Sunday, November 25, 2018 by Mary Miller
Most dog owners know the importance of keeping their pets healthy. It’s a constant and tireless job of making sure your pampered pooch doesn’t eat too much or too little. It’s also making sure that your dog gets enough daily exercise but not so much to the point of exhaustion. This in itself is an exhausting task, but now, recent technology might just be able to help keep your dog in shape.
Fitness trackers are wearable devices that monitor one’s physical activity. Many people use standard pedometers to keep track of their daily steps. More sophisticated devices keep track of other health metrics, such as calories burned and heart rate. Dog fitness trackers take the same basic idea and apply them to dogs.
The pet industry is booming, with Americans spending roughly over $72 billion on pet products. The market is rife with pet fitness trackers of varying levels of complexity. They range from simple pedometers and pet collars that track a dog’s physical activity to entire fitness tracking systems involving internet-connected bowls and automatic feeders to record food and water consumption. These devices make it easier to ensure that your dog isn’t overfed or underfed. They can also detect if your dog isn’t eating right. For instance, if the system detects that your dog is drinking more water than usual, it may be a sign of kidney problems. (Related: How to keep dogs naturally healthy despite kidney failure.)
Some higher-end systems even include GPS trackers, ball throwing machines to encourage exercise, and cameras that can record and stream HD video straight from the collar. These features are most useful — but for the attentive dog owner — are not all that necessary. However, an important aspect to look for in a pet fitness tracker is the ability to measure how intense or rigorous your dog’s daily physical activity was. One way to do this is for the fitness tracker to take into account the dog’s heart rate. Very few fitness trackers have this feature as it isn’t as simple as strapping a Fitbit onto your dog’s neck. Dogs have a thicker epidermis around the neck than humans do. As such, the device should be able to get decent, if not accurate, heart reading through all that thick fur and skin.
Each dog is different with its own unique health needs, but a fitness tracker can go a long way in monitoring your dog’s overall health. Here are some ways using a dog fitness tracker can benefit you and your dog:
If you want to learn more about pets and how to best take care of them, you can read more articles on PetHealthDaily.com.