Go Ahead, Put a Fitness Tracker on Your Pet

As the quantified-self movement has led to a market flooded with health and activity trackers of every kind, device-makers have begun to target the $66.75 billion pet industry. Startups such as Whistle, FitBark, and PetPace claim that by using their device on or instead of your cat or dog’s collar, you can learn valuable information about your pet’s activity and sleep patterns.

Whistle, founded in 2012, makes a small rectangular device that attaches to your dog’s collar with built-in Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity, and GPS, as well as an accelerometer for activity tracking. To date, the company has sold more than 200,000 of them. In its latest iteration, Whistle is a small rounded rectangular gray box, less than two inches wide and just over half an inch thick. FitBark, another collar-worn pet monitor, describes itself as a “research grade” sleep and activity tracker. It gathers data around general activity including rest, active, and play times; sleep quality; distance traveled; and calories burned. With this information, its accompanying app gives your pet and overall health score and an activity score. In terms of features, PetPace might be one of the most advanced devices out there (although there are plenty of products not mentioned in this article). It’s a smart collar for cats or dogs, and it tracks a host of vitals your pet’s temperature, heart rate and heart rate variability, respiration, activity, body posture, and calories burned.

Priced between $60 (for Whistle and Fitbark) and $160 (PetPace), these aren’t budget-breaking purchases, but they are a growing segment of the pet industry. Grandview Research estimates , in a February 2016 report that the pet wearable market in 2017 is a $500 million industry, up from $300 million in 2012.

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