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Best Dog Activity Monitor: Fitbark vs Tagg vs Whistle

Easy To Use
FitBark logo
Most Accurate
Tagg logo
Track Health Closely
Whistle logo

How cool would it be to track your dog’s daily activity (think Fitbit for your pup!)? Your wish is now reality and we recently took a look at the leaders in this new and exciting category to review the top players. From GPS tracking and fitness monitoring to goal setting and comparing your dog to others of the same breed, you are going to be blown away by all the cool features in these new high-tech devices.

What are Dog Activity Monitors?

Dog activity monitors do just what they sound like they would: They monitor the activity level — or lack thereof — of your dog. From tracking when they played, napped, or walked over the course of a day to finding your pup when he’s lost. You can even use it to keep tabs on who’s hanging out with your dog when you’re not around. So what are the features of these hi-tech doggy devices?

  • GPS to track your dog anywhere, anytime.
  • Bluetooth capabilities to see who’s with your dog at any given time.
  • Progress trackers to monitor how often your pup is active.
  • Messengers and to-do lists to keep all your dog’s caretakers in the loop.
  • Goal-setting capabilities to proactively help your furry friend live a healthier life.

Whistle Acquired Tagg

Whistle announced in January 2015 their acquisition of Tagg. Whistle plans on integrating Tagg’s GPS technology and battery life into their future dog trackers. Tagg’s CEO, Scott Neuberger, is also joining Whistle’s senior management team.

Easiest Dog Activity Monitor To Use: FitBark Review

FitBark pet monitorView on Amazon

The FitBark was one of the most highly wanted pet items for a Kickstarter campaign. In 27 hours they raised over $80,000 when their goal was only $35,000. The bone design of their on-collar monitor is cute and smaller than most other monitors and comes in a variety of colors. The app performs well and it’s easy to use.

Key Features

  • Understand your dog’s health by tracking his/her progress and the kind of day he/she is having via an activity/time breakdown.
  • Compare your dog’s progress to other dogs of the same breed so you see what is normal and what is not.
  • Share your dog’s activity report with your vet so there’s no doubt about how he/she is doing.
  • The FitBark WiFi Base Station will sync up with any nearby FitBark’s and upload the information to the web server. This way you can receive real-time updates when the dog is not within the range of an authorized smartphone.
  • Compare your own activity level with that of your dog by linking your fitness tracker to FitBark.

Price

Fitbark offers several options for purchasing their dog activity monitors on their website. All include no monthly fees, free shipping, free iOS and Android apps, a 30 day return policy and 1 year limited warranty.

  • Activity Monitor: $99.95
  • Wi-Fi Base Station: $79.95

Click here to read our in-depth FitBark Review

The Most Accurate Dog Activity Monitor: Tagg Review

Tagg pet monitorView on Amazon

The Tagg pet tracking system has two main features: It allows you to track your pet’s location and your pet’s activity from your computer or mobile device, 24/7. Set up a “Tagg Zone,” where your pet spends most of his time, and you can monitor when he’s left his designated area — or gotten out of it. Locate him easily on Tagg’s mobile website or free app, or if you’re really in a pinch, text “LOCATE” to 52366 and Tagg will send you your dog’s exact, current address.

In addition to tracking your pup’s every move, Tagg also provides info on your pet’s activity throughout the day. An activity snapshot allows you and your vet to see at a glance the overall activity level of your dog, while a timeline tracks every walk, run, snooze or sniff, and a 90-day timeline allows you to compare your pet’s activity level over the course of three months.

Key Features

  • GPS tracking systems knows where your dog is at all times, and helps you locate his exact whereabouts in seconds.
  • Tagg will text your dog’s location right to your mobile device.
  • Activity monitoring with timelines of one day to twelve months.
  • Ambient temperature sensor tells you when your dog is too hot or cold.

Price

  • $79.95

The Best Dog Activity Monitor For Someone Who Wants To Track Health Closely: Whistle Review

Whistle dog activity monitorView on Amazon

The Whistle’s sleek, attractive design makes it tempting not to just buy this monitor for looks. Yet, it’s more than just a pretty face. This on-collar activity monitor makes it easy to improve the lives of your pets as they do yours, by keeping track of their activity, rest patterns and fitness goals and allowing you easy access from your smartphone at any time. However, the app has a 1 star rating and has been known to have issues so there may be some delays on receiving information about your dog.

Key Features

  • Track activity and rest with a visual summary of your dog’s daily activity. Set a daily goal and monitor your pet’s progress.
  • Keep track of medications, a food log or make notes of things you noticed that day.
  • Continue to get updates on your pup’s progress while you’re away with Whistle’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Just connect Whistle to the network where your pup is spending her day, and you’ll be able to track her progress even if you’re not around.
  • Whistle uses Bluetooth to show you who your pup is spending time with. (Note: You’ll need to sync the phones’ of those spending time with your pup to Whistle via Bluetooth to receive this information.)
  • Share your adventures with other pet owners through photos.

Price

  • MSRP $129.99 ($69.99 on Amazon)

Best Dog Activity Monitors

Below are other dog activity monitors that we’ve reviewed. Although they weren’t winners in our three categories, one may be a good fit for your pup.

PetkitTractive Motion | Voyce

Petkit Review

Petkit activity monitorView on Amazon

Petkit’s activity tracker is a cute little disk with a paw print on it. It’s available in white or pink and is water-resistant. It’s fairly new to the market so there is very little feedback on this tracker. However, we think after it has some time on the shelves we will have better feedback to give you.

Key Features

  • Monitors activity, sleep, calories, overall health and even mood.
  • Use the app to see real-time statistics.
  • Must be within Bluetooth range so if you’re away you can’t see the real-time stats.

Price

  • MSRP $99.99 ($54.99 on Amazon)

Tractive Motion Review

Tractive Motion dog monitorView on Amazon

Attach the Tractive MOTION to your dog’s collar and data will be sent directly to your smartphone. The tracker collects data 24/7 so you know exactly what your pet is doing. Your dog gets points for the level of activity throughout the day and you get notified if your pet is being too lazy. Ambient temperature is also tracked so you can see the correlation between the environment and your dog’s behavior. The tracker is waterproof so your dog can still play in the water. However, make sure you’ve always got your eyes on your dog. This tracker does not have a GPS installed into it.

Key Features

  • Real-time stats are sent to your phone so you can see how active your pup has been up to that point.
  • Tracks your dog’s motions, how much she moves and when.
  • Captures ambient temperature and light to see how it relates to your dog’s activity.
  • Data is synced via Bluetooth not WiFi so if you’re away from your pup you won’t know what he’s up to.
  • Charges via USB and has a decent battery life.

Price

  • MSRP $99.99 ($82.60 on Amazon)

Voyce Review

Visit Website

The collar-like bands are waterproof and come in small, medium, large and x-large. Voyce is on the pricey side costing $200. In addition you must pay a monthly or yearly membership plan fee to have access to the online portal, which is around $100/year. (Without access to the portal you can’t see the data collected from the band.) Voyce looks to be a promising device but it’s difficult to say how many pet owners will purchase such an expensive band to track their dog’s activity.

Key Features

  • Set goals
  • Vaccination, appointment and event reminders for the Voyce Portal.
  • Data is synced over WiFi.
  • Tracks heart rate, respiratory rate, calories, rest and activity.

Price

  • Band: $199
  • Wellness Plan: $9.95/month or $99.95/year

Does Your Dog Have An Activity Monitor?

What activity tracker does your dog use? Would you recommend it to others?

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About Sara Logan Wilson
Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.
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  • Kimberly Kurimski

    These devices work similarly to activity trackers for people. They track the activity levels throughout the day. Then to sync the data you have to be within about 30 feet of your phone for bluetooth to work. These won’t sync 2 or 3 miles from your home unless your phone (or whatever device you are using) is with your dog.

  • R. Witkes

    I had a Tagg tracker to start. I went through the growing pains along with everyone else when Whistle took over – false breaches, not charging, etc. I worked with Customer Service (I thought most of them were great – some better than others) and, although there were some frustrations, they resolved all my issues. I have 3 trackers and they all work perfectly now. I get proper breach notifications, GPS locations sometimes immediately and sometimes up to three minutes – but that’s what they advertise so no complaints, and the running tracking on the map is superior to TAGG, although the map itself is not quite as good. I don’t use the activity monitor because we walk 6 miles a day so I know my dogs get proper exercise.

    I highly recommend the Whistle which works even in 3000 acres of wooded area and ponds – it’s waterproof, as well. I have several friends using Whistle and everyone is having the same positive experience. Work with the company – be persistent – I think their product is well worth the money.

  • Ernesto Egoavil

    I bought two of them for my dogs. First of all the units were not easy to set up, even though they are supposed to. The things didn’t work well the first couple of days. After I got them to work the first time I had to charge them back, one of them never came back on, but the worst part of all of this is the Customer Service. They took forever to get me an answer (which they never really did) and they wanted me to do all this work, send them pictures, troubleshoot over and over, and the days kept passing by. And every time I talked to them they say the same thing “We’ll get back to you within 24 to 48 hours” (which they never did). Meanwhile I am paying a monthly fee to keep the GPS’s on. Finally I requested a full refund and they told me their favorite phrase “You’ll hear from us between 24 and 48 hours”. Meanwhile the time on the “subscription” is still running. It has been 48 hours already, and yet to hear back from them.

    • So sorry they didn’t work out for you. So our readers know when they read your comment, which dog activity monitors are you referring to?

      • Ernesto Egoavil

        I am sorry, I should’ve mentioned it was the Whistle. Don’t get it. Just because if it breaks, you won’t get a fix right away; and if you are not satisfied, you’ll probably have better luck getting your money back faster by playing the scratch off lottery.

        • Thank you for clarifying which device you purchased. I hope you find another dog activity monitor that works better!

  • dont know anymore

    I’m on my second Whistle tracker and like the last one it has quit tracking my dog’s activity. I have never been able to get more than 5 days before it quits working. If you are looking for a GPS tracker don’t get a Whistle. The GPS part works great but the tracking activity stinks.

  • Mark

    Has anyone tried the Heyrex monitor?

  • Jennette Ricks Hunt

    I agree, don’t buy Tagg or Whistle. I bought a Tagg Pet Tracker and after two weeks it stopped charging. Little by little, it was using what battery remained and would not recharge when I docked it to the station, as it had during the first couple of weeks. I contacted customer service and they “escalated” the issue to Tech Support because reportedly my device had failed to completely update its firmware a few days prior. I waited to hear from Tech Support, but they never contacted me. I contacted customer support again and they reiterated that Tech Support was looking into the issue. Finally, I received an email from customer support they said that Tech Support wanted to reattempt sending the firmware update to my device. In order to do that, I would need to first charge my device by docking it to the station (the device’s failure to charge was the reason I contacted customer support). I have sent multiple emails in response, one of which was a request to talk by phone, and I have not heard back. My GPS tracker serves a critical role in my ranch operation, so I am quite frustrated with Whistle’s support/service. I am looking for a better alternative to Whistle.

  • Joe

    Customer service is beyond awful!! I have spent over an hour on hold with “customer service” if that is what they call it- and no one ever picks up!!!

    • Hi Joe, thanks for the comment! Mind telling us which company you are dealing with? It may help a reader decide which one to buy! Thanks so much!

  • Kristi Snyder

    I had hoped to purchase the new and improved WhistleGPS with the pre-order campaign, but due to the time lag, purchased a TaggGPS to keep tabs on our wandering black lab. The Tagg app was ok, definitely more powerful online than it was on mobile. The ~3 minute lagtime between out of zone and notification is a bit longer than I would like as she’s already down the road and in the neighbor’s yard at that point. However, it is waterproof (lab swimming approved), cleans easily (farm dog tested), tracked general activity in a fun way and can be used to find a black dog in the woods on a moonless night. With the sad news from Whistle that the new product will be basically a rebranded Tagg unit (not that I am surprised given the acquisition), was on the fence about purchasing one for our beagle mix and have decided to upgrade both dogs to the new model. The new Whistle app (after the annoyance of having to do something new wore off and it finally synced correctly with the TaggGPS unit) really isn’t bad. Using the app on Android lollipop, like the enhanced features of tracking medications, food and some photos in addition to the activity and location monitoring. Wish our communications in the US would move along so Whistle could have produced the slimmer designed product, but for now, this is a product that meets our needs. Now I have to get myself a fitness tracker!

    • Kristi thanks so much for sharing your experience with the trackers! This will definitely be helpful for our other readers!

  • backtonature

    Would like to see some discussion now that Whistle has taken over TAGG. As a TAGG customer, who was gobsmacked by the Whistle email today telling me I had no more tracking until I downloaded their 1 star app. I’m not a happy camper.

    • Noesnana

      Nothing but trouble since Whistle took over. The program is useless, I get false notifications when my dog is right next to me but don’t get notified when we leave home. Whistle blames everything but their Co. I’ve been told it’s my base location which is the same as it was when it was Tagg, low battery even though the device says it’s 50%, etc. No help from them. My 5 star Tagg is now a 0 star Whistle.

  • Tony Escamilla

    Tagg certainly had some issues but at least it worked. We were forced to download the Whistle App this morning (10/6/2015). My wife walked my dog and was nearly 3 miles away before I received an alert. When I tried to track my dog (as a test), the Whistle App was useless. It gave me a coordinate that was 1 hour old and got hung with a message that says “Tracking Lucy (my dog’s name)…” It’s been “tracking” for a while now and I have no way to find my pet. At least with the Tagg App, when she left the zone I would track her in real time. This Whistle App is useless. My dog is halfway across town!!

    • Casey Mcbride

      I couldn’t agree more. The Whistle app is a complete disaster. They took a great product and ruined it. All Whistle had to do was tweak the Tagg app, leave it alone and sit back and make money. As it is, I am researching other products and plan to cancel Whistle as soon as I find a replacement. I need to track in real time also.

      • Noesnana

        Absolutely ruined and useless now.

      • Tony Escamilla

        If you do end up finding a good product please share. We continue to have nothing but problems with Whistle. It went from what potentially was a pet life saving GPS product to a “Fit Bit” for pets (which by the way, doesn’t work well either).

    • Noesnana

      Between the false breach of zone notifications and then not being notified at all, the new Whistle based system is useless. Never had issues with Tagg other than a slight delay when we would go out of our zone in walks (testing).

      • Tony Escamilla

        So true. My dog was sitting next to me the other day and I received a notification that it had left the zone and was about a 1/4 down the road.

      • samsid

        Thanks, was about to purchase the Whistle for my dog but now will wait until a better product comes along.

    • victoria

      I agree. I had very little issue with Tagg compared to Whistle which only serves to frustrate. Do not purchase a Whistle. Right now all my money is being refunded until they can hire developers that know what they are doing. The last customer service agent pointed me to Fit Bark.

  • AtakanBaranAkgul

    Do you think that these Dog Activity Monitors are stylish for your pets?

  • Kendra, that’s a great question. To my knowledge these do not record barking data but that would be a great feature to add on. You might also try a Dog Camera to monitor your dog’s barking activity. We just wrote a review of those here: http://www.caninejournal.com/pet-cam/

  • Circus_boi

    What about the Tractive GPS Pet Tracker?

    • We actually added Tractive to your article in late Fall 2014 so be sure to read to the bottom of this article. Thanks!

  • Thanks Bellaboots, It looks like there were a few updates that needed to be made since we initially researched, fact-checked and published this review. Thanks for the heads up and the details for Tagg are now accurate. Thanks and keep us posted on Whistle!

  • Donovan

    I’m missing my Tractive Motion in the comparison 🙁

    • Hi Donovan and thank you for letting us know about this product. What do you think of it? We would love to have a first-hand account as we are reviewing this product to add to our article. Thanks!

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