- Compact and comfortable design
- Easy to use
- No subscription charges to worry about
- More could be done with the app
- Have to manually sync data
- Review Price: £39.99
- 3-axis accelerometer
- Android and iOS app
- One-year battery life
- Attaches to any collar
What is the PitPat?
You can think of the PitPat as a fitness tracker for your pooch. After all, pet obesity is just as big a problem as it is for humans.
As such, you can expect the collar-worn tracker to keep tabs on their activity throughout the day, as well as the amount of time they spend recharging from all of their adventures. Just like your average Fitbit, there are activity goals for your canine friend, helping to ensure they stay active and healthy.
Coming in at the more budget-friendly end of the pet tech spectrum, the PitPat doesn’t include GPS, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for that added level of insight – or the safety net of knowing where your dog might have wandered off to. Otherwise, the PitPat is a fun and engaging way to keep tabs on your canine companion’s fitness and activity.
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PitPat – Design and setup
The PitPat is smaller than a matchbox and is designed to clip around your dog’s existing collar using a Velcro-like fastening. This means it can be easily taken off when needed. It’s only rated to IP67, meaning it can be submerged into 1m of water for short periods, so you’ll want to take it off for anything more extreme.
The black plastic casing curves inwards around the edges, which helps in terms of overall comfort – especially since it’s likely to end up around the front of your dog’s neck. It means the PitPat won’t get in the way as much if your dog wants to lie down.
Dead centre is an orange button with a paw engraved into its centre. You’ll need to press this to manually sync the sensor’s data to your phone.
The initial setup is done through the PitPat app for iOS or Android, and entails setting up a profile for your dog. This includes the all-important metrics of age and weight, as well as selecting your dog’s breed. It’s using the particular breed that PitPat says it calculates the required activity levels. There are 200 dog breeds listed.
Once the app and sensor are paired, simply attach it to your dog’s collar and then you can pretty much forget about it. The battery is meant to last over a year and is user replaceable with a CR1632 coin-cell battery.
PitPat – Activity tracking and app
The PitPat uses a three-axis accelerometer, much like many fitness tracker’s for humans. Using the movement data captured from the sensor, it interprets it as either walking, running, playing or resting, and provides a measurement in time. And no – you don’t get steps counted, which I imagine is pretty difficult with that many legs, and not quite as important for your dog unless he or she is a data nerd.
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As mentioned, to sync the sensor’s data you’ll need to physically press the button on the device while the app is open. Data isn’t synced in the background, which is a minor inconvenience. Fortunately, the sensor can store a week’s worth of activity before it begins to overwrite older data.
Once synced, the main tab displays a completed circle to show your dog’s progress towards their activeness goal for the day, which is a combination of walking and playing. Below that is a graph displaying their movement throughout the day, so you can see what they’ve been up to even if you’re not around. You can drag a slider across the graph to see how your dog accumulates their activity throughout the day as well.
The third tab shows historical data, so you can see the day your dog is most active or if they’re being consistently exercised. You can then dive into each day to see the usual breakdown, too. There’s even goal streaks you can maintain in case you both need the added motivation.
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The breakdown of activity correlated with what I’d have expected, and included plenty of rest by our more elderly test subject.
While this is all helpful, I feel like there’s unfulfilled potential here. Notification reminders to walk your dog at certain times, or an alert that they’ve been inactive for too long could be useful for some owners, for instance. Perhaps an hourly move alert – as seen on most human fitness trackers – might be a step too far, but there’s still a lot of reliance on making the data useful manually.
Should I buy the PitPat?
If you’re after a basic activity tracker for your dog, the PitPat should cover your needs. If you just want to make sure they’re getting enough exercise and rest, without any of the fancy bells and whistles of GPS tracking or food monitoring, it does the job without costing too much. Many GPS-enabled pet trackers also require a subscription; there’s no ongoing cost for the PitPat, and not needing to charge it is also a plus.
There’s definitely potential for the app to do a little more with the data, but even as it is, it’s an engaging way to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise throughout the day – and to see if they might be running amok while you’re out of the house.
Thanks to Argos for the review sample.
A compact and comfortable dog fitness tracker that’s easy to use and reliable.