Everyone knows that dogs need plenty of exercise to keep healthy. Unfortunately, there really is no way you can have eyes on your dog 24/7 to make sure that it gets the right amount of activity levels it needs. What you can do, however, is to use the best dog activity monitor to help you keep tabs of your pet’s daily activities so you’ll know what to do next. Sadly, the market can be unforgiving as it can be flooded with GPS and RF pet tracker knockoffs that do nothing but send you false alarms and frustratingly inaccurate pet information. That’s why we’ve taken it on ourselves to search the market for the 5 best dog activity monitors.
Best Dog Monitor Buying Guide
Buying a dog monitor for your pet dog can be excruciatingly frustrating especially if you are not really confident about what you need to look for. There are also products that have performed relatively well in that past but their technologies have now become obsolete that they’ve already been overshadowed by flaws in their systems. In our continuing effort to provide you with credible information to aid in your decision-making, we’re sharing this buying guide so you’ll be better-informed of the right dog activity monitor you have to buy for your pet.
What is a Dog Monitor?
As the name implies, a dog monitor is a device that keep track of your dog’s levels of activity based on whether it is moving or not. Well, that is an oversimplified way of describing the complex algorithm that occurs inside the processors of these gadgets. What essentially happens is that different sensors integrated into the device monitor your dog’s health parameters to come up with a fairly accurate picture of its levels of ‘physical activity’. The accuracy and validity of the information on activity levels are, thus dependent on the sensitivity and computing accuracy of the system. If the sensors are not getting the right data then you really cannot expect to generate highly-accurate activity level information.
Depending on how the dog monitor is designed, it can also include a variety of other functions such as the following.
GPS pet tracking
This is one of the most important add-on features to any dog activity monitor as it gives you the ability to pinpoint the precise location of your pooch in case they wander off. It is a lot better than merely relying on Bluetooth or even radio frequency location and tracking capabilities since you can make full use of the extended coverage of GPS systems.
Since Bluetooth connectivity follows a device-to-device communication pattern, this functionality is exceptional for identifying who is with your pooch any time. It can also work to determine if your pooch is still within Bluetooth range.
Veterinary records management apps
Many dog monitors come with applications that allow for the integration of veterinary and other pet-related health records for a more efficient management of veterinary care.
This is now considered a standard in many dog monitors. It allows for the more effective tracking of a dog’s progress in relation to its personal best and compared to other dogs of the same breed.
What Makes a Good Dog Monitor?
Looking at the market you’ll be greeted with a lot of dog monitors that promise a lot of stuff. But the bottom line remains, what makes a good dog monitor? While different brands will have different interpretations of what constitutes the essentials, here are a few things that separate the best from the mediocre ones.
You want a device that can give you highly accurate information about your dog’s activity levels and not just some results coming from dubious algorithmic processes. Highly accurate data can help you devise a more appropriate plan of activities for your pooch.
Tracks health parameters
While activity level monitoring is helpful, the addition of other health and veterinary parameters should give you a better picture of your pet’s overall health status. This provides exceptional feedback on whether you’re doing great as a pet parent or not.
Easy to use
No one likes very complicated processes and operations. If you can get the information that you want in a few swipes of your smartphone or in as little effort setting up the activity tracker on your pet, then it should be an excellent buy.
Durable and waterproof
What’s the use of an activity tracker if it can only be used by your pet indoors or that it won’t even last a few minutes of rough play? Durability and weatherproofing are two properties that all dog monitors should have.
Which Pet Tracker Should You Pick – GPS or Radio Frequency?
When it comes to pet trackers, you’re essentially left with 2 fundamental designs: GPS or radio frequency. Technically your choice actually depends on how far off your pooch will typically venture on its own. If your dog is not really known for venturing very far from you, then an RF pet tracker should suffice. However if your pooch runs faster than a fox and ventures way further than a lioness, then a GPS tracker should be in the offing. While both rely on a clear line of sight to establish communication between the receiving unit and the base unit, the range in a radio frequency unit is more limited than that of a GPS. Most RF units have a working radius of up to several hundreds of feet. For a GPS unit, you’re looking at several hundred miles. Naturally, GPS trackers will be more expensive so you might also want to factor that in your decision.
Monitoring your pet’s activity levels is essential for keeping them healthy and fit. While you may not be able to do this personally on a round-the-clock basis, you can use any of the products we featured in this post to help you design a more purposeful activity for your pet. However, we do recommend getting the unit with an integrated GPS pet tracker to get the most value for every penny that you spend.