Pet owners want to make sure their furry companions stay active and healthy. But with busy schedules, it can be difficult to keep track of your dog’s daily exercise and wellbeing.
This is where dog fitness trackers come in handy. They allow you to monitor your pup’s activity levels, sleep quality, location, and more.
In this in-depth guide, we’ll compare two of the most popular options – the FitBark 2 and the Whistle GO. We’ll help you decide which dog activity monitor is right for your needs and budget.
Overview of FitBark and Whistle Dog Monitors
Before diving into the details, here is a quick overview of how the FitBark and Whistle dog monitors work:
What is FitBark?
FitBark is a health and activity monitor designed specifically for dogs. It attaches to your dog’s collar and tracks their daily activities, including:
- Calories burned
- Distance traveled
- Active minutes
- Quality and duration of sleep
- Overall health and behavior patterns
The FitBark uses a built-in accelerometer to capture your dog’s movements. It syncs to the FitBark app on your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can monitor your dog’s data.
The FitBark 2 is the latest version and does not have built-in GPS tracking capabilities. There are no monthly fees required.
FitBark recently launched a GPS model called the FitBark GPS, but it is currently only available in the United States. You can learn more in this detailed FitBark review.
What is Whistle?
Whistle offers both activity tracking and live GPS location tracking. Their Whistle GO model allows you to:
- View your dog’s real-time location on a map
- Track daily exercise and rest patterns
- Create safe zones and get alerts when your dog leaves the designated area
- Monitor their health and wellbeing
Whistle uses cellular and WiFi signals to transmit location data. This requires a monthly subscription plan after purchasing the device.
Now that you understand the basic functions, let’s compare their features, pros and cons, and what users love about each dog activity tracker. You can learn more in this detailed Whistle review.
FitBark vs Whistle: Key Feature Comparison
GPS Location Tracking
The biggest difference between FitBark and Whistle is that Whistle offers live GPS tracking while FitBark does not.
The Whistle GO uses cellular signals and WiFi to show your pup’s location in real-time and their routes during walks or hikes. You can view their location history for the past 24 hours.
With Whistle, you can set custom safe zones on the mobile app’s map. If your dog wanders outside the designated safe zone, you’ll get instant alerts on your phone. This is invaluable if you have an escape artist!
The FitBark 2 focuses solely on health and activity tracking. There is no location monitoring. However, FitBark recently launched the FitBark GPS which does provide real-time GPS tracking along with all the activity metrics.
But it is currently only available in the United States. The Whistle GO offers location tracking worldwide, as long as you have cellular service.
Winner: Whistle offers location tracking globally with the Whistle GO model. FitBark is limited to activity tracking only unless you live in the US and buy the FitBark GPS.
For more comparisons between Whistle and other popular dog trackers, check out this in-depth review of Whistle vs Tractive.
Both the FitBark 2 and Whistle GO track your dog’s daily activities and exercise patterns. But the Whistle GO provides more detailed tracking insights.
FitBark 2 uses a 3-axis accelerometer to monitor:
- Total minutes of activity time
- Estimated distance traveled
- Calories burned
- Sleep quality
- General behavior patterns
It compiles all this activity data into BarkPoints – a custom score calculated based on your dog’s age, weight, and breed.
You can view weekly trends and monthly averages to identify any changes or irregularities in your dog’s patterns. But the metrics are more simplified than Whistle’s offering.
Whistle GO tracks:
- Total minutes of rest vs active time
- Distance traveled
- Calories burned
- Moderate vs intense activity sessions
- Skin itching and scratching frequency
- Sleep patterns
- Location history and routes
- Safe zones
The Whistle app shows your dog’s 24 hour activity in an easy-to-understand timeline graph. You can clearly see when they were resting, moderately active, or intensely active.
Whistle also lets you set custom activity goals based on your dog’s specific needs. The advanced tracking features like skin itching detection and customizable goals give Whistle the edge.
Winner: Whistle GO offers more advanced activity tracking metrics and customization options.
Both the FitBark and Whistle provide useful health monitoring, but the Whistle GO has a slight edge.
The FitBark 2 tracks:
- Sleep quality, duration, and patterns
- Stress and anxiety levels based on restlessness
- Potential skin conditions based on sleep disruptions and scratching
You can also connect the FitBark to your vet so they can access your dog’s health data. This assists vets in providing informed recommendations.
Whistle GO monitors:
- Sleep quality and amount
- Licking and scratching frequency
- Changes from your dog’s normal patterns
In addition, the Whistle app allows you to log health events like visits to the vet or groomer. You can also record symptoms, medication info, and notes to monitor changes over time.
Whistle offers a paid Wellness service that lets your vet view your dog’s health data to identify potential issues early. They can schedule video consultations through the app.
The health monitoring capabilities are quite similar overall, but Whistle edges out FitBark with the vet integration features.
Winner: Whistle GO makes it easier to share data with your vet and connects you to telehealth services.
Smartphone App and Connectivity
Both brands offer user-friendly apps to view all your dog’s tracked data. But they have some key differences in connectivity options.
The FitBark app works with both iOS and Android smartphones. It uses Bluetooth connectivity to sync with the FitBark device.
In the app, you can view activity levels, set goals, connect with other pet parents, and share data with your vet or dog walkers.
One unique FitBark feature is the ability to integrate activity data from human fitness trackers like Fitbit, Apple Watch, and Google Fit. This allows you to motivate each other!
The Whistle app also uses Bluetooth to connect the device to your iOS or Android phone.
The app provides at-a-glance tracking of your dog’s location, activity levels, calories, and sleep patterns. You can also set safe zones, health alerts, and easily share access with family members.
Whistle uses cellular signals and WiFi to enable the real-time GPS location tracking. FitBark is limited to Bluetooth connectivity only.
Winner: FitBark for the human fitness tracker integration. But Whistle’s cellular connectivity enables GPS access from anywhere.
Good news – both the FitBark 2 and Whistle GO are waterproof!
The FitBark 2 has an IPX7 waterproof rating. This means it can withstand being submerged in 1 meter (about 3 feet) of water for up to 30 minutes.
The Whistle GO is rated IP67 waterproof. It can also handle being submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
So both are designed to withstand your dog splashing, swimming, playing in the rain, and more without any issues.
Winner: Tie. Both offer excellent waterproofing capabilities.
Battery life is where the FitBark really shines.
The FitBark 2 has an outstanding battery that can last up to 6 months between charges.
This amazing battery life is because it relies solely on Bluetooth connectivity rather than power-draining GPS.
The Whistle GO battery lasts around 7 days on average. Battery life depends on use of GPS tracking and strength of cellular signal. More activity tracking shortens battery duration.
You need to recharge the Whistle GO weekly, whereas the FitBark 2 only needs charging a few times per year.
But keep in mind – shorter battery life allows the Whistle GO to offer GPS functionality that the long-lasting FitBark lacks.
Winner: FitBark 2 for its 6 month battery life, allowing long periods of use without charging.
Weight and Size
The FitBark 2 is significantly smaller and lighter than the Whistle GO.
The FitBark 2 weighs only 0.35 oz and measures 1.6 x 1.1 x 0.5 inches. It’s designed with a slim bone shape.
The Whistle GO is heavier at 0.92 oz and measures roughly 1.82 x 1.45 x 0.61 inches. It has a rounded, pebble-like shape.
The FitBark’s tiny size makes it the better choice for smaller dog breeds or those bothered by bulky devices. It is minimally intrusive.
Larger dogs likely won’t notice either tracker’s weight, but the FitBark 2 has the advantage of being ultra lightweight and compact.
Winner: FitBark 2 is considerably smaller and lighter weight for maximum dog comfort.
Owners of smaller dog breeds may also want to look at the PitPat vs FitBark comparison to help determine the right size activity monitor.
Pricing and Fees
When comparing the cost of FitBark vs Whistle, pricing structures differ significantly:
- The FitBark 2 is a one-time payment of $69.95 for the device. There are no monthly fees required for the basic activity tracking features.
- The Whistle GO costs $129.95. However, to use Whistle’s standout GPS location tracking feature, mandatory subscription plans range from $7.95 to $12.99 per month. You cannot access GPS tracking without paying the monthly fee.
Over the lifespan of the product, the FitBark 2 ends up being significantly less expensive since there are no recurring fees.
But keep in mind – you are paying a premium for the Whistle GO’s cellular connectivity and real-time GPS location tracking capabilities. Determine if GPS tracking is worth the higher long-term costs for your needs.
The FitBark GPS offers location tracking like Whistle, but is currently limited to the US market. It also has a $9.95 monthly fee.
Winner: FitBark 2 is the clear winner for budget-friendly dog tracking with no monthly costs required. Pay the one-time fee and you are set!
FitBark 2 Pros and Cons
FitBark 2 Pros
- Extremely long 6 month battery life
- No monthly fees required
- Lightweight and comfortable for dogs
- Tracks all-day activity metrics and sleep
- Syncs with human fitness trackers
- Durable waterproof design
- Easy to use mobile app
FitBark 2 Cons
- No built-in GPS for location tracking
- Limited to Bluetooth connectivity only
- Less detailed activity tracking metrics versus Whistle
- Can’t set custom goals or safe zones
See how FitBark stacks up against another top competitor in this in-depth FitBark vs Fi dog tracker analysis.
Whistle GO Pros and Cons
Whistle GO Pros
- Live GPS location tracking from anywhere
- Advanced activity and health tracking metrics
- Customizable activity goals and safe zones
- Integrates with veterinary telehealth services
- Durable waterproof design
Whistle GO Cons
- Short 7 day battery life
- Mandatory monthly subscription fee for full functionality
- Heavier and bulkier than FitBark
- Reports of inaccurate GPS location occasionally
FitBark vs Whistle: What Do Dog Owners Think?
Both devices score well with most users in terms of comfort for dogs and providing helpful activity insights. Here are some examples of actual verified purchaser reviews:
Positive FitBark 2 Reviews
“This little device is sturdy and provides great detailed information on my dog’s daily activities and sleep patterns. The mobile app is also user-friendly. For the price, you can’t beat all the functionality with the FitBark. No need to pay monthly plans like some competitors.”
“I’ve been using the FitBark for 5 months now and love having insights into my energetic husky pup’s sleep and activity levels. The long battery life is so convenient. I originally worried it may be too heavy for her since she’s small, but she doesn’t even notice wearing it. We use the health data reports to improve her daily exercise routine.”
Critical FitBark 2 Reviews
“While it provides basic activity metrics, I wish the FitBark provided more customizable options for goal setting. My dog gets overwhelmed easily so I can’t push him too hard, but the device doesn’t account for this very well.”
“The band that you attach the FitBark with kept breaking, so I had to buy replacements. Also, the battery life, while long, took forever to charge – like 4 hours when it died!”
Positive Whistle GO Reviews
“Whistle is worth every penny! The GPS tracking gives me peace of mind that I can find my adventurous golden retriever when she wanders. The advanced metrics like licking and sleep patterns also helped me discover she had a food allergy. Highly recommend for health and location tracking.”
“I love getting notifications if my dog escapes our yard and being able to see exactly where he is. Whistle’s cellular connectivity makes the location tracking so reliable. The app is also user-friendly. This gadget has saved me so much time and worry.”
Critical Whistle GO Reviews
“The battery life is abysmal. Sometimes it only lasts 3-4 days, not the 7 days advertised. For the price, I expect the battery and GPS connectivity to work flawlessly but it falls short.”
“My main frustration is the mandatory monthly fees to use the GPS functionality – the main reason I bought this device. It ends up being really expensive long term compared to other pet activity trackers.”
When choosing between FitBark and Whistle, consider your budget, priorities, and your dog’s specific needs.
Owners who want wearable health insights lean towards FitBark, while those wanting location tracking favor Whistle. But both provide useful activity monitoring overall.
FitBark vs Whistle: Which Is Better For Your Dog?
So which is better – the FitBark 2 or the Whistle GO?
For real-time GPS location tracking: Whistle GO is the clear winner. It gives you location data anywhere with cellular service. But the monthly fees add up over time.
For multi-day battery life on a budget: FitBark 2 shines with its 6 month battery and lower one-time cost. But no location tracking.
For adventurous escape artist dogs: Whistle GO’s safe zones and GPS tracking allows you to keep tabs on wanderers. FitBark cannot track a dog’s location if they escape or get lost.
For high-intensity outdoor dogs: Whistle GO provides more actionable insights like intensity levels that can improve training and avoid over-exercising.
For anxious or reactive dogs: FitBark 2 better monitors stress levels and sleep quality impacted by anxiety. But lack of GPS limits finding a dog if lost.
For puppies and small breeds: FitBark 2’s tiny size won’t weigh them down or irritate them. Whistle GO may be bulky.
If simplicty is a priority: FitBark 2 is extremely easy to use with the set-it-and-forget-it convenience. Whistle requires more active monitoring and management.
At the end of the day, identifying whether GPS tracking or multi-day battery life is more important for your circumstances is the key factor in choosing between FitBark vs Whistle.
Both allow you to monitor your pup’s activity habits and receive alerts for any changes or irregularities indicative of health or behavior issues. They provide actionable insights to improve your dog’s exercise, training, and care.
If you think the Whistle GO sounds ideal for your needs, be sure to also check out this Fi vs Whistle comparison to finalize your decision.
So choose the FitBark 2 or Whistle GO activity tracker based on your budget, lifestyle, and priorities for your beloved pup! Have more questions? Let me know, happy to help explain anything in more detail.