News

Seen At 11: Tracking Your Dog’s Activity And Fitness

TRI-STATE NEWS HEADLINES

From our newsroom to your inbox weekday mornings at 9AM.
Sign Up

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Tracking human health through fitness devices is all the rage – how much we eat, how long we sleep.

And as CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported Friday evening, some new devices gives us insight into our pets too, as it tracks our dogs.

Patrick Clemens is a devoted guardian and skateboard buddy to a bulldog named Beefy. But as close as they are, Clemens wanted to know more about what Beefy was up to when his owners weren’t around.

“If he was sleeping all day, or if he was running around the apartment while I was at work,” Clemens said.

To find out, he attached this device called Fitbark to Beefy’s collar. It keeps a complete, minute-by-minute record of a dog’s activity.

“He would have times of where was very active in the apartment when I wasn’t there and unbeknownst to me, and I found that really fascinating,” he said.

Fitbark developer Michael Chiang explained how the device works.

“Any owner can view to look through and see how their dog is doing at any moment of the day,” he said.

It all works through your smartphone, where every movement of the dog is recorded. Chiang and colleague Davide Rossi are the developers.

“Using technology to fill that communication gap between us and our pets” is the purpose, Rossi said.

Similar to devices that track human health, Fitbark works using basic information like a dog’s breed, age and weight.

“It’s a time breakdown of different types of activity that your dog is doing,” Rossi said.

Fitbark contains basic information for specific breeds to which you can compare your own dogs behavior patterns. The device can tell if your dog is sleeping or only resting, playing or just walking around.

The app can provide a breakdown in great detail by the hour, as well as weekly stats.

Another device called Whistle provides similar information for owners. The goal for both is to provide owners, veterinarians and others in the pet industry a more detailed picture of the unseen hours of a dog’s life.

“We want the best for our dogs, as we want for ourselves,” said Amanda Bowen of the American Humane Society.

Bowen said the additional pet data can be vital.

“What we’re doing here is quantifying our dogs,” Chiang said. “We call it quantified woof.”

The devices cost about $100. And for now, they are only available for dogs.

Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com: