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The Best Dog Activity Monitors (Review) 2021

Last Updated May 21, 2021

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.

The Best Dog Activity Monitor

1

The brand new generation of the ever-popular Whistle tracker for pets has had a major overhaul. Most notably, the increased battery life, which has gone from 7 days to an incredible 20 days. This GPS tracker for dogs now plays host to the one of the highest quality options in battery longevity. As well as this, new features have been available, making it easier than ever to find your dog.

A built-in night light makes it easier to see your dog, in heavily wood areas or for those who need to walk their dogs in the dark. Buyers are also able to choose from a wider range of colours, which also act as high-visibility, to ensure your dog’s safety, when you’re out and about. Next, the smaller size is also better suited to a wider range of different dog breeds, while the older version was a little too bulky for toy breeds and puppies.  

When trying to locate your dog, uou can choose from default refresh rates, which sit between 3 minutes and 30 minutes. Naturally, the 30 mins refresh offers greater battery life – but a 24h worldwide geolocation, which works with AT&T, means you can find your dog anywhere. As long as they have the GPS tracker on their collar, of course!

Monitors overall fitness

Includes access to vet advice on-demand

20 day battery

Uses nationwide network GPS

Specification:
  • Brand: Whistle
  • Model: 100-04202-00
  • Weight: 7.37 ounces
Pros

Very long battery life of up to 20 days

Built-in night light for visibility

Bright colors are easily noticeable

Reveals key stats, including daily activity levels

Can locate your dog anywhere in the world

Cons

Requires a contract with AT&T

Expensive compared to others

2

The ideal choice for anyone looking to let their dog have some freedom around the home. This option uses an integrated 3G sim, which triangulates to find out where your dog is, at any time. This isn’t the best feature, however, as it will require a monthly subscription to the service.

Instead, the best feature is its ability to create a virtual fence around a property or area. If the GPS monitor senses that your dog has passed over this geofence, it will send you a notification. Allowing you to retrieve your pup quickly and easily, before they get too far away. This works in combination with the live tracking feature, which provides you with an accurate geolocation of where your dog is, at any time.

On top of this, it also comes with some nifty features, which allow you to track your dog’s overall health. At the same time, it’s completely waterproof. This makes the Tractive dog monitor an ideal choice for those who enjoy getting out and about on adventures, with their dogs. Just be sure to charge your battery before heading out, as this is quite short compared to most other options on our list.

Virtual fence feature

Integrated 3G sim

Two subscription plans available

Live tracking

GPS updates

Specification:
  • Brand: Tractive
  • Model: TRATR3G
  • Weight: 1.28 ounces
Pros

Worldwide tracking

Completely waterproof

Track overall health

Can create a geofence

Suitable for most dog breeds

Cons

Subscription plan required

Shorter battery life than other options

Costs double if a monthly subscription is purchased

3

Findster GPS Tracking Dog Monitor
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If you are looking for a subscription-free dog monitor, then the Findster Duo + Pet Tracker could be just what you need. The tracker uses MAZE technology and offers real-time GPS tracking. It has a range of up to 3 miles in open areas and up to half a mile in urban areas. The Duo+ is designed specifically for tracking your dog while walking and enables you to set a safe area around your dog. It provides instant notifications if your dog wanders outside that safe area.

The shockproof and waterproof tracker sits comfortably on your dog’s collar and works with an app that is available for iOS and Android operating systems. With the Duo+ you can choose to have the GPS locator on permanently for live tracking or to set it as active only when you need it. It is ideal for owners and dogs who love hiking as it is not reliant on access to cell towers or phone signals. However, the tracker is not designed for remote monitoring or indoor tracking.

Works using MAZE technology

Shockproof and waterproof

Range of up to 3 miles

Instant notifications and real-time GPS

Specification:
  • Brand: Findster
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces
Pros

Allows you to set up a safe wandering area for your dog

Works without needing cell reception

Instant notifications through the app

No subscription costs

Cons

Limited range in dense urban areas

Not designed for remote or indoor monitoring

Only recommended for pets weighing more than 8lbs

4

If you really want to monitor your pet’s activity levels including its sleep and rest, the FitBark’s Dog Activity Monitor fits the bill perfectly. Its whimsical dog bone design is an added bonus to augment the stylish collar of your pooch. FitBark works like the FitBit system that most of us are familiar with. This also means that you can customize the health goals for your pooch.

It instantly connects to all Bluetooth devices that have the FitBark app allowing access to a community of FitBark users so you can easily share your dog’s activities and download benchmarking information for your guidance. There are some issues as to the reliability and durability of the unit, however. Some users report of the device no longer working after only several days of use. There are also issues about the difficulty of synchronizing data. For its price, it is quite expensive considering that you don’t even get a GPS tracking solution. Regardless, if you consider the number of those saying good things about the FitBark you’d be expected to get one for your pet, too.

Dedicated pet activity tracker with customizable health goals

Whimsical, lightweight, and waterproof design

14-day lithium polymer battery life with fast-charging capabilities

FitBark app and online community

Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and automatic synchronization

Specification:
  • Brand: FitBark
  • Model: 7001004
  • Weight: 0.32 ounces
Pros

Useful information about dog activities including sleep and recreation

Doesn’t require any subscription

Instantly connects and synchronizes with FitBark app

Exceptionally long battery life

Whimsical design looks good on any collar

Cons

Not fully waterproof as advertised

Not a GPS pet tracker so searching for your dog if it gets lost will be quite challenging

Issues with data synchronization

Issues with product durability and reliability as some units ‘die’ within a few days

5

For a GPS pet tracker that is supposed to run on a 10-time award-winning technology, it pains a lot of pet owners to see the overpriced and poorly-designed Tagg GPS Tracker make its way into the collars of their respective dogs. Tagg is a GPS tracker that relies on orbiting satellites for pinpointing the exact location of your pet. There are issues with the tracking capabilities of the Tagg, with many saying it is not real-time at all. And if you happen to have a jackrabbit for a dog, then you’d know that it is utterly useless to rely on a system that lags behind in its tracking capabilities.

For all its downsides, there are a few good ones, too. For starters, it is waterproof and constructed of durable materials. Tagg comes with an app which you can use to monitor your pet’s daily activity levels, making sure they get the right amounts of exercise to overcome the risk of obesity. With these good points which, unfortunately, pales in comparison to the Whistle 3 it really doesn’t make any sense why it’s priced higher than similar systems.

Runs on a 10-time award-winning GPS pet tracker technology

Automatic push notifications

Fits most collars

Comes with app for monitoring pet activity levels

Specification:
  • Brand: Whistle
  • Model: TAGG3W
  • Weight: 1.12 ounces
Pros

Nifty, lightweight, and compact design that looks cool on your pet’s collar

Comes with pet activity monitoring app available on iOS and Android devices

The interactive directional map greatly aids in tracking your pet

Allows for the establishment of pet safe zones

Cons

Requires subscription to Verizon

More expensive than similar pet tracker and activity monitor systems

3-to-5 minute delays in pet tracking capabilities

Issues with device easily falling off

Mediocre battery life

Poor customer service

6

The Link AKC Smart Dog Collar has a lot of similarities with the Whistle 3 and Tagg systems especially in terms of providing for dual functionality in terms of pet activity monitoring and GPS pet tracking. However, the Link AKC sits between Tagg and Whistle 3 when it comes to price; its design is closer to Tagg while its operating performance is closer to Whistle 3. Its main attraction is its lovable design that comes with a tracker unit that matches well with its complementary collar.

One useful feature of the Link AKC is that it alerts you to the ambient temperature of the surroundings where your pooch is currently in. If it is outside the normal temperature parameters it pushes a notice so you can take your pooch to safety. The Link AKC also doubles as a training collar because of its integrated LED light and sound effects that you can remotely control through your phone. It also stores veterinary records as well as sends out reminders for your pet’s health activities. The experiences and moments you share with your pooch can also be stored.

Take a look at our latest guide on the Best Dog Shock Collar.

Pet GPS tracker and activity monitor in a collar

Securely fits to any doggie collar

Works on both GPS and cellular networks

Comes with customizable pet activity goals and monitoring app

Remote activation and deactivation of sound and LED light

Ambient temperature notifications

Specification:
  • Brand: Link AKC
  • Model: KITTN01
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
Pros

Highly accurate and extra-fast pet location tracking

Insightful pet activity monitoring information for custom-fit dog activities

Real-time notifications for ambient temperature and dog-out alerts

Efficient activity and health records management

Lovable collar attachment design

Cons

Can only be used in the US

Requires monthly subscription

More expensive than Whistle 3

Can only be used on dogs that weigh at least 10 pounds

7

Eureka Technology Marcopolo Dog Monitor
Eureka Technology Advanced Dog Monitoring

The Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring system is a self-contained system that does not require a cell network or GPS to work. The system is easy to set up, and with a single button push, you can search for your lost pet, receive real-time distance and direction feedback.

The system can be used on pets weighing as little as 5 pounds, and the tracking tag is lightweight, rugged, and designed to survived prolonged exposure to water. This means you can track your dog even when they are swimming. You can program a safe zone for your pet and receive alters if your pet leaves the pre-set zone; this makes it ideal for hiking or for pets that tend to escape from yards.

Self-contained two-way radio signal animal tracker

Rechargeable battery with a 6-week lifespan

Waterproof, lightweight, and rugged

Real-time distance and direction feedback

Programmable safe zones

Specification:
  • Brand: Eureka Technology
  • Model: MPS-101
  • Weight: 10.1 ounces
Pros

Does not require cell reception, GPS or a subscription

Safe zone feature is ideal for escape artists

Can be used on up to three pets with additional tracker tags

Cons

Variable effective range depending on terrain

Additional tags are sold separately

Expensive compared to other dog monitors

8

PitPat Dog Activity Monitor
PitPat Dog Activity Monitor

If your main goal is to monitor your dog’s activity level to ensure they are getting the right amount of exercise, then the PitPat 2 Dog Activity Tracker might be just what you need. The tracker accurately measures your dog’s exercise, calorie intake, and rest periods. The fully waterproof tracker is lightweight and fits easily to any collar.

The tracker works with a simple to use app and comes complete with a one-year replaceable battery that does not need to be recharged. The app provides breed-specific recommendations to help keep your dog fit and active.

Activity tracker with breed-specific recommendations

Easy to use app

Robust, light, and waterproof

Fits any dog

1-year replaceable battery

Specification:
  • Brand: PitPat
  • Weight: 2.9 ounces
Pros

The tracker does not require a monthly subscription

Easy to use app and fits easily to the collar of any dog

Provides breed-specific recommendations for exercise and nutrition

Ideal for dogs that need to lose weight or are recovering from illness/surgery

Cons

Not designed for tracking/monitoring your dog’s position

Unable to set safe zones unlike other monitors

Does not automatically update activity/steps

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.

You may also like our article on the Best GPS Trackers for Dogs.

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.

Check out our article on the Best Dog Gadgets.

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.

  • Bluetooth connectivity

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.

  • Organizer functions

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.

  • Accurate

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.

dog monitoring

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.

Sources:

  1. Kristen Seymour, Can Dog Activity Monitors Help You Both Get Fit? We Put Four to the Test, Vetstreet
Wendy Young
A freelance writer and word nerd, Wendy is a content writer with a knack for getting into the nitty-gritty of pet ownership. For the past three years, she’s been researching and writing a huge range of different topics – but always comes back to her beloved pet articles. Lover of all things four-legged and owner of Harley, Pepper and Rush, Wendy is currently completing her MNSW at Edge Hill University.
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