Over the last few years, the demand for wearable fitness trackers has exploded. The $3.5 million dollar market has helped people stay active, fit and accountable since 2009 when the original Fitbit was introduced. But could the same type of health-conscious accessory keep our four-legged friends in better shape, too? According to estimates, 40 to 50 percent of dogs are overweight and 25 percent are obese.
Dog parents with more sedentary lifestyles can find it difficult to make sure their pets are getting enough exercise for their natural energy and health needs. An array of pet fitness and activity trackers are gaining notability for pet owners looking for a way to keep their pups in shape and healthy.
One new wearable device called Wonderwoof claims it can help owners keep tabs on their dogs health by using their bow tie-shaped tracker.
“The Wonderwoof was born out of necessity,” company founder Betsy Fore told FoxNews.com. “Our pets need our devoted attention even as our lives get busier and busier. I was inspired by my own furbaby, Whisky, to create a product that would complement our deep emotional connection with a functional tool to monitor his health and safety.”
The wearable bow tie attaches to the pooch's collar and tracks their walks and movements. The Wonderwoof uses Bluetooth technology to send owners their pets’ daily activity through the corresponding app.
On the app, pups can win digital bones for each new walk they go on. Each bone earned represents 10 percent of their daily recommended activity based on their size, breed and age. Users can also set reminders for medications, grooming, food and playtime needs.
“Tracking activity levels might be great for people who train their dogs for performance, as it gives them an easy way to track times, distances, and energy expended,” veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan told FoxNews.com. “[But] for the average house pet I think we'd see a lot of sleeping. The correct amount of exercise varies with breed and job. My house pets [small spaniels] get an hour or so a day running around the yard and interacting outside.”
Socializing dogs can be important for owners who want to teach them to feel more comfortable around other dogs and people. The Wonderwoof app has a feature similar to the iPhone’s Find My Friends app, where owners can see other dogs in their area and schedule puppy playdates with them.
“I think it would be awesome if you could find the same breed or similar dogs in your area to meet up with at the time you were looking to socialize them. It’s also nice to learn new areas to explore with your pet,” lifelong dog owner Kerry Borawski, who lives in Connecticut, told FoxNews.com.
For dogs that like to wander and explore, the device’s GPS location technology can even alert owners when Fido goes out of range via the app.
The Wonderwoof app is free to download, but each bow tie tracker costs $99 dollars.
Visit Wonderwoof.com for more.