It’s kind of hard to believe it has taken this long for something like the FitBit to be made available for dog’s. Welcome, Whistle. I have yet to see or test the device, and have only read about it at this point, but the idea is simple enough and I certainly would like to get two for our active pups.
Visit the site and check out the video. The Whistle collar attachment is small, lightweight, and completely non-toxic just in case your best friend does decide to chew on it. It monitors your dog’s activity and can differentiate walking from playing as well as when they are resting. All the data is recorded and available for you to record, track, and monitor. Reports can even be accumulated to share with your veterinarian to help diagnose if they are behaving differently, etc.
There is even online mass aggregation to collect data from all monitored pups in an attempt to create national averages, statistics for comparison and what-not. I think it’s an awesome idea and would love to start comparing data. For example, we switch between off-leash open-park walks and hikes to on-leash neighborhood journeys. When we do two or three miles around town on-leash we know our dogs do the same distance. When we’re off-leash, however, and the dogs are running around and around and back and forth and playing fetch etc, we know our distance is at least doubled by our dogs. It’d be real nice to have the data to confirm and quantify this.
The interview with the company questioned whether folks would shell out $100 per monitor for the pups. The response was that this device isn’t for all dog owners, and they are targeting those, like us, who treat their dogs as children and give them everything they need or want, even if the financial times are tight. They are absolutely correct in their assessment and market research. We look back on our unemployment days and always remark how even when we lost health insurance, our girl Sadie didn’t miss a single vet appointment, shot, or medicine.
So we’ll keep our eye out and hope to acquire the devices soon. We’ll do a review and share with you here. (Hopefully our full update and redesign to HoundAbout will be complete by then.)
As of Summer 2014 there is now information on their site about a GPS-enabled version in development and pre-orders are currently being accepted. They make it look like you can track your dog anywhere, and is hopefully not limited to a bluetooth crowd-sourcing solution. There aren’t any shared specifications or details yet, just a slick little commercial video.
(Image courtesy of Whistle)