FitBark 2 is like a FitBit for dogs, which is as hilarious as it is awesome. I love the idea of a fitness and health tracker for your dog. I looked into several of the dog trackers available and chose to try the FitBark 2 because it was fitness focused, looked lightweight, and didn’t have an additional monthly fee. They retail for $69.95, come with a 1 year warranty, and returnable within 30 days. I bought three for Torch, Volt, and Sora. They are the most active of my crew, so I thought it would be fun to try. I was hoping this little device would give me an idea on how much activity each of my dogs are doing.
Setting Up Fit Bark 2
It was a bit of an annoying process to set up. Charge it for 90 minutes (although mine only took 45). Unplug and re-plug it into the charger. For the first 30 seconds, a light will flash on and off. This is apparently the only time which your phone app can pair with the device. I’m fairly decent at setting up these types of things typically, but their website FAQ were of no help to these issues. (And I imagine I’m not the only one to encounter these same issues…) I ended up having to contact customer service to get the first two devices set up. They were quick to respond, gave clear instructions, and overall very helpful. However, I felt like most of this could’ve been solved by having a somewhat informative FAQ page. Of course, after getting the first two the devices connected, the first one had stopped syncing. Customer service helped me to get it working again. Kudos to their customer service team!
Attaching FitBark 2 to a Collar
It has two zip ties which loop through the device, around the collar, and back through the device. Then a plastic cover goes over it all to make it look nice and keep the zip ties protected. I’m not crazy about FitBark 2 attaches to the collar. I am a collar hoarder and I like to change my dogs’ collars a lot. This device is not very conducive to that, sadly.
The first time I put it on, I tried cutting the zip tie a bit short, because I wanted to make it easier to change it from collar to collar. Volt had it on for about 6 hours before I found it laying on the ground. I don’t know if he tried to take it off or if it fell off, but my plan to make it easier to change collars was thwarted. I just opted to just let them wear the same collars and use the zip ties like they are supposed to be used… If you put it on as intended, it will not fall off. So I can’t comment negatively from that perspective.
The device is really lightweight and looks nice on a collar. The cover is nice and seems to be durable, even with how much Sora and Volt play rough together. The cover is quite challenging to get off, which is good because it’s not going to come off. But if you do need to take it off, set aside about 15-20 minutes. I wish that was an exaggeration, but it’s not.
Activity Recording Accuracy: First Impression
The first few hours seemed to be very inaccurate when recording activity. I find it hard to believe that Sora could go .1 mile while asleep in her kennel. The calorie count seemed high as well, probably because the mileage is off. Since there is no GPS capability, I assume it’s some sort of motion sensor that translates to the distance. I wish there was more information given by the company about how the dogs’ activity and rest are tracked. The tracking for the amount of time that my dogs are playing, active, and resting, while not perfect, seems to be mostly accurate.
Activity Recording Accuracy: Testing Fit Bark 2 on a Hike
We went on a beautiful coastal hike (which you can see here) and I recorded it with my Apple watch to compare with the FitBark 2. My Apple watch workout app tends to be pretty darn accurate. Here’s the comparison of Sora’s FitBark 2 recording to my Apple watch’s workout recording:
The screenshots are of Sora’s FitBark 2 app just before our hike started, the Apple watch recording, and Sora’s FitBark 2 app after the hike. It turns out that my initial belief was correct… Our hike was 4.81 miles, but the FitBark only recorded 3.58 miles for Sora. It was over a mile off, which is disappointing. I didn’t expect perfect accuracy, but I was hoping for it to be a bit closer… It almost seems like she goes further while she sleeps than when she actually is active!
I tried to test it again a couple weeks later, just to make sure. The first two screenshots are Sora and Volt’s FitBark 2s before our hike, next one is the actual hike data, and then the results for Sora and Volt after the hike. Our hike was 4.82 miles. (We’ve ran this trail hundreds of times, so I’m certain that’s accurate.) Sora’s recorded 1.64 miles and Volt’s recorded 1.93 miles. So almost 3 miles off on Volt’s and over 3 miles off on Sora. That’s not even remotely close. It’s not just bad, it’s really bad. I can also tell you that Volt didn’t go over a quarter mile more than Sora. They were both on leash together for the whole hike. So this tells me it’s even more inaccurate than I originally thought…
Each dog has its own journal, which look like little posts. This is helpful for tracking milestones, goals, health problem flare-ups, seizures, etc. These journal posts can be shared with your dog’s friends and veterinarian too.
One of the coolest features is that I can compare my activity to my dogs’ activity. As we learned, it’s not accurate at all, but Sora is still way ahead of me anyway. Imagine if it actually recorded all of her activity! Maybe it’s just trying to make me feel better that I haven’t been doing much this week.
The Top Dog Board is fun too, especially for comparing activity of multiple dogs. You can even add your friends’ dogs and keep track of who is the most active.
The battery stays charged for months, which is excellent. I really want to love this product, however, I’m really disappointed that the main feature – activity recording – is completely off. The features are cool, but there isn’t much merit to them without a somewhat accurate activity recorder. FitBark 2 is not what I had hoped for, but this idea has great potential. I hope they continue to improve this product. I would consider buying a FitBark 3 if activity recording accuracy were improved.
Product Link: https://www.fitbark.com/store/fitbark2/
Company Website: https://www.fitbark.com
Company Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fitbark/
Company Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FitBark/
Disclaimer: This product was purchased by myself and was not sponsored in any way at the time of writing this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts Kirby!
a) You may calibrate miles in the app (not our primary metric) based on your dog
b) The cover can be more easily removed from the short side (we’ll do a better job at explaining this, thank you)
c) 75+ vet schools and research institutions, including the Mayo Clinic and the University of Cambridge, rely on our primary metric (activity counts = BarkPoints) to conduct clinical studies and validate new products related to mobility, anxiety or skin conditions
d) Disc dog is FUN!!!
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Thank you for all the info! Looking forward to future products from your company.