Can your canine training center and a doggie fitness tracker help keep your dog active? Campaigns to get people up off the couch and moving have spawned a number of devices that track movement like the Fitbit, Jawbones, Fuelband, and Vivofit. The idea being that you wear the device 24 hours a day, and it tracks your activity, presumably motivating you to move even more. Some of these devices can be programmed to sound alarms if the wearer does not move for 30 minutes straight. Others send motion tracking information to internet sites where you can see how you compare to others.
Motivate Your Pet to be Healthy
In general, these devices do seem to be successful in motivating people to move more. They make exercising easy and fun, and provide obvious signs of improvement. The social aspect of the devices that download information to websites provides peer pressure to move more.
In addition, while you are trying to walk and work in the office, your dog is probably passed out on the couch all day. The lack of fitness that has been so detrimental to the human population of today has had, if possible, an even more deleterious impact on the dog population. Many dogs are overweight, most are unfit, and an alarming number of dogs lose their homes due to lack of exercise. Yes, that is right- underexercised people just get fat and unhealthy, but underexercised pooches also tend to develop unpleasant behavioral problems. Barking, digging, eating the couch, escaping from the yard, running off the second the door opens, knocking people down- these are all caused by lack of exercise. A significant percentage of dogs turned over to rescues and shelters are there because of these kinds of behavioral problems.
Fitbit’s for Dogs Fill the Gap
Enter: fitness trackers for dogs. Two different companies have started offering devices that track your dog’s daily movements. The Whistle Smart collar is the most recent one to enter the market, and the Tagg has been around for a few months. Both devices are touted as a way for owners to monitor their dog’s movements while the owners are away. The advertising both companies put out suggest that dog owners can track their dog’s self-exercise levels in the backyard.
In fact, dog owners who buy these devices are probably just going to learn what experienced dog people, and veterinarians have known for years: dogs do not self-exercise. Even if you leave Fluffy out in your huge yard all day while you are at work, odds are Fluffy will just nap until you return. These fitness tracking devices may be very motivational to dog owners who are finally hit with concrete evidence that there is a real reason Fluffy is acting out and putting on the pounds. Fluffy needs to move during the day, too, just like the dog owner.
Unlike the dog owner, though, Fluffy cannot log into the website and see that she has walked 25 steps today. For this reason, should she start trotting to meet her fitness goals? So what is the busy dog owner to do? Well, probably the best option is regular dog walking. You can use your dog fitness device to help track how much exercise your dog gets in order to make decisions about how much to feed and exercise your dog.
A Good Canine Training Center Promotes Health
Getting more exercise should certainly help keep your dog at a healthy weight. Next time your vet questions your dog’s weight, you can download the dog’s actual exercise charts and have a more productive discussion about Fluffy’s diet, maybe your dog does have a thyroid condition.
Another benefit of a canine training center is that the dog automatically becomes better behaved. A tired dog is a good dog. When you come home tired from a full day at work, instead of having to deal with a hyperactive dog all evening, you can both enjoy a relaxing evening together.