Dog GPS collars and activity trackers are canine Fitbits, where you log the amount of exercise your dog gets each day. Dog activity monitors can be used to track dogs if they wander off on walks or get loose from the yard. We’ve delved into the very best dog fitness activity trackers to save you time and money.
There’s no better way to track your pet’s health, exercise, and location than with dog fitness and activity trackers. Today, pet parents are turning to wearable technology to monitor their pet’s wellness and activity levels. Canine activity trackers have a considerable impact on every dog parent’s lifestyle and the human-animal bond.
The most obvious benefit is being able to track changes in your dog’s activity level over some time. This is important because small changes usually go unnoticed for a while.
Pet activity trackers also allow you to compare baseline data over several months, which is most valuable when related to the early onset of a health condition or behavioral changes linked to a pets’ health issues.
Dog activity trackers also show how much time dogs spend playing, walking, running, and napping. Some devices even pinpoint a dog’s location via GPS.
We looked at how easy each monitor is to use, how it fits your dog’s collar, considered weight, durability, how easy the app is to set up, and how the data is transferred from the tracker to our smartphones.
In this review, we’re going to give you our top picks for the 8 Best Dog Fitness & Activity Trackers for 2021.
In a rush? Here are the top picks!
The Tractive LTE GPS dog tracker features live tracking and location history. When you need to keep a closer eye on your pet, go into LIVE mode and get updates every 2-3 seconds. Tractive GPS connects to the best mobile network available across the U.S. Tractive for dogs connects to AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Viaero Wireless USA.
You can relax when using LIVE tracking and other features that can be accessed without any distance limit. We like this tracker because it’s priced affordably and has over 5,400 positive ratings. With the Tractive LTE, you can choose between various subscription plans from monthly to yearly, starting from $4.99. All you need to do is opt for the right subscription for you and your dog. It’s honestly one of the best dog GPS fitness trackers on the market today.
- LxWxH 2.8 x 0.65 x 1.13 inches
- Small, lightweight & waterproof
- Priced well
- Over 5,400 positive reviews
- Worldwide location tracking
- Track active time, rest, and calories burned
- 1.2 oz. and shock-resistant
The Whistle Go Explore Waterproof Dog Tracker has over 2,400 positive reviews and monitors your dog’s location and health. The collar is sold separately. All that you need to do is attach it to your dog’s collar and customize the Whistle app to send alerts and information to key people in your team. There is a subscription required which covers connection to AT&T 4G LTE-M network for GPS location in the U.S. The yearly rates are $8.25/mo. with a 30-Day free trial.
You can also pinpoint your dog’s location with live tracking and monitor behaviors that may point to potential health issues. The Whistle Go Explore Pet Tracker lets you know more about where your dog went and information about who he is with.
You can even set fitness goals based on your dog’s age, weight, and breed and review weekly reports that break down your pet’s latest stats. This is one of the best pet health monitors and trackers around. The Whistle Go Tracker is available in three colorways: green, grey & magenta.
- 1.8 x 0.7 x 1.4 inches; 7.2 Ounces
- Pet health, nutrition, & activity tracking
- Monitors activity levels, calories, distance, and activity, along with behaviors like licking, scratching, and sleeping.
- Access to an on-demand veterinarian ( avoid expensive vet bills by using veterinary telehealth)
- Three colorways
- Waterproof (can be submerged in up to 6 feet of water)
- Built-in night light
- On-demand vet access
- Advanced real-time tracking
This is our budget choice pick for a dog activity tracker. For only $49.95 with no ongoing monthly fee, the FitBark 2 Activity Monitor costs you less than most trackers in the long run. This is one of the best picks if you’re not requiring GPS tracking and only need to monitor your dog’s activity level. We like this tracker because it monitors pain, stress and anxiety, itchiness, and skin diseases.
This is a light, rugged, waterproof activity tracker that fits dogs of any size. (includes collars up to 1.5″ wide) The takeaway with FitBark 2 is that dog parents and veterinarians love FitBark in 140+ countries, including researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Mayo Clinic. FitBark 2 is a motivational platform that gets dogs and humans healthy together while providing unprecedented insights into dog activity, sleep, behavior, medical conditions, and overall health.
- 1.85 x 1.18 x 0.59 inches; 0.6 Ounces
- Affordable with no ongoing monthly fee
- Monitors activity, sleep quality, distance, calorie balance, and overall health & behavior 24/7.
- Add multiple dogs and owners in the apps. (iOS 12+ or Android 6+ required)
- Monitors mobility, anxiety, and skin conditions through changes in the FitBark Health Index and Sleep Score.
- Ability to link your human tracker
- Works worldwide
The PitPat Dog Activity and Fitness monitor is one of the most affordable trackers around. Priced at $39.99 with over 1,100 positive feedback, the PitPat dog activity tracker is fully waterproof and small and lightweight making it easy to carry around. It’s virtually a Fitbit for dogs without the GPS functionality.
The PitPat dog activity health tracker fits any dog collar and was designed by vets. This works with an easy-to-use app. We like this activity and fitness dog monitor collar because it’s affordable and accurately measures and displays daily dog exercise and rest, distance and calories. It also manages your dog’s weight. Here’s the takeaway with the PitPat Dog Activity and Fitness monitor:
- LxWxH 1.34 x 1.26 x 0.59 inches
- Waterproof & can be used while swimming & diving
- Lightweight (16 grams)
- Ultra-long (1+ years) user-replaceable battery (CR2032) included.
- It fits any collar or harness
- Durable & comfortable to wear
- Manages weight
- Get personal exercise recommendations for your dog.
The Link AKC Smart Dog Activity GPS Collar features over 1,000 positive reviews and works for all dogs from 10lbs and up. The Link AKC is like a smartphone for your dog & requires a service plan connectivity to allow data to be transmitted. It includes location tracking nationwide in the U.S.: know your dog’s location with fast and accurate GPS tracking enabled by the AT&T cellular network (service plan required).
With this smart dog collar, you’ll be alerted if your puppy leaves designated safe zones. There are activity monitoring and sound training features: activity goals are customized by the AKC to your dog’s age, breed, and size to allow for accurate daily activity monitoring.
We like this product because it also features Access to the Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center and temperature alerts if it’s too hot or cold. The tracking unit can be used with the provided collar or on collar widths between 0.5″ to 1.5″. Each Link device needs a service plan to connect to AT&T. This allows for data to be transferred between the link device and app to pinpoint your dog’s location, record activity, and more. You can’t go wrong with an AKC pet product! If you’re looking for a dog collar fitness tracker, this should be your top pick.
- LxWxH 22.6 x 1 x 0.2 inches
- AKC product
- Extra small to extra-large sizes
- Form-fitting & comfortable to wear
- Activity monitoring and sound training
- Waterproof and fashionable
- Option to choose from classic (Italian leather) or sport look (reflective fabric stretch) styles
- Light & Sound features
- Free collar size exchange
- Pet Poison Helpline
The Petfon Pet GPS Tracker is free of any service fee or monthly fee. The Petfon pet GPS tracker is a small, durable, and rainproof device that allows you to track your dog’s activity and pinpoint its location in real-time. It also comes with a dog activity tracker app.
The Petfon GPS tracker features GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and long-distance wireless technologies to give you accurate real-time positioning. The unique Rada searching feature can help you find the direction of the lost dogs. There are real-time and long-distance tracking features.
The Petfon GPS Tracker is super easy to set up and use. All you need to do is download the Petfon app and follow the instructions. With the app, you can view your pet’s activities and pinpoint his location at any time.
We like the Petfon dog GPS tracker and activity monitor because there’s no need for a SIM card, no monthly fee, and no service fee. It works in severe weather conditions. It also features a long standby battery. It is a small, lightweight, and durable dog tracker. The Petfon Pet GPS Tracker makes for a great gifting pet product for all dog breeds. This is also a must-have item for pet parents that enjoy hiking and camping trips with their dogs because there are no restrictions by mobile phone network signals. Here’s the takeaway:
- 1.67 x 1.67 x 0.6 inches
- Real-time pet location.
- Large-capacity battery and exclusive travel charging box (powers up for the entire weekend)
- Small high-performance wireless chip + H.G. laser antenna
- Over 1,000 positive reviews
- Lightweight & rainproof
- Easy to use
- Features two modules, the control terminal is carried by the owner, and
- Monitor pet history information (track, number of steps, distance, and exercise duration).
- LoPowan wireless transmission technology
- Mobile phone network signals no longer restrict hiking positions the pet wears the tracker.
The Felcana Go Health and Activity Monitor for dogs is one of our favorites. This is because veterinarians designed it. You can also track your pet’s activity 24/7, and track your pet’s calorie expenditure, and rest patterns around the clock. This dog health and activity monitor tracker generates accurate insights to help you identify early signs of mobility issues, discomfort, or illness.
The Felcana Go is waterproof and super lightweight, and priced just right for every pet family. It can also be attached to any size collar. This is a must-have pet product item and one of the best items to gift during the holidays. Here’s the takeaway:
- 0.55 x 0.67 x 1.89 inches; 0.28 Ounces
- Designed by vets
- Priced right
- Nearly always sold out
- Waterproof, lightweight (8g), and efficient
- It can be used on cats as well
- A multi-award-winning device
PetKit is another Bluetooth device that tracks sleep, calories, activity, and moods in pets. It’s lightweight, small, durable, and features a water-resistant design. The PETKIT P2 Smart Activity Monitoring Pet Tracker works with any collar or harness.
This device tracks all activity levels by automatically saving all movement activity into the Cloud! The APP also provides sleep recommendations. We like this tracker because the APP has specialized data relevant to all dog and cat breeds.
Simply enter in your pet’s weight and age after inserting the breed/crossbreed, and our algorithm features a mood index based on the amount of sleep and activity your dog or cat is obtaining. It’s also priced right and makes for the perfect pet gift for Fido’s birthday or holiday gifting. Here’s the takeaway:
- Priced affordably
- Bluetooth device tracks sleep, calories, activity, and mood
- Available in 4 fun colorways
- 6 months’ battery life
- LED laser punching technology
- Secures on any collar or harness
- Quickly downloaded on all Android and IOS devices.
- Crafted from modern and durable circular water-resistant and aluminum outer-shell
- Users can chat with other pet parents and share and post photos or videos
- 4-month to 6-month battery life depending on usage.
- Features a built-in calendar that further enables users to set veterinary, feeding, grooming, deworming, vaccination reminders
Why you should buy a Dog Fitness Tracker
A 2018 study published in Research Gate adds that “dog activity trackers are perceived to have a positive impact on owners’ motivation to increase their mutual physical activities with their dogs. The human-dog bond is perceived to be further reinforced by the use of activity trackers, increasing human awareness to animals’ needs by giving them a “digital voice,” and potentially improving the quality of human caregiving.”
The study explains that canine activity and fitness trackers such as FitBark, PetPace, and Whistle are some of the most popular wearables on the market using different sensors such as accelerometers, GPS, and vitality sensors to measure the activity and sleep patterns of dogs and cats.
It explains that “Such technologies have the potential to affect the human-dog relationship in a tangible way — by giving detailed input to improve the quality of their caregiving. Several works have recently addressed the impact of technologies on the human-animal bond. Nelson and Shih study the CompanionViz system, an information visualization prototype designed to inform pet owners on their dogs’ caloric inputs/outputs, as well as exercise and movement habits. After evaluating initial interest in the system in a survey with 12 participants, CompanionViz was evaluated in a field study with three actual users.
The themes emerging from users’ feedback were increased awareness, motivation, and curiosity with respect to their pets’ needs. The study concludes that “Our study reveals that activity trackers meant for canines are reported to increase the motivation of humans to exercise as well. They are also perceived as a novel technological mediation in the human-animal bond, giving animals “a digital voice” for expressing their needs, which has the potential to complement pet-owner interaction and improve caregiving.
It adds that “Such technologies have the potential to affect the human-dog relationship in a tangible way — by giving detailed input to improve the quality of their caregiving. Several works have recently addressed the impact of technologies on the human-animal bond.
Nelson and Shih study the CompanionViz system, an information visualization prototype designed to inform pet owners on their dogs’ caloric inputs/outputs, as well as exercise and movement habits. After evaluating initial interest in the system in a survey with 12 participants, CompanionViz was evaluated in a field study with three actual users. The themes emerging from users’ feedback were increased awareness, motivation, and curiosity with respect to their pets’ needs.”
The study concludes that “Our study reveals that activity trackers meant for canines are reported to increase the motivation of humans to exercise as well. They are also perceived as a novel technological mediation in the human-animal bond, giving animals “a digital voice” for expressing their needs, which has the potential to complement pet-owner interaction Fand improve caregiving.
Dog Activity Monitors
Dog activity monitors are used to track your dog’s activity level or lack of daily exercise. You can use a dog activity monitor to track when your dog walks, runs, naps, or plays each day and even find your dog if he gets lost. Dog activity monitors are great to use when you’re out of town to track your pet sitter walking your dog each day.
How Pet Trackers Connect
Most dog trackers that we’ve tested feature apps for Android or iOS devices to allow you a fast read on the data they collect. Not many feature a web-based interface. Because most of us are smartphone users, pet trackers are a must-have item for pet parents.
Base stations are sometimes used to establish communication between the tracker and your phone via Wi-Fi. Base stations are crafted in an array of shapes and sizes. An example includes our favorite, the AKC Link that features a base that doubles up as a battery charger. The Whistle doesn’t feature a separate base station because it has Wi-Fi built-in. This means that it uses your home router as the base station.
Most dog and cat trackers use Bluetooth for the initial setup. Others will use Bluetooth only. For example, the Link AKC uses Bluetooth to speak on your smartphone and its base station/charger. But you should be within range of both. This is when your pet is considered to be in a safe zone, but if your dog wanders out of the safe zone, you’ll get the alerts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a GPS dog collar necessary if my dog is microchipped?
A: A veterinarian places a microchip under your dog’s skin and features essential contact information about your pet that can be read using an RFID device. However, microchipping does not relay your dog’s location. So, even if your dog is already microchipped, you still benefit from a GPS device to know his exact location and monitor his activity.
Are GPS trackers safe for dogs?
A: GPS trackers for dogs are similar to you wearing a Fitbit or smartwatch. A lot of pet parents find it helpful in preventing their dogs from getting lost.
Conclusion for Best Fitness Trackers
More pet parents are embracing the idea of keeping tabs on their pets and understanding how beneficial health and activity monitors can be. Canine-friendly wearable tech collars can do more than just locate your dog. They not only monitor activity in dogs and cats, including exercise, but also monitor health and behaviors like licking, scratching, and how much water your pup consumes each day.
The data points are often presented through a smartphone app with a user-friendly dashboard that allows pet parents to compare results between dogs and see which dog gets the most activity via daily steps. All in all, heath and activity dog trackers motivate us to exercise more with our pets.
These dog health and activity trackers have become another fun way to engage with our dogs and become more aware of any health or behavioral issues early on. Today’s pet parents are more concerned than ever before about feeding healthy diets and exercising regularly. Health and activity monitors are the perfect tools to create lifelong healthy habits for your dog and pet parents.
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Claudia Bensimoun is a writer who specializes in dog content and veterinary topics! Aside from writing for We Love Doodles, Claudia also writes for other major dog blogs like Fido Friendly, Animal Wellness Magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). She has a ghostwritten over 50 different dog e-books. Her passions include animal welfare, veterinary research, and wildlife conservation.
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