This FitBark Dog Activity Monitor post is sponsored by Purina. All opinions are my own. #PurinaPartner
I never thought I would need a FitBark Dog Activity Monitor, and now I'm so glad I have one. At the beginning of August, I shared 5 Tips To Keep Your Pet Fit This Summer after I attended a Google Hangout with Dr. Kurt Venator (Purina Veterinarian). I learned so much, and I explained in my last post that I knew my dog wasn't getting enough exercise, but I had no idea just how much my family was going to need the information I had just learned or how much I would appreciate our new FitBark.
FitBark Dog Activity Monitor: Pet Technolgy
Two weeks after writing the first post, Sophie had a vet appointment for an ear infection. My husband texted me during the appointment and told me something I never expected to hear from our vet. The vet informed us that our dog is overweight. At first, I thought my husband was joking because I honestly can't see it. Maybe I don't want to believe it, but that day when Sophie came home, we sat the kids down and explained to them that they could no longer sneak Sophie treats under the table. We made sure that they understood just how serious this is, and after seeing their response, we know they understand. My oldest will go as far as sending her outside during dinner, so she doesn't beg under the table.
I never realized how much the kids were feeding her, and if I'm honest, I probably gave her a lot more than I should have. The first week was the hardest for everyone, especially Sophie. She struggled and would go as far as licking the crack of the fridge trying the find any food that may have been dropped, but she's finally realized that dog food is the only food she's getting now.
FitBark Dog Activity Monitor:
Food is only one part of Sophie's problem. Now we have to get her active. We are a very busy family, and Sophie goes everywhere we go, but we've never actually trained her, so it makes it hard to take her anywhere. She pulls on the leash when we walk her, and she tries to go after other dogs, so now we have to work to train her because she needs to be able to go out with us when we go for walks and even when we go out on the water.
On our last camping trip, we made it our goal to spend more time working with Sophie, and we saw some pretty fabulous results. Every walk was easier than the one before, and the water play was a lot of fun! She is getting better at listening to us and letting us walk her, and it's not as hard on our backs (or the leash). She has broken five or six leashes and broke on on this camping trip, but her health is worth it, and this is partly our fault because we should have trained her when she was a puppy, but we didn't so now it's a little harder.
Note: Fitbark is waterproof as long as you keep the rubber cap at the back of the unit firmly in place. The unit can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. (information provided by Fitbark website)
FitBark Dog Activity Monitor: What It Tracks
The impressive thing about our FitBark is that it does what I can't. Obviously, I know when I take Sophie for a walk or if we let her go out on the water, but we don't always know how active she is when we make her go out or when the kids play with her outside. Now I can keep track of her total daily activity and add in additional playtime based on what the data I see tracked on my phone. That's pretty impressive.
Having the FitBark helps us because we can set goals for Sophie, and it reminds us to get out with her and help her reach those activity goals. There are three goal levels with FitBark.
Average: 7,300 BarkPoints: (lots of snuggle time, a couple of walks a day, in the 50% percentile)
Active: 10,100 BarkPoints: (adventurous, always playtime, in the 75% percentile)
Olympian: 13,600 BarkPoints: (never stops going, full speed ahead, in the 90% percentile)
Right now, we are starting with average with Sophie and working our way up because she's really lazy, so I don't want to overdo it. Just being honest 😉
Sleep, we all know how important sleep is, but how can we track a dog's sleep? Well, before FitBark, I've never been able to track it! According to our readings, Sophie's sleep is in the 95% percentile, so that seems pretty good. She is a snorer, so I was curious to see if that meant anything. I have always wondered if she is experiencing nightmares or dreams because of her whimpering, but it looks like she is sleeping well, so that is great. I can't wait to see how it reads after a thunderstorm because I fully expect it to read very low. After that, I will know it reads accurately.
I feel blessed that I was chosen to participate in the Google Hangout with Dr. Kurt Venator because at the time, I had no idea how useful the information would be, and now I feel like Sophie's life will fuller and possibly longer because of it. So I would like to say a special thank you to the people at Purina for caring so much about our pets and doing all you can to educate us on ways to keep them both happy and healthy!
If you are interested in tracking your pet's activity, you should check out FitBark for yourself you can purchase yours here.