The FitBark review: A Dog fitness tracker

fitbarkFor those who are unfamiliar with the Fitbark, you can click here to read and learn more about it. But to explain it simply, it is a dog fitness tracker; pretty much like the Fitbit, but for dogs.

The FitBark is to be attached to the dog’s collar using a provided elastic band; it then uses accelerometers to calculate the dog’s movement and different activity levels.

So what’s good about the FitBark? What’s bad about the FitBark?

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor

A review on the FitBark Dog Activity MonitorLooking for an inexpensive, yet efficient way of monitoring your dog’s activity levels? The FitBark might just be what you’re looking for!

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FitBark: What are the Pros?

1.) Its small and compact size easily attaches onto the collar

At first we thought that the FitBark might look a little bulky on the collar but that wasn’t the case. The cute bone shaped appearance is anesthetically pleasing and it actually fits nicely along the collar.

The FitBark attaches securely via an elastic band, which is provided in the package; we have not yet experienced any issues with it becoming loose or falling off.

2.) It uses a simple “BarkPoints System” to track activity

IMG_1740The concept is simple; the more your dog moves, the more BarkPoints he gets. BarkPoints can be translated as being your dog’s activity levels.

BarkPoints are displayed as a number on the main home page of the FitBark App. On it, you can see how close your pup is from the designated “BarkPoints Activity Goal”.

3.) The “weekly and monthly view” pages allow you see patterns in your dog’s activity levels

In the mobile app, you are able to switch between daily, weekly and monthly display options. With this, you are able to see patterns in your dog’s physical activity levels as the data is nicely organized into graph form.

4.) The FitBark has a long lasting battery life

The FitBark charges using a USB cable, which is provided; one full charge typically requires approximately 90 minutes. You also do not need to take off the FitBark from the collar when you charge it as its design allows for it to be charged while being on the collar. The FitBark’s battery life can be viewed on the top right corner in the mobile app.

With our FitBark, we have found the battery life to be extremely long. With one full charge, it has lasted for ~a week.

5.) The free FitBark mobile app is simple and easy to use

The FitBark mobile app is free and connects with your pup’s FitBark via bluetooth. The app interface is clean, and simple to use. The background of the home page can also be changed into a photo of your pup, which is nice.

Fitbark: What are the Cons?

1.) It does not track calories burnt, heart or respiratory rate

At the moment, the FitBark is only able to track physical movement. The addition of other features, in the future perhaps, would definitely be appealing!

2.) The BarkPoints system can be seen as being oversimplified by some

Your dog’s activity levels can be viewed as being simplified into one numeric number. It’s easy to look at the numbers and say “Yes, my dog has reached his goal for the day!” but if you think about it, what do the numbers really mean? Unfortunately, we are not given much information on how the numbers are calculated.

The idea is that the greater the amount of BarkPoints, the better but how does that translate into, for example, the health of your dog?

IMG_17433.) The ability to “Compare with Similar Dogs” is not yet implemented

As the FitBark is still fairly new, the ability to compare your dog’s stats with other similar dogs have not yet been implemented. The FitBark team is still in the middle of collecting breed specific norms and base lines; perhaps we will be able to see the addition of this feature sometime in the near future.

4.) It is up to you to interpret you dog’s activity levels

Besides the BarkPoints, the FitBark app also displays the amount of time your dog has “played,” been “active” and have “rested.” While BarkPoints are easy to interpret as you can simply see whether or not your pup has reached his daily goal, the individual “Play,” “Active,” and “Rest” data provided is left to you to interpret. While it is nice to be able to see this information, we feel that it would have been even better if the app was to offer its own interpretation of the numbers.

So ultimately, the FitBark has its pros and cons and can definitely be seen as a novelty item. However at the end of the day, it does do its job and that is to track the fitness level of your pup!


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