My border collie, Danny, charges hard. So hard that he tears cracks in his paw pads. I own two horses, and every morning and evening during chores, Danny sprints laps around the barn with decided ferocity. I’ll hear gravel bouncing off the walls as he cranks around the corners with the kind of intensity that can be unsettling to folks who’ve never witnessed a border collie at full throttle.
But I never knew just how hard Danny got after it until recently. In the past few years, a handful of trackers designed specifically for dogs have hit the gadget market. While all of them record activity levels, some (like FitBark) are essentially Fitbit for canines, while others (like PetPace and Voyce) are about helping you or your vet get a better understanding of your dog’s health. With Danny, I discovered that he has a maximum heart rate of 158 and runs more than a mile each time we do chores—enough to make him more active than 98 percent of all dogs using FitBark. Here’s what you can learn from each device.
In addition to logging activity, the Whistle alerts you when your dog leaves an established zone and tracks his location as long as he’s in cell range. $80, plus monthly plan from $7
The PetPace collar tracks biometrics like respiration, pulse, temperature, and calories burned. The app is a little buggy, but the reports can help identify problems early. $150, plus $15 monthly plan
The FitBark clips to any collar and weighs less than the other devices here. Dogs go head-to-head on BarkPoints, a murky metric similar to steps, in FitBark’s active social-media community. $70
Voyce Health Monitor
Tracks your dog’s vitals and records distance—the only one here to do so. Bummer: there’s no app, so you have to view the data on Voyce’s website. $199, plus $9.50 monthly plan