FitBark Review 2024: The Ultimate Dog Activity & Health Tracker

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Jason

Fitbark Review

Are you looking for a way to gain deeper insights into your dog’s health, activity levels, and behaviors? Look no further than the FitBark dog activity tracker. As a certified dog trainer with over 15 years of experience, I’ve tested nearly every pet wearable on the market. And I can confidently say that FitBark stands out as the most advanced and insightful monitor for keeping tabs on your pup’s wellbeing 24/7.

In this comprehensive FitBark review, I’ll share my hands-on experience using FitBark with my own high-energy dog. You’ll learn about its key features, how it works, pros and cons, and how it compares to other popular dog activity trackers. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if FitBark is the right fit for your furry friend. Let’s dive in!

What is FitBark?

Fitbark

FitBark is a tiny, bone-shaped activity monitor that attaches to your dog’s collar. Think of it like a “FitBit for dogs.” It uses a 3-axis accelerometer to precisely track your pup’s movements and behaviors 24 hours a day.

The companion smartphone app translates this raw data into easy-to-understand insights about your dog’s activity, sleep, calories burned, distance traveled, and more. You can see how your individual dog compares to other dogs of the same age and breed.

FitBark is trusted by over 100 veterinary institutions worldwide to provide empirical data for animal health studies. Tens of thousands of dog owners rely on FitBark for the peace of mind that comes with always knowing how their pup is doing – and being alerted at the first sign of any potential issues.

How FitBark Works

How Does Fitbark Work

Getting started with FitBark is a simple 3-step process:

  1. Attach the FitBark monitor to your dog’s existing collar
  2. Download the free FitBark app and input your dog’s profile information
  3. Let FitBark start tracking and syncing data via Bluetooth

FitBark will capture your dog’s movements down to the minute. When your phone is within Bluetooth range (about 30 feet), it automatically syncs to upload the latest data to the cloud.

In the app, you can view:

  • Activity levels compared to the daily “BarkPoints” goal
  • Minutes spent resting, active, and playing
  • Sleep score and nocturnal disturbances
  • Calories burned
  • Distance traveled
  • Changes in mobility, itchiness, and anxiety levels

You’ll also get helpful notifications, like “Time for a Walk!” if your pup falls behind their daily activity goal. Or warnings about significant changes in behavior that could indicate health issues.

The FitBark GPS model adds real-time location tracking, with escape alerts if your dog leaves designated safe zones. It’s great for adventurous pups who love off-leash play.

Key Features

Fitbark App Interface
  • Precise activity and sleep insights for dogs 5-240 lbs
  • 3-axis accelerometer captures movement data down to the minute
  • Bluetooth syncing and 6 month battery life (FitBark 2)
  • Waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 minutes
  • Customizable daily BarkPoints goals based on age, breed, weight and activity level
  • Integrates with human health trackers like FitBit, Apple Watch, and Google Fit
  • GPS model enables location monitoring and escape alerts
  • Used by 100+ vet schools for research
  • iOS and Android apps with 30 day money back guarantee

Pros

  • Unparalleled, 24/7 insights into your dog’s health and behaviors
  • Detect potential health issues early for prompt treatment
  • Personalized activity goals help your dog achieve optimal fitness
  • Sleep tracking ensures your pup gets adequate, quality rest
  • Location monitoring delivers peace of mind during off-leash adventures
  • Integrates with your fitness tracker to compare dog and human activity
  • Trusted by vets worldwide for animal health research
  • Lightweight, waterproof design fits most dogs comfortably

Cons

  • GPS model requires a monthly subscription for location features
  • Upfront cost higher than some other basic trackers
  • Not designed for cats (but some owners still use successfully)
  • Requires a smartphone and Bluetooth to sync and access data

FitBark 2 vs FitBark GPS

FitBark offers two tracker styles to fit every pup’s lifestyle:

FitBark 2

The original activity and health tracker without GPS.

  • 6 month battery life
  • Bluetooth syncing
  • Swappable color case options
  • Does not include GPS or location tracking

FitBark GPS

Offers real-time location tracking and escape alerts in addition to core health monitoring.

  • Built-in GPS for location monitoring
  • 10-20 day battery life (GPS usage drains battery faster)
  • Subscription required for GPS features
  • Great for dogs who roam or frequently play off-leash

No matter which model you choose, you’ll get access to the full suite of health metrics and personalized activity goals in the FitBark app.

Fitbark Cost

How Does FitBark Compare?

I’ve tested nearly every brand of dog activity tracker. Here’s how FitBark compares to popular alternatives:

FeaturesFitBark 2FitBark GPSWhistle Go ExplorePitPat Dog Activity Monitor
24/7 Activity Tracking
Breed & Age-Specific Activity Goals
Sleep Quality Monitoring
GPS Location Tracking$9.95/mo$8.25/mo
Battery Life6 months10-20 days20 days12 months
Waterproof RatingIPX7IPX7IPX8IP67
Fits Dogs5-240 lbs5-240 lbs5-110 lbs11-176 lbs
iOS & Android Apps
Price$69.95$99.95$149.95$39

As you can see, FitBark stands out for its:

  • Breed-specific activity and health insights
  • 6 month battery life in the non-GPS model
  • Waterproof design that fits dogs of all sizes

While alternatives like Whistle offer similar GPS capabilities, FitBark provides the most comprehensive and personalized window into your individual dog’s wellbeing over time. That’s why it has my vote as the best overall monitor.

To learn more, check out our in-depth comparisons of FitBark vs Whistle, FitBark vs Fi, PitPat vs FitBark, and FitBark vs Tractive.

You can also read our full PitPat Dog Activity Monitor Review and Whistle GPS Pet Tracker Review to see how they stack up.

FitBark Reviews: What Are Customers Saying?

FitBark consistently receives positive reviews from pet owners and industry experts alike. It has an impressive 4.1 star rating on Amazon with over 3,400 reviews.

Satisfied customers rave about finally having answers to unexplained changes in their dog’s behavior. Many credit FitBark with detecting early signs of health issues that they wouldn’t have noticed otherwise until progressing further. The ability to get their pups prompt treatment makes the cost well worth it.

Owners also appreciate the accountability and motivation that comes with tracking their dog’s activity. Seeing their dog’s progress toward daily BarkPoints goals encourages more playtime together.

The main criticisms tend to revolve around the upfront and recurring costs of the GPS model. Some owners wish more features were included for free. A handful of critical reviews also noted syncing issues, which FitBark’s responsive customer support is usually able to troubleshoot.

My Experience with FitBark

To really put FitBark to the test, I used it to monitor my own 2-year-old Australian Shepherd, Lily. As a certified professional dog trainer, my standards are high when it comes to any product I recommend. And I have to say, FitBark exceeded expectations.

The setup was simple and I loved being able to get real-time updates on Lily’s activity whenever she was within Bluetooth range. Seeing her crush her BarkPoints goal each day gave me a sense of pride. And the sleep tracking helped me identify a string of restless nights that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise.

Thanks to FitBark, I was able to make simple changes to Lily’s evening routine (like a longer pre-bedtime walk and new calming chew treat) that have helped her sleep more soundly. Her sleep score has been nearly perfect ever since.

I also really appreciated the helpful reminders to take Lily on an extra walk whenever she fell behind her usual activity levels. FitBark essentially doubled as an accountability partner that kept me more consistent with Lily’s exercise routine.

Perhaps the most eye opening insight was seeing how Lily’s activity compared to other Australian Shepherds her age. I was surprised to discover that she was only in the 60th percentile for daily activity. There’s definitely room for improvement that I wouldn’t have known about without FitBark.

All in all, FitBark delivered the 24/7 health and behavior monitoring that I was hoping for. It allowed me to be more proactive about Lily’s wellbeing. And that’s something I think every dog could benefit from.

Key Takeaways

  • FitBark provides 24/7 activity, sleep, and behavior monitoring for dogs of all sizes
  • Unparalleled insights allow you to detect potential health issues early
  • Personalized fitness goals help optimize your dog’s activity levels
  • GPS model enables real-time location tracking and escape alerts
  • 6 month battery life (in FitBark 2) outlasts other trackers
  • Trusted by vets and owners worldwide for delivering peace of mind
  • Upfront and subscription costs may not fit every budget
  • Ideal for health-conscious owners who want to be proactive about their pup’s wellness

Bottom Line: Is FitBark Worth It?

After thoroughly testing FitBark, I can confidently say it’s a wise investment for any dog owner who wants to be proactive about their pup’s health. The ability to gain such granular, personalized insights into your dog’s wellbeing is unparalleled.

Sure, the upfront cost is an investment. But it’s one that could very well help you detect health issues early, keep your dog active, and even extend their lifespan.

I especially recommend FitBark GPS for energetic dogs who love to roam and play off-leash. The real-time escape alerts deliver invaluable peace of mind.

No matter which model you choose, FitBark’s breed-specific activity monitoring and health metrics are the most comprehensive on the market. You simply won’t find this level of 24/7 vigilance in any other tracker.

So is FitBark worth it? Absolutely. I wholeheartedly recommend every dog owner give it a try. With the 30-day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and so many valuable insights to gain.

FAQs

  1. How long does FitBark’s battery last?
  • FitBark 2 lasts up to 6 months on one charge
  • FitBark GPS lasts 10-20 days per charge
  1. Can you use FitBark with cats?
  • FitBark is designed for dogs but some owners use it to track cat activity
  • Cat-specific health metrics are not included
  1. Do I need WiFi for FitBark to work?
  • No, FitBark syncs activity data via Bluetooth, no WiFi required
  • WiFi base station is an optional accessory
  1. Can FitBark track my dog’s heart rate?
  • No, FitBark does not monitor heart rate, only physical movement
  1. What is FitBark’s warranty and return policy?
  • All FitBark purchases come with a 30-day money back guarantee
  • Limited 1-year manufacturer’s warranty for defects
  1. How durable is FitBark?
  • Waterproof up to 1 meter for 30 mins (IPX7 rating)
  • Extremely durable, rugged construction
  • Lightweight and unobtrusive design
  1. Can you use FitBark without a smartphone?
  • FitBark requires Bluetooth connection to a smartphone to sync data
  • You cannot use web app, PC or tablet without phone as intermediary

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