Wellness

Best Dog Activity Monitor: FitBark vs Whistle vs Halo Collar 3 vs Tractive vs SpotOn & More

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Last Updated: January 8, 2024 | 9 min read | 46 Comments

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I love tracking my activity with my Apple Watch. Not only does it hold me accountable to move, but it can also give insights into my health, including calories burned and more. Technology has come a long way for pets now, too!

Our dog can now get in on the activity-tracking fun also (think Fitbit or Apple Watch for dogs). We use it to track his whereabouts, but it’s also fun to see how many steps he’s taking to keep him healthy. There are various options to pick from, but I wanted to share these top-rated options and our personal experiences that helped us make our selections.

At-A-Glance: Our Top Picks For…

OverallRunner UpValueTraining
Fitbark 2Whistle trackerTractiveHalo collar 2
FitBark GPSWhistle GoTractiveHalo Collar 3
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Read Review

What Are Dog Activity Monitors?

dog at beach wearing a Tractive GPS dog tracker on collar

Dog activity monitors do just what they sound like they would do: they monitor the activity level — or lack thereof — of your dog. Use it to track when they play, nap, or walk over a day. In addition to exercise and sleep patterns, you can even turn on escape alerts or lost dog mode to find your pup if they are lost. 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 things you can do with a dog fitness tracker. You can also use it to keep tabs on who’s hanging out with your dog when you’re not around.

5 Features To Look For In

Other common features include:

  • GPS to track your dog anywhere, anytime for real-time location tracking (dedicated GPS dog collars also work similarly) in case they get lost
  • Bluetooth capabilities to see who’s with your dog at any given time
  • Progress trackers to monitor how often your pup is active (compared to similar dogs)
  • 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

Best Dog Activity Monitor

Now that you know how “Fitbit for dogs” works, let’s share our top picks for each category. Then we’ll share some other popular dog activity trackers below and compare them side by side as well. When considering the best dog

Our Methodology

We reviewed the latest and greatest products in the “Dog Fitbit” category, including key features and pricing for each. When looking for the best dog fitness trackers, we considered their popularity, how long they’ve been around, their reputation, customer services, features, customer service, support, and more. We also factored in price, customer reviews, and our own personal experiences.

Winner: FitBark GPS Dog Tracker Review

FitBark GPS Dog Tracker

View on Amazon | View on FitBark

The bone design of FitBark’s on-collar monitor is cute and smaller than most other monitors. The app performs well, and the pet activity tracker is easy to use. The monitor is strong and durable, so it will survive your dog’s adventures.

It has a long battery life (three and a half years), has GPS to help you track your dog’s activity more specifically, and can link to your fitness tracker (Fitbit, Apple, Google). FitBark uses GPS, Verizon LTE-M coverage, and WiFi to work — the subscription starts at $5.95 per month (for a three-year commitment).

Key Features

  • Tracks: Activity, sleep quality, distance traveled, GPS location, calories burned, overall health, behavior, licking, sleeping, scratching, and weekly wellness reports
  • Waterproof up to one meter for 30 minutes (IP67)
  • Compare your dog’s activity to other dogs of the same breed
  • Share your dog’s activity report with your vet
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free iOS and Android apps
  • One-year limited warranty

Our Experience With FitBark

We have two dogs but Lily is the one always running around the yard and getting into trouble with the wildlife. So we thought it would be interesting to see how her activity tracks throughout any given day using the FitBark. We have only had it for about a week, but Lily has exceeded her activity goals every day so far, and the well-designed smartphone app keeps us current on her activity and rest for every hour of the day. It is really neat to see how often she plays vs. is mildly active and it even surprised us to see that one night she did not sleep so well. An added bonus, that we had not anticipated, is that when Lily’s activity was pacing below her goal for the day, the app sent a notification to let us know. That motivated us to take both dogs on a walk right away. So, the activity monitor is encouraging its owners as much as its wearer (maybe more so, ha!) to be more active.

Michelle Schenker, rescue dog parent

Price

In-Depth FitBark Review

Video: FitBark Overview

Watch this two-minute video to see how this tiny, comfortable clip can provide endless insights into your furry friend.

Runner Up: Whistle Go Explore Review

Whistle Go Explore

View on Amazon | View on Chewy

The Whistle Go Explore’s sleek and attractive design does three things at once: tracks your dog (or cat)’s GPS location, activity, and pet care history. This clip-on-collar activity monitor tracks rest patterns, allows you to set fitness goals, and gives you easy access from your smartphone at any time via the free app. It even gives you a map of your dog’s steps down to the exact paw up to 3,000 miles away.

However, Whistle’s accuracy and advanced features come at a price. There’s a monthly subscription plan required (starting at $6.95 per month with a two-year commitment), which uses AT&T’s cellular network and is only available in the U.S.

If you were a fan of Tagg, Whistle acquired this product a few years back and has brought much of its technology and data into its current products.

Key Features

  • Tracks: Activity, location, sleep quality, distance traveled, calories burned, overall health
  • Waterproof for splashes, rain/snow, showers (IPx7)
  • Keep track of medications, a food log, or make notes of things you noticed that day
  • Nightlight (in the Go Explore version)
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Free iOS and Android apps
  • One-year warranty

Price

Value: Tractive GPS Tracker For Dogs Review

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Attach the Tractive to your dog’s collar, and it sends data directly to your smartphone. The tracker collects data 24/7, so you know precisely what your pet is doing. Your dog gets points for its daily activities, and you get notified if your pet is lazy. It also has a built-in GPS so you can track your dog’s whereabouts in a cellular-accessible area.

It tracks ambient temperature 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. They have recently launched a more robust Activity Tracker, which is custom to your dog’s breed and age and gives your dog a wellness score based on their calories burned, sleep, and more.

A subscription plan is needed and starts at $4.99 per month for a premium plan with a five-year commitment. Unfortunately, it only works on pets who weigh at least nine pounds. The battery recharges in two hours and can last two to five weeks.

Key Features

  • Tracks: Activity, location, distance traveled
  • Immersive waterproof up to one meter (IPx8)
  • Free iOS and Android apps
  • One-year warranty

Our Personal Experience with Tractive

Tractive app screenshots.

Our dog has been using Tractive for years, and we love it! The tracker fits on his harness and lasts for several weeks without a recharge. I get notified (on my Apple watch) when he leaves his “Safe Zone” when on walks and then returns back home. That way, I know if/when my husband is walking him and I’m not home. We don’t use the heatmap or stats that often, but I should really utilize that data more to stay motivated on walks. I’m more concerned about tracking his location via GPS.

Price

Activity + Training: Halo Collar 3 Review

Halo 3 Collars

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Halo Collar 3 is an activity tracker and smart fence in one! Backed by the famous dog expert Cesar Millan, this wireless system uses GPS to keep your dog in any pre-defined area and also tracks daily, weekly, and monthly activity. That way, your dog can run freely and get exercise without running away from home.

It comes with a 21-day training program to teach your dog how to adapt to the system (and many other indoor and outdoor training tips) taught by the dog whisperer himself. Halo has a hefty price tag, but if you’re considering upgrading your wireless fencing system, then it might be worth it to have a super high-tech dog collar that can keep track of your dog’s activity.

The Halo Collar has some excellent upgrades to address customer feedback about the original Halo collar specifically. These improvements include a 21-hour battery life, enhanced GPS coverage, better location accuracy, a much more rugged collar with a Pro-case that can withstand chewing and harsh terrain, as well as better cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth performance.

A Halo subscription plan is required to enable data storage for fences, GPS location services, activity tracking, and premium training content from Cesar Millan (depending on the plan you choose). The basic plan starts at around $6 per month and gives you most of what you’ll need for the system to work. But you may want to check out the higher-tiered plans for additional perks.

Key Features

  • Tracks: number of walks your dog takes, time spent active vs resting, etc.
  • Ability to set up to 20 virtual fences by walking the boundary or via the map in the Halo app
  • Customizable feedback to keep your dog in bounds: vibrations, sound, and static
  • GPS tracking keeps tabs on your dog’s location, even if he goes beyond your set boundaries
  • Encouragement feedback feature to guide your dog back home
  • For use with dogs 5 months and older

Our Personal Experience With Halo Collar

Halo Collar app screenshots

I tested both the Halo 2+ and the newer Halo Collar 3, and Halo 3 has greatly improved GPS tracking accuracy and less delay on where you and your dog are moving on the map. Similar to Tractive, you set up your dog’s “safe zone” and get alerts when they leave. The biggest difference is your dog gets an alert, too. So you’ll need to turn off the alerts when your dog is safely out on walks.

Price

Coupon Code

Use this link to get $300 off your Halo Collar purchase (must enter your mobile number to unlock the discount).

Best Dog Activity Tracker Comparison Table

As you can see below, there is a wide range of features to consider in an activity tracker for your dog. depending on what you are looking for, there is something for every pup. Note that all the trackers in this review are waterproof.

TrackerActivitySleepDistanceGPSCaloriesWireless Fence + TrainingPlan*Battery
Life
FitBark2checkmark
checkmark
checkmark
checkmark
checkmark
$5.953-5 weeks
Whistlecheckmark
checkmark
checkmark
checkmark
checkmark
$6.9520 days
Halo 3checkmark
checkmark
checkmark
$5.9920 hours
PETKIT2checkmark
checkmark
Bluetoothcheckmark
None6 months
SpotOncheckmark
checkmark
$5.9522 hours
Tractivecheckmark
checkmark
checkmark
checkmark
$4.992+ weeks
*starts at

What About PetKit & SpotOn?

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.

PETKIT P2 Smart Activity Monitoring Pet Tracker Review

PETKIT P2

View on Amazon

If you’re looking for an entry-level pet activity tracker, the PETKIT P2 is an affordable option to try. This lightweight product (just one ounce) clips onto your pet’s collar and tracks the basics like activity, sleep, and mood. You can use the smartphone app to see how your dog or cat compares to other similar breeds and share their stats with friends and family. The P2 comes in five colors (gold, grey, purple, red, or blue), and you can pair it with any PETKIT smart bowl to keep a record of calorie consumption.

Key Features

  • Tracks: Activity, sleep, moods, calories burned and consumed (with PETKIT bowl, sold separately)
  • Water-resistant
  • Bluetooth
  • 6-month battery life
  • Compatible with iOS and Android

Price

SpotOn GPS Fence Review

SpotOn tracker and phone

Visit SpotOn’s Website

If you’re looking for a virtual fence and have a bigger yard, SpotOn GPS Fence Gen 2 could be a good fit for you! SpotOn has advanced GPS features, including the ability to set up overlapping virtual fences (it can store up to 20 fences at a time) by walking the boundary or via the map in the SpotOn app (iOS app | Android app). It also includes step-by-step training instructions plus a 30-minute training consultation with a certified SpotOn trainer.

Get instant alerts if your dog leaves the yard and real-time tracking, which automatically updates every 6 seconds (requires their cellular subscription). Subscription plans start at $5.95 with a 2-year commitment. The only downside is it doesn’t keep track of as much activity data as most others. The collar is more for containment purposes than tracking, making it an alternative to an Invisible Fence.

Key Features

  • Can create multiple, overlapping wireless fences over 100s of acres
  • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 22 hours in containment mode and 14 hours in tracking mode
  • SpotOn dog collar comes in 3 adjustable sizes, ranging from 10″ to 26″ neck circumference
  • IP-67 waterproof rating
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • 15% discount on multi-collar purchases

Price

Coupon

Use coupon code CANINE to get $50 off your SpotOn purchase via this link.

Full SpotOn GPS Fence Review

An Active Dog Is A Happy Dog

Wondering how your dog’s breed activity level compares to others? Check out our activity data analysis from FitBark to see how your dog competes within its breed, geographic area, etc. If you want to enhance your dog’s smart life, you should consider adding a dog camera and smart ID tag. Then your dog will be the most tech-savvy pup on the block.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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