The best pet wearables: trackers and GPS collars revolutionising pet health and wellbeing

Wearable technologies are no longer just for people – we can now track, monitor and make more informed health decisions for our pets than ever before.

With fast broadband in homes and the advent of the Internet of Things giving rise to the “quantified self”, it’s no wonder we have now turned our four-legged friends into “quantifiable others” with wearable gadgets that allow us to sync up to our pets and monitor their health and whereabouts.

Reports show, nearly 5 million of the 7.6 million Aussie households are home to a furry friend, according to the Annual Health Alliance and at 63%, Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world*.

So we’re a nation who loves our pets - it’s only natural then, that we should want to find innovative new ways of connecting and caring for their health and wellbeing. Wearable technologies are no longer just for people - advances in technology have given rise to hi-tech gadgets for pets that are allowing us to monitor health and even keep track of them via GPS.

 

We've rounded up some of the best pet wearables on the market:


1. Whistle 
Designed by the man behind the iconic Fitbit Flex, the cleverly designed collar-mounted GPS tracker syncs with your smartphone to monitor the amount of exercise, play and rest your pet gets on a daily basis. You can evaluate the data in full length via Whistle’s mobile app.

2. Go Pro Fetch
This dog harness from GoPro can be used to capture the world from your dog’s point of view. The camera (sold separately) can be attached to the chest for videoing or back for overhead shots of running and jumping. Built for durability, the Go Pro Fetch promises to withstand even the most energetic dogs and the harness is machine washable.

3. Fit bark 
Fitbark enables you to track your dog’s every move and even compare their fitness with other breeds. The device will give you indicators of anything being wrong, such as lack of sleep, and allows you to store all the information to hand over to your vet if necessary.

4. My Dogs Voice 
My Dogs Voice is a waterproof smart collar, designed to keep you connected with your dog, track their activity, monitor their heart and respiratory rate, as well as rest patterns and calories burnt. As the app becomes familiar with your dog's stats, it'll start to offer tips tailored to its specific needs.

5. Retrieva 
Retrieva is a commercial GPS collar, which tracks a dog’s location, trajectory and speed in real time, data that is transmitted to the web or mobile phone. It even allows you to set up virtual fences, which alert you if your dog crosses boundaries.

With technology rapidly progressing and our connection to the internet and all “things” getting faster, we can expect to see more nifty gadgets emerge that allow us to keep tabs on our pets. We may even be able to translate dog brainwaves into human speech!

Reference:
* Pet ownership in Australia, Animal Health Alliance Summary 2013

 

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