month now and it has given me a great understanding of what Kimba needs to be happy and healthy. So far it has given me accurate recordings and given me insight to things such as Kimba's need for extra mental stimulation over physical exercise, extra food to accommodate for the energy she is burning and helped me determine what she does when I am not home.
1. Feature Overview
The Fitbark, much like a FitBit, will track the "steps" a dog takes, how far they have been, estimated calories burned and you can update their weight as you go. The Fitbark also tracks a dogs sleep and give them a health index rating (which is a % based on your dogs regular activities). You can also follow other Fitbark users and even journal!
When configuring the device for your dog you enter your dogs details such as age, breed and weight, then select what your target activity level for your dog is. You can also sync your FitBark with your FitBit and work out together!
You would probably be surprised that you can use this device for more than just tracking your dogs barkpoints (steps) for the day and that it can be a handy tool for keeping track of their health and well-being.
A few examples of how you can use this data: - Tracking Weight gain - Tracking Weight loss
- Tracking Anxiety - Tracking pattern changes - Potential early warning for health issues
- Tracking Sleep quality - Tracking overall health
3. The Data
The data is pretty straight forward and super easy to read. How you interpret it is a different story! If you have something in mind that you want to track prior to purchasing the FitBark then extracting that information will be really easy as you already know what you are looking for. The interface of the app is super easy to navigate and read so if you just want to keep your eye on the data you'll be able to notice when you have drastic changes in patterns and that can act as an early warning system for health issues that your dog may have developed. The health index rating will fluctuate based on your dogs overall activity and sleep. If you see a dramatic decrease in this it may be worth a vet trip.
Paying attention to when your dog is most and least active in the hour by hour overview will help you keep track of your dogs anxiety if it has anxiety and you'll be able to determine what has happened in that time frame to cause stress within your dog. You can also use the data to assist with weight gain or loss by adjusting your exercise levels along side how much you feed so that you are feeding appropriate amount to the dogs activity to maintain healthy weight.
Dogs live with routine and patterns so when you have an outlier you can keep an extra careful eye on your dog to determine if something has happened that could cause illness or pain. IE: If your dog does 25000+ points regularly then hits only 5000 for the day, they may have injured their leg, have a 24 hour bug, upset tummy or something else. While this doesn't mean an emergency trip to the vet it will help you pick up early if your dog isn't feeling well or if you might need to check them for injury.
4. The Device
The device is small, lightweight and waterproof. It attaches over the collar with zip ties (provided with the device). Pull the zip ties tight, trim the ends and place the cover over the top. To charge the device just pop the cover off, attach the clip on charger and plug into computer or USB charger. The lifetime of the battery is amazing. We charged for 90 minutes once opened and it isn't even close to 50% over a month later.
5. Pros & Cons
Lets start with the cons:
- Requires a Collar This is the big con for me! I personally prefer my dogs to be naked when its not necessary for them to wear a collar because of the risk that collars pose. In order to receive accurate and reliable data to really maximise the potential of this device it needs to be constantly attached to the dog - meaning so does the collar.
- Accurate Data - Easy to navigate app - Easy to set up - Waterproof - Lightweight - Battery Life - Ability to share progress with friends & journal
- Helpful customer service.
6. My Findings
Overall I would rate this device 5 stars. I havent seen anything like it on the market and the
fact that it really breaks down your pets activity levels and sleep quality is amazing. Its super durable with long battery life making it perfect for dogs who like to adventure. I would recommend this to crazy dog parents like myself who like to keep track of their pets well-being and health in general OR to people who have a target they would like to track. It is also great motivation for you to get out with your dog more since its syncs with FitBit if you are looking for a reason to get out and about. If you don't really have an interest in targeting any health aspects of your dog or using the data to keep an eye on what the dogs are up to this might not be worth the money for you. If you can't see yourself checking in on the data every now and again or you don't put collars on your dogs then you wont be using the device for its potential. This device has given me great insight into Kimba's needs and I will purchase another FitBark for Koda as I think this device will really help me track her highs and lows associated with her condition E.P.I
It certainly has helped me learn more about my 18month old pup and I can better provide for her now.
Is there anything else you would like to know about the FitBark?