FitBark is a health and location tracker designed specifically for dogs. This bone-shaped device attaches to your pup’s collar to monitor their activity, sleep, and location around the clock.
After testing and researching FitBark firsthand, we found it provides unparalleled insights into your dog’s behavior and wellbeing. Read on for our full hands-on review of FitBark’s features, pricing, and how it can help improve your furry friend’s health.
FitBark is a tiny sensor you clip onto your dog’s collar that tracks their activity and behaviors 24/7. Input basic info about your pup into the FitBark app, set an activity goal based on their age, breed and lifestyle, and it will give you constant feedback and “BarkPoints” on how they compare to similar dogs.
It captures insightful data compared with dogs of the same breed and age range to help you identify what’s normal activity for your specific pup. If there’s an unusual change in behavior, you can get them examined right away, allowing for early detection of potential illnesses.
You can also charge FitBark without removing it from your dog’s collar, and it comes with Bluetooth that effortlessly syncs with your smartphone whenever in range. If a pet sitter or walker is caring for your pooch, you can confirm they’re getting enough exercise while in someone else’s care.
It’s a worthwhile investment that encourages more activity and could even extend your dog’s lifespan.
- Monitor activity levels, sleep quality, distance traveled, calorie balance, anxiety, skin conditions, and overall health.
- Set customized goals to compare your dog to similar breeds, ages, sizes, and lifestyles.
- Lightweight construction (10-17 grams) is waterproof and fits dogs from 5 to 240 lbs with collar widths up to 1.5″.
- Rechargeable battery lasts around 6 months for FitBark 2 and 10-20 days for the GPS version.
- Link FitBark to your Fitbit, Apple Watch, Apple Health app, or Google Fit wearable to integrate canine and human activity.
- Trusted by 100+ veterinary schools and research institutions.
- Used by dogs in over 140 countries worldwide.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Built-in GPS enables escape alerts and location tracking to find lost dogs quickly (requires subscription).
How Does FitBark Work?
FitBark contains a 3-axis accelerometer to precisely track your dog’s motions and behaviors minute-by-minute. It collects data on resting, active, and play time that you can view in easy-to-understand charts in the FitBark app.
To get started, charge FitBark via USB for an hour and download the FitBark app. Create your dog’s profile by entering their breed, age, weight, and typical activity levels. This allows FitBark to set a customized BarkPoints goal based on similar dogs.
Throughout the day, FitBark monitors sleep cycles, activity intensity, calories burned, and more. It syncs via Bluetooth when in range of your smartphone, allowing you to track real-time data or review daily, weekly, and monthly reports.
If your pup meets their set goal, you’ll see a congratulatory “woof.” If they fall short, FitBark sends you a reminder to take them on a walk or play session.
FitBark 2 vs FitBark GPS
FitBark offers two versions of their pet activity tracker:
The FitBark 2 is the original activity and health monitoring model. Key features include:
- Battery lasts up to 6 months.
- Removable color cases to switch up styles.
- Works with WiFi Base Station (sold separately).
The FitBark GPS adds location tracking capabilities:
- GPS enables real-time location tracking if your dog escapes.
- Get notifications anytime your dog enters or leaves a designated “safe zone.”
- Battery lasts 10-20 days (less than FitBark 2 due to GPS).
Both versions share features like waterproof construction, Bluetooth syncing, access to the FitBark app, and more.Shop FitBark GPS on Amazon
- FitBark 2: $69.95
- FitBark GPS: $99.95
There are no monthly fees to access health metrics and activity data in the app. However, using the location tracking features of the GPS model requires a monthly subscription:
- Month to Month: $9.95/month
- 1 Year Plan: $7.95/month (20% savings)
- 2 Year Plan: $6.95/month (30% savings)
- 3 Year Plan: $5.95/month (40% savings)
All purchases come with a 30-day money back guarantee.
Hands-On Review: Our Experience with FitBark
To test FitBark first-hand, our founder attached a FitBark 2 to the collar of her high-energy dog Lily. Here’s her experience:
“After just 1 week of using FitBark, I’m very impressed with the wealth of data it provides. The app perfectly tracks Lily’s activity and rest levels for every hour of the day. It’s amazing to see how often she plays, exercises, or naps. One night the app showed she slept poorly, then sent a notification the next day when her activity was lagging to motivate us to take her on a long walk. FitBark encourages owners and dogs to stay active together. I love having deeper insights into Lily’s health and behaviors with FitBark’s helpful tracking.”
Overall, our hands-on experience found FitBark delivers an unparalleled window into your dog’s activity levels and health over time. It’s insightful for all dogs, and especially helpful for highly active, anxious, or senior pups.
FitBark History & Background
Brother and sister co-founders Sara and Davide Rossi conceptualized FitBark while brainstorming ways to benchmark their own energetic dog’s fitness and behaviors.
Realizing there were no good metrics for objectively comparing canine activity, they designed a FitBit-inspired solution to capture and share insightful doggie data with other pet owners, vets, and researchers.
In 2013, they successfully crowdfunded FitBark on Kickstarter, raising over $60k to turn their idea into reality. Although the hardware remains similar to the original prototype, the FitBark team constantly enhances the software and app based directly on customer feedback and suggestions.
Today, over 100 veterinary schools and research groups use FitBark data to advance animal health studies and treatments. Tens of thousands of pet owners worldwide trust FitBark to monitor their dog’s wellbeing 24/7.
6 Benefits of FitBark for Your Dog’s Health
- Detect Health Issues Early: Identify changes in behavior that could indicate emerging health problems.
- Monitor Mobility: Track limping, stiffness, and reduced activity that could signify arthritis or injuries.
- Achieve Fitness Goals: Motivate your pup to reach their recommended activity levels.
- Lose Weight: Calculate calorie needs more accurately to manage obesity.
- Improve Sleep: Identify restlessness at night suggestive of pain or anxiety.
- Peace of Mind: Use GPS tracking if your dog ever escapes or wanders off.
Is FitBark Worth It? Our Recommendation
For health-conscious pet owners who want round-the-clock insights into their dog’s behavior and wellbeing, we enthusiastically recommend FitBark.
The ability to identify subtle activity and behavior changes early on can improve your dog’s lifespan and let you enjoy more years together. FitBark is an investment in their long-term wellness.
We especially like the FitBark GPS model for high-energy dogs who love running and exploring off-leash. The location tracking brings peace of mind should they ever wander too far.
Just be aware that using the GPS features requires an additional monthly subscription fee. Fortunately, you can always start with the FitBark 2 if your budget is tighter.
Overall, our hands-on testing found FitBark delivers unparalleled insights into your beloved companion’s health and happiness. We think it’s a smart investment for any pet owner.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the FitBark battery last?
The battery lasts around 6 months for the FitBark 2 and 10-20 days for the FitBark GPS. Frequent GPS usage drains battery life faster.
Is there a monthly fee for FitBark?
There are no monthly fees required to use the basic activity tracking features. However, using the location tracking capabilities of the FitBark GPS model requires a monthly subscription starting at $9.95/month.
Is FitBark waterproof?
Yes, FitBark has an IPX7 waterproof rating, meaning it can be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes.
Does FitBark track location?
The FitBark GPS model uses built-in GPS to track your dog’s location in real-time. The basic FitBark 2 does not include location tracking features.
What sizes of dogs can use FitBark?
FitBark is designed for dogs from 5 to 240 lbs. It can fit collar widths up to 1.5 inches wide. The tiny, lightweight tracker won’t burden smaller dogs.
Can FitBark be used for cats?
While FitBark is designed exclusively for dogs, some cat owners have successfully used it to track basic activity metrics and sleep patterns for their felines. However, cat-specific health baselines are not available.
How Does FitBark Compare to Other Dog Activity Trackers?
FitBark stands out for its breed-specific activity goals, 2-6 month battery life, and integration with human fitness trackers. See how it compares to top alternatives like PitPat, and Tractive in our detailed comparisons.
The Bottom Line
FitBark delivers unparalleled insights into your dog’s health, activity levels, sleep quality, and location when adventuring.
The ability to detect potential illnesses early, achieve fitness goals, and track your pup’s whereabouts provides invaluable peace of mind.
Equipped with custom metrics for your dog’s breed, age bracket, and size, FitBark provides a level of personalized monitoring not found with any other doggie tracker. Our testing found it 100% worth the investment for health-conscious pet owners.