Your holiday gift guide to pet tech

Because fur babies need wearables, too.

 

Jam Kotenko

Tech

Published Dec 8, 2014   Updated May 30, 2021, 1:11 am CDT

We humans have an app for every single bodily function—we have devices that allow us to keep track of calories, sleep cycles, steps we take… even how much we sweat.

Naturally, we can’t just quantify ourselves. We have to give our pets the same treatment, too.

The advent of pet wearables is upon us, and more technoloy companies are getting in on the action of monitoring their furry best friends 24/7. If you’ve decided to get on the bandwagon this holiday season, we’ve reached out to various pet wearable creators and asked them what makes their product the ultimate gift for your animal-loving loved ones. Or for your animals. No judgment.

Whistle

Whistle takes pride in being a sleek, lightweight device (roughly the size of an Oreo cookie) that can be attached to your dog’s existing collar. Its three-axis accelerometer tracks your dog’s movements and classifies them into activities, distinguishing between walking, running, playing, swimming, and rest. Data is synced in hourly intervals (via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) and is transmitted straight into your smartphone, so you can monitor your pet from wherever. The free mobile app allows users to add everyone who helps them care for their pet to an account, an invaluable tool for dogs whose care is shared across multiple family members, friends, or even just dog walkers.

Whistle

“In the app, you can set daily activity goals, compare your dog’s amount of exercise to others of similar breed, age, and size, and track any notable changes over time. You can also log feedings, set medication reminders, and save photos and notes about your adventures together,” explains Ben Jacobs, Whistle cofounder and CEO.

The complete Whistle package includes an activity monitory, collar attachment (collar not included), and a USB charging dock. You can purchase the whole kit for $100, with no additional fees or subscriptions.

FitBark

This tiny device monitors dogs of all sizes round the clock and syncs in real-time with Bluetooth-enabled iOS and Android devices. FitBark comes in five different colors, allowing dog owners to match it with their pet’s personality. It also has a rugged and waterproof design and has battery life up to two weeks.

Fitbark

Owners can use FitBark’s simple and effective health and behavioral dashboard to monitor their pet’s progress; movements are translated into “BarkPoints” and are effectively visualized by the complimentary app, making it easy to track activity trends in the past few hours, days, or even months. The Journal feature helps pet lovers keep the story of their dog forever in one place, and share memorable moments with friends and family.

“We pride ourselves in beautiful, tiny, colorful design and an experience

Fitbark

that is all about your dog, from head to tail,” shares Davide Rossi, CEO and cofounder of FitBark. “Besides being a way to keep your dog healthy, FitBark is a way to explain changes in behavior, spot if she might be feeling sick, compare with similar dogs, and make better decisions with your vet. We’re all about good parenting!”

Various FitBark packages are available for pre-order, ranging from $70 to $160. Rossi explains that while no formal date for release has been announced, the company is working night and day to try and ship the first batches during the holidays or immediately after.

Tagg GPS Plus

The latest device in its award-winning line of pet trackers, the Tagg GPS Plus has a lot to offer. The on-collar device sends out radio signals that show the GPS location of your pet; additionally, users can set the Home Tagg Zone, which is the pet’s safe area . Whenever the pet leaves that zone, its owner receives instant notifications via email, push notification, or text. It also has a built-in accelerometer that tracks changes in orientation to keep track of your pet’s movements, and the activity data is represented with charts viewable on the companion mobile application and online.

Tagg

Besides the usual GPS tracking and activity monitoring, this wearable has a first-of-its-kind temperature sensor that lets owners know when their pets are experiencing extremely hot or cold conditions, making it easier to prevent common causes of death in animals, like heat stroke due to being left in vehicles or hypothermia from being left outside too long.

Tagg

“This is a great gift for pet owners who treat their pets like members of the family,” says Scott Neuberger, CEO at Snaptracs Inc. and creator and manufacturer of Tagg GPS Plus, in an email to the DailyDot. “This device gives pet owners the peace of mind and allows them to more actively participate in their pets’ life.  With the added benefit of an ambient temperature sensor, an extra layer of protection is now afforded to pet lovers.”

Tagg GPS Plus is available for pre-order now, on sale for $89.95 (retail value $119.95). It will be delivered to customers early 2015.

PetPace Smart Collar

If you want a more clinical approach to pet activity monitoring, PetPace is the right wearable for you (er, your pet).

PetPace

In addition to comprehensive activity monitoring, PetPace also follows various health indicators that are commonly checked in a human

PetPace

physical checkup: Changes in vital signs, which are first indicators of most diseases; heart rate variability that helps assess pain, stress, heart disease, diabetes, fitness, and the like; accurate temperature collection, which saves your pet the discomfort of rectal temping at the vet’s office, and wide-ranging analytics that can give your vet a detailed medical history.

In fact, PetPace is the pet collar of choice recommended by most veterinarians. “Your vet may use the collar to monitor the dog or cat while they are in the hospital for surgery or treatment, and continue this intensive monitoring after they are sent home,” explains Dr. Asaf Dagan, the chief veterinary scientist at PetPace. “In essence, this means that the vet’s reach is extended into the pet’s home, so they can provide superior care and follow-up on their patient’s progress much more closely.”

The PetPace kit includes a collar (available in three sizes based on your dog or cat’s neck size and weight), base station, charger, and cables and power adapters. The kit is available for $150 and an additional $180 for an annual subscription plan—a discount of $30 is available for the first two months. .

GoPro Fetch

Pet wearables don’t have to be about statistics—maybe you just want to document your fur baby’s adventures! Any pet owner who already owns a GoPro should invest in the Fetch mount, if only to see the world from your dog’s perspective. (Don’t try this on a cat…)

GoPro Fetch

The harness comes with two mounting locations that allows you to think like a pup and witness every move, from digging up and chewing on bones to full-on running, jumping, and performing all sorts of tricks.

The GoPro Fetch is water-friendly and fully washable as well as a hundred percent adjustable to fit dogs of all sizes. It is available for $60 and is shipped within 24 hours, making it the perfect gift for your dog-loving and photography-obsessed friends. 

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*First Published: Dec 8, 2014, 11:20 am CST