*2018* Happy New Years! *2018*
As we usher in the new year, setting new years resolutions and goals is a common practice. Whether it be eating healthier, sleeping more, or working more/less, best of luck to you! Fitness goals are commonly set; maybe it's walking once a week, or going to the gym once a day. Activity trackers are an increasingly popular gadget used to monitor daily step counts, calories burned, sleep quality, and other activities. These gadgets can provide a wealth of information (although the motivation to use them and increase your activity still has to come from you).
Activity trackers are not just limited to people, and their popularity is growing for pets as well. Some of the available products include FitBark, PetPace, and VetTrax. These are small devices that can be attached to your pets collar to track their activity, sleep habits and more. The question is, what use are these products, and should you spend the money on them?
Various reasons exist for tracking your activity - just for fun, for interests sake, and to track training progress. Medically speaking, for both people and animals, these devices are not proven to be completely accurate. However the data they collect and record can provide some insight which can sometimes be correlated to a pets health. This can be useful in some cases where we are not able to monitor them for large portions of the day like when we're at work.
For example, if you see a drop in your pets daily activity but are not changing any of your habits or routines, this may indicate or underlying injury or disease causing pain or lethargy. This may include anything from normal aging, arthritis, cruciate ligament injuries, or other systemic diseases that may cause lethargy and discomfort. If you have a dog with allergies and pruritis that is scratching throughout the night, sleep monitoring can provide some insight in to how much response to treatment there is.
At the end of the day, these devices are not diagnostic tools, but can offer some insights into how an animal is feeling. If you enjoy tracking and recording things, they can be a fun way to monitor your pets activity, and set goals for your pet and yourself.