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FitBark Dog Activity Monitor

FitBark is a colourful bone-shaped health and fitness tracker for your dog which attaches to his collar to monitor his daily activity.

When we help our dogs be healthy, we’re more likely to achieve our own goals. FitBark is a new way of understanding your dog’s health and making better decisions regarding living an active lifestyle. You can also share memorable moments via the free App.


Even for the technically challenged, we found the set-up process could not be any easier…

HOW TO SET UP YOUR FITBARK


1. Fix the FitBark onto your dog's collar 

When you wrap the elastic band around the collar, pull the FitBark away about 2cms until you hear two "clicks". 

This ensures that you have secured your FitBark correctly. 


2. Fully charge your FitBark

Plug your FitBark into the micro USB connector provided and charge on your computer for 90 minutes. There's no need to remove the FitBark from the collar. A battery charge should last anywhere between 1-2 weeks but we found 9-10 days was our average. 


3. Download the free app

You will need to set up your Personal User Profile - you will receive an introductory video and some daily tips to get you started - and this only takes a minute. 

Then you will create your dog’s profile including a picture (you can take a new one or use one saved on your phone) and his/her name for social sharing purposes.

Additional details regarding your dog’s gender, age, weight, breed, whether he/she is neutered or not and existing medical conditions will help determine his individual optimal exercise requirements.


4. Share your dog profile with other users

If you know someone who also owns a FitBark, you could invite another user (a friend, family member or your vet) to follow your dog and you can write journal posts. Simply tap on your dog's name in the home screen and then tap on the "i" information icon to access your dog's profile. Scroll to the bottom, tap on "Add User" and fill out the invitee's details.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Your dog’s FitBark is an activity monitor but unlike a human FitBit it will not track the kilometres your dog has walked or the calories he has consumed. 

It will measure “BarkPoints” or activity counts which were developed in line with best veterinarian practices. Each dog through his/her FitBark is anonymously contributing health data that helps other dogs and their owners. Within this framework, the default goal is currently calibrated on an averagely active dog.

The more our dog Conner moved, the more points he collected. He got no points (or very few points) for resting. Each minute of Conner's daily life was allocated into one of three buckets (rest, active and play). You can think of “rest” as your dog sleeping, “active” as your dog moving slowly, and “play” as your dog walking or running. A game of chasey or a long walk will burn a lot of BarkPoints.



FitBark collects data 24/7 and syncs whenever your dog is within the Bluetooth range of an authorised Smartphone. Indoors, this range equates to a couple of rooms, whereas outdoors you should be able to sync from a distance of at least 15-30 metres.
FitBark stores activity information in its memory for up to 4 weeks before its internal memory fills up if you have forgotten to sync regularly.

With our dog suffering from the occasional seizure, we did query if there was any potential issue with him wearing an electronics device so close to his body. The answer from the manufacturer is that FitBark emits less than 1/10,000th the amount of radiation from a cell phone and a fraction of what we may experience from a Bluetooth headset.


FitBark Explore is a brand new interface and a first-of-its-kind open source data hub for canine health. New features allow you to monitor your dog's fitness next to yours by linking to your own Fitbit. 

WHAT WE LIKED

It will work on dogs of any breed, size and weight. The FitBark device is so light that our dog never noticed its presence, which was great as I half expected him to start scratching vigorously and lose this device prior to writing our review….


The battery does last up to 9-10 days between charges as promised. Contrary to other similar activity monitors, it works worldwide and there are no monthly fees.

FitBark’s waterproof specification is IPX7 (up to 1 metre and 30 minutes) so there’s no need to remove it from your dog’s collar before a quick dip in the pool or at the beach which is perfect for our Australian climate. Just make sure that the rubber cap at the back - this protects the USB connection -is securely closed.


WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED

We were initially disappointed by the depth of data available but reading the instructions first would have helped... 
If you tap the centre of the activity dial, this opens a new view compiling all the data over the past week.

Use the slider to review your dog’s daily history or if your dog needs to lose weight and you’d like to increase his daily activity target, you can set a new level in the activity dial. 

If you really want to drill into the details, you can review his hourly activity and sleep data. Simply tap on any the 24 hours on the edge of the dial and it will open a new screen with additional data.

The FitBark works on collars no wider than 3cm, so if you have a large breed or like extra wide collars, this may not work for you.

TECHNICAL SPECS

  • Weight: 8 grams
  • Dimensions: 41 x 28 x 11 mm (curved design)
  • Compatible with both iOS (Bluetooth 4.0 running iOS 8 and above) and Android (Bluetooth 4.0 running Android 4.3 and above). 
  • Available in 3 colours: Blue, Grey, Red (in Australia)

PRICE & WHERE TO BUY

RRP: $107.00
from www.worldforpets.com.au



Disclaimer: product supplied by FitBark (USA) for editorial consideration.

Last updated 10th April 2017
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