If there’s one thing that dogs love, it’s W-A-L-K-I-E-S! But whether you’ve got a portly pooch that’s trying to shed some pounds, or a tiny pup with growing bones and muscles – how do you know if they’re getting enough, or too much, exercise?
Our friends at PitPat are here to help, with a dog activity monitor that slots onto your dog’s collar that helps monitor their exercise levels – think of it like a Fitbit for Fido!
Three of our Canine Critics, each with varying levels of activity, (Dilbert may even like lounging more than us!), tried a PitPat activity monitor on a week of walkies. Here are their verdicts:
Dilbert - East of England Canine Critic
(with help from his human, Sian)
Dilbert is a big fan of the sofa. A really, really big fan. He’s also recently discovered my bed, and he’s a big fan of spending the day sprawled out across it whilst I’m at work. Oh, and snacks. He’s a big, big fan of snacks. Then again, they do say that dogs take after their owners! Luckily, he’s not inherited all of my traits, because unlike me he’s also a big fan of running around. Even so, it’s always difficult to know if they’ve had enough exercise, especially in the winter when the days are so short and, like me, you have a dog who is not a fan of walkies in the dark.
Before having a PitPat, I hadn’t really considered tracking Dilbert’s activity levels, which is strange because for someone that enjoys a good sit down, I do rather enjoy tracking my own! There’s a strange satisfaction in knowing you’ve hit your daily step goal, ok!
I was certainly intrigued to find out how (and indeed, how well) the PitPat would work to track the activity of a dog…
Once the PitPat itself is out of the box, it’s very easy to set up. All you need to do is download the PitPat app to your smartphone and attach the device (the PitPat, not your phone!) to your dog’s collar. Inside the app, you are able to add one or more dogs, and more than one owner can download the app and connect to the same PitPat to get activity information about their dog. The app tells you exactly how to complete the set up, and once connected, all you have to do is press the paw print button on the PitPat to receive the most up-to-date activity information about your dog.
The app gives you your dog’s activity levels in minutes and estimates how far your dog has walked that day. It also shows you a graph of your dog’s activity levels throughout the day; very interesting if you want to check to see if they’ve moved around at all whilst you were out. Spoilers: in my case, Dilbert barely moves! The app will also tell you your dog’s ideal weight, and you can track how their weight changes - especially useful if you’re actively trying to help your dog to lose or gain weight.
The PitPat would be great for dogs of all ages and activity levels, and owners who want to keep on top of their dog’s health and happiness. After all, an exercised dog is a happy dog!
Overall, we give the PitPat a 9/10!
Woody - Midlands Canine Critic
(with help from his human, Liv)
PitPat is a dog activity monitor. It enables you to track your dogs’ exercise, weight and fitness via their super-user-friendly app with just a click of a button. We’ve been using it daily for several months now and I absolutely love it!
A PitPat device is very lightweight but durable and comfortable for dogs to wear. Each device comes with a velcro strap which means that it can be easily moved from collar to collar. This is super handy for me because Woody has a ton of collars so it’s great to know we can easily change his collar and move the PitPat with no issues. The PitPat devices are also fully waterproof which I can vouch for. Woody has been in many seas and smelly lakes in it and even wears it to track his hydrotherapy sessions and we’ve had no problem with activity not being tracked.
What I really love about PitPat is their amazing customer service. If I have ever had any issues with the device or app, with just one email I’ve had a really informative reply from their Customer Suppawt and everything has been fixed in just a few hours/days.
Since we found out about Woody’s elbow dysplasia, we’ve always been mindful of how much exercise he is doing and how much is too much for him. With a dog activity monitor, this is great peace of mind for us.
With PitPat, your data only syncs when you press a button. But with other fitness trackers we have had, this isn't the case – it’s a constant sync which does drain the battery. What's brilliant is that the device itself stores up to 10 days of data, so it doesn’t matter if you forget to sync for a few days because as soon as you press the paw it fetches the data via Bluetooth straight to the app. The app is super simple to set up and navigate around, and also gives you the option to add multiple dogs (one day) and owners.
Here’s an example of a typical day for Woody, and then an example of a day spent at the beach and kissing Willow:
I’ve actually recently joined PitPat Life which is a wellness club for dogs. You pay a monthly fee and you get the PitPat device (if you don’t already have one) and, as well as this, you are able to earn badges and points. These points can then be spent in the PitPat prize store. You also have access to cheeky discounts off some brilliant brands which you wouldn’t get ordinarily. It’s a really great incentive for those that need a little motivation hitting their daily exercise goals by being rewarded with points and then prizes.
We’d give PitPat an 8/10. Bravo PitPat for a brilliant product!
Toby and Amos - North West Canine Critics
(with help from their human, Jess)
We have used our PitPat activity monitors for a number of years. For two adventure pups like Toby and Amos, seeing their activity, their sleep/rest and calories burned is something that has always interested me.
Toby has completed many an epic adventure in his PitPat, including the Yorkshire Three Peaks – the most active day of his whole life; he walked for 11.5 hours and his PitPat just didn’t know what had hit it!
They are extremely hard-wearing (Toby likes to throw himself around in all kinds of situations: on pavements, up mountains, on the beach, even on-stage last year when he was in pantomime) and his PitPat has never budged. They are also waterproof; we have taken ours on many a rainy and blustery adventure without problems and we have even more recently been swimming with them on.
I change the velcro on the boys’ every eight months due to a small incident we had (Amos will tell you all about that!) and, as they are hairy beasts, I’d rather be safe than sorry. But replacing the velcro is a tiny job and helps keep the PitPat safe and secure for all our adventures.
I am an experienced adventure pup and this forms part of my adventure kit; just like Momma wears her activity monitor, I need mine too – especially as it tells Momma how many calories I have burned so she knows exactly when to give me double portions at teatime!
I like throwing myself around and rubbing my head on the floor (imagine breakdancing and you’ll be on the right lines) and not once has my PitPat come unstuck. It’s surprising really, as sometimes I do it so violently that my collar pops off! When I do that, Momma says I’m a hooligan …
My PitPat also helps the humans keep an eye on my weight; they are able to update my ideal weight and can use the app (yeah, I know about apps - I’m a doggo genius, what can I say?!) to update and track any changes.
It’s extra important for me to stay active, lean and slender as I have an old spinal injury so keeping tabs on my activity and weight gives Momma peace of mind; and if Momma is happy, I am happy!
I agree with Toby – I especially like the days we get double portions and I usually burn more calories than Toby, so I get MORE double portions! Momma says it’s because I have dramatic flair and spin like a ballerina from time to time when we are walking.
PitPat was also helpful with guidance regarding walks and targets when I was little, helping to ensure I didn’t do too much too soon for my growing joints – they’re a helpful bunch over at PitPat HQ!
I also really like PitPat as Momma says its company colours match mine and Toby’s gingery colouring (I’ll have to take her word for it obviously, but as Momma always says: twinning is winning!)
I had an unfortunate incident with my original PitPat: I was asleep one night and managed to get my collar off, but because I like to explore the world with my mouth I accidentally thought that the PitPat was a tasty snack I had hidden in my bed earlier… Momma was very worried when she found me with it – I had hidden the little hard bit in the centre in my bed to chew on at a later date and she thought I’d swallowed it. Apparently, it was a battery and that would have made me poorly!
I hadn’t actually eaten the PitPat – I had just chewed it up good and proper. The nice people at PitPat said they would inspect the chewed mess that was left as some research to ensure that they could make future PitPats more chew proof! So technically I was a helpful hound and was just doing some research for them, like a consultant chewer, I guess!
My little incident made Momma get much stricter when it comes to ‘new velcro day’ and I’m pleased to report there have been no more chewing incidents since!
Overall myself, Toby and Amos would highly recommend a PitPat for any budding adventure dogs out there. They are a really useful tool to monitor activity and weight and now, with the added bonus of PitPat Life, you can also get badges and prizes as a reward for your activity levels – nothing like some healthy competition, eh!?
Our Canine Critics are here to lend a helping paw, sniffing out the best dog-friendly accommodation, doggy days out and the most pawsome products that the UK has to offer. With the top-dog role comes the top-dog responsibility of leading the way for other pups to follow. Take a look at what else they've been up to below.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.