- Smartphone App
FitBark brings connected devices to a whole new level with their new fitness tracker and monitor for dogs. The FitBark dog activity monitor out-performed our expectations with its unique features and durability.
Fitbit revolutionized activity trackers and wearable technology as a whole. People can track their heart rate, steps taken, and calories burned while walking their dogs. But what about the dogs?! Enter FitBark.
FitBark is a health and fitness tracker that attaches to your dog’s collar. The colorful little bone-shaped device monitors daily activity and can even be linked to your own Fitbit so you can track both at the same time. This new way of understanding your dog’s health will make living an active health style much easier – for both your dog and yourself. In this review, we’ll give you everything you need to know to gain a better understanding of your dog’s activity levels.
Design & Unboxing
After unboxing your new FitBark, you will have the sensor/monitor itself, 3 rubber rings which are used to attach the Fitbark to your dogs collar, a micro USB charger, and user manual. I was surprised to see the charger did not come with a wall outlet adapter. As a result, you’ll need to use your own or just plug it into your computer.
FitBark has 5 different colors to choose from: Spirit Green, Party Blue, Passionate Lover Red, Rockstar Gray, and Romantic Snuggler Pink. Despite the cheesy name, we went with Romantic Snuggler Pink. As for the aesthetic design itself, at first glance, I thought a few things could be improved. However once we attached it to my dog’s collar, I’m glad it wasn’t designed to be flashy.
Setup was remarkably easy once I realized I was supposed to use the app to complete the setup. I figured setup details would be in the user manual; instead, the user manual kind of just referred you to finish setup on the app. So lets get into it:
First step we plugged the FitBark in to charge it for 90 minutes before use. In the meantime, we downloaded the app and paired it with the FitBark. Within minutes it was fully setup and ready to go. After fully charged, I took one of the mini black rubber bands and attached it to my dog’s collar according to the video during setup. And that’s it. A+ for ease of use.
Features & Performance
Overall, the FitBark performs much better than I ever expected. Not because I didn’t have faith in the device doing what it should, but because the information and data received is much more useful than I ever expected. First thought: why do I need to see my dog’s activity levels? After using it the first week, I was able to realize that my dog had crazy high energy levels at night and would get into trouble when she was below 8,000 bark points for the day. Whenever she was above it, she seemed more relaxed and content because she had enough exercise for the day. Now that i know her ideal fitness levels, I can make sure she at least hits that 8,000 point mark each day. The results have been amazing: less energy at night, well behaved, and a healthier pup.
The FitBark app is available for both iOS and Android. For this review, I used the FitBark Android app. Within the app, you can track your dog’s current activity level for the day by monitoring time spent in three categories: rest, active, and play. The longer your dog is in the play category (such as playing fetch), the more points will be accrued. The active category is when your dog is up and walking around, and rest is, well, resting.
One of the most important things you should do within the app is find the ideal goal, or bark points, you want to achieve. Once you set the target goal, you can view the weekly performance and see when your dog is most active. FitBark uses a comprehensive set of data based on your dog’s age and breed to help recommend an ideal target.
An important note to understand is that the device uses Bluetooth technology, so you have to be within a certain distance from your dog to view the data. For instance, if I’m at work and my dog is at home, I cannot view the data until I get home. Fortunately, there is good news. The data is still recorded within your dogs FitBark throughout the day. As soon as you walk in the door to see your dog, it will sync with your app and update their activity levels that occurred throughout the day. If you want to see your dog’s activity levels while out of the house, read below on the FitBark Base Station.
Social Media for Doggies
Another unique feature within the app is the follow feature. If you have friends or family with dogs, you can request to follow their dogs and vice versa. Referred to the “Top Dog Board”, this feature encourages a healthy lifestyle with a little friendly competition.
The FitBark Web Dashboard is great for small business owners such as dog walkers and day cares to easily track multiple dogs. However pet parents can easily use this as well instead of using the smartphone app. The Web Dashboard is excellent for viewing long term trends of activity levels.
FitBark Wi-Fi Base Station
The FitBark Base Station is an optional accessory that gives a little more peace of mind when your dog is home alone. Without the base station, the FitBark monitor must be within standard bluetooth-connectivity range in order to sync data with your phone. The base station, however, turns your router into the syncing hot spot instead of your phone. This means you can view the fitness and activity levels when you’re away from your dog.
Tech Specs & Requirements
- Lithium ion polymer rechargeable battery
- Battery life of 14 days
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Weight 8 grams
- Collars not wider than 30 mm (1.18 inches)
- Android 4.4 and above
- iOS 8 and above
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