With obesity being one of the largest problems (no pun intended…honest) for people in the UK it is no surprise that our pooches are also piling on the pounds.
Lots of us humans own an activity tracker of some sort to act as a bit of a motivator to get more active and battle the bulge. With easy syncing to phones and tablets its simple to see how many calories we have (or haven’t) burnt and how well we are sleeping.
Although Jelli and Isla are not overweight, it is always interesting to monitor their activity levels, especially when I’m not home and also to make sure they are getting enough food to sustain their busy lives!
So the lovely team at PitPat sent us one of their pawsome activity monitors – the PitPat 2 – to try out and review!
When the PitPat arrived we were impressed with the compact little box it comes in and how easy it was to just get going with. To start with you need to download the free app on either Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store – once downloaded, the app will take you through the set up step by step.
Once you have an account created you can add your dog’s profile to your phone, there is even the additional touch of adding a photo too! The app cleverly works out how much exercise a day your dog should be getting – although this can be overridden if required. The general rule for puppies is 5 minutes exercise per month of life – so a 5 month old puppy needs 25 minutes exercise. The app seems to follow that rule which is nice to see as so many puppies are over exercised which can cause severe joint problems when they are older.
The monitor itself is incredibly light weight and small – the PitPat 2 is roughly 34 x 32 x 15mm and weighs 16g. Unlike the PitPat 1 – the newer model also has the capability to track how far your dog has run/walked. This will be available on the app soon!
Once your account is up and running and your dogs profile is set up (you can have multiple dogs on one account, but each pooch needs their own PitPat) it’s time to attach the device to your dog!
The PitPat comes with a standard velcro strap – our collars are an inch wide and they are a perfect fit – for wider collars it is possible to purchase a longer velcro strap so be mindful of this when ordering. The strap very simply folds over the top and bottom of the collar and sticks back to itself on the other side.
Once attached you are ready to go! The monitor is also waterproof (hurrah the spaniel owners shout!) to depths of 1m for short periods of time. So no need to be removed for trips to the seaside, rivers or ponds! However it is advisable to remove them if your pooches collar needs a rinse after playing in such places!
The monitor works using a special three-axis accelerometer that tracks motion. The advanced algorithms interpret this motion and translate it into specific activity types (walking, running, playing and resting).
From the PitPat Website – PitPat judges walking and running by sensing the natural gait motion of the dog. PitPat judges the difference between walking and running by the intensity/exertion. If a dog is constantly changing from walking, to running, to stopping and changing direction this is characteristic of many dog games and the activity is interpreted as playing. PitPat looks at the different activities over a 5-10 minute period and then classifies the activity as the one which was the most prominent in the period. For walking and running PitPat also looks at the consistency/regularity of the motion in the period of time to make sure it is owner initiated exercise that is counted towards the goal (as opposed to the dog pottering around the house).
So lets go! We went on several (wet) different walks, went to agility training and had a snoozy day to see how the tracker would fare!
On our walks the tracker didn’t move an inch. The velcro is very strong and even after several soakings in the river it’s still in the same place on the collar! Due to the small size and weight it certainly didn’t annoy or distract Jelli on her walks. A previous tag on her collar made her stop and scratch constantly!!! The water hasn’t affected it at all either, in fact looking at the times and activity done I think it is very, very accurate! It easily identified the zooming around at agility!
It was really interesting to see how active she is when syncing the data to my phone. It’s also impressive how quickly and easily it syncs. Making sure bluetooth is enabled on your device simply click menu on the dogs profile and select ‘Fetch Data’ The PitPat device will show on screen and you then just press the paw on the actual monitor! You can see completed days that your target has been hit as they have a star next to them, incomplete days show a little tracker icon to prompt you to sync the monitor.
Jelli is clearly super active and does way more than I thought she did! She burns lots of calories and this is a really good way of being able to make sure your dog is getting enough nutrition. As a result I have increased her food slightly to make sure she continues to grow properly and maintain her athletic figure without looking too slim!
So it’s a huge paws and thumbs up from us! We can’t wait for the app to update so we can track the distance and we will be buying both Isla and Bracken monitors too!
You can find the monitors here —> https://www.bhequestrian.co.uk/PitPat_Dog_Activity_Monitor/p3362941_18468471.aspx and use the code ‘COCKERS’ for 10% off with free delivery!
Thanks again for reading and we’d love to hear any comments or feedback from you!
Plus keep your eyes peeled for our next review on the amazing Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats & Mitts and the awesome Animology grooming Range!