How Lazy Is Your Dog? The Whistle Activity Monitor Will Tell You
Like many people, part of my job entails sitting in front of my computer most of the day. That means my dog, Jade, is also not exercising most of the day. That’s not good for either of us. So when the people behind the Whistle Activity Monitor contacted me and asked if I wanted to try out their fitness tracking device for dogs, Jade and I jumped at the chance.
Well, maybe we didn’t jump, but we did get off the couch and stretch a bit.
Who tracks a dog’s activity levels?
You knew this was coming, right? Wherever you look, people are wearing fitness trackers. I wear the Nike FuelBand myself, which has totally given up on me. Still, perhaps it’s not so strange that there are now fitness trackers for dogs. But can a pricey ($130) canine fitness tracker increase the likelihood that a sedentary writer and her furry companion would both get off their duffs?
If guilt is the primary motivator here, then the answer is yes. I wound up taking Jade for extra walks and even braved the near-freezing weather so she could run around at the off-leash dog park with her friends, just so she could make her fitness goal for the day. We moved more, and we spent more time together. That in itself is a Good Thing, as Martha Stewart would say, because I had gotten way too good at ignoring those big brown eyes that pleaded, “Please take me to the park!” in order to make work deadlines.
Helicopter-parenting your dog
The Whistle sits unobtrusively on your dog’s collar and tracks your dog’s activity. It collects data on how much walking, running, playing, and resting your dog does, and then it transmits it via Bluetooth to your smartphone.
If you are the kind of person who likes to know what your dog is doing 24/7, who would like to track everything that goes into her mouth, and also want to share all that info with other dog lovers, then there’s a social component to the Whistle that you might enjoy.
The Whistle app lets you track and share your dog’s food and medicine intake, make comments, and add photos of all the fun you two are having together. You can then share this information either privately between owners or on Facebook or Twitter. If you like infographics, you can look at the Trends screen and pore over the analyses Whistle compiles for you on your dog’s daily and weekly activity.