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Hey, Dogs Need Wearable Health Trackers Too (Seriously)

With the help of these new start-ups, dog owners might have a clearer understanding of his or her dog's health.

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Heads up: the wearable device market is continuing to expand-- now to include dogs. In the last month, at least two of doggy tracker-makers have garnered some attention. 
 

 

First up: FitBark, a wearable device made specifically for dogs, just launched a Kickstarter campaign this week. Similar to the devices on the market for humans, FitBark will track activity levels and monitor health data it picks up. 

According to the company's Kickstarter page, FitBark is a small, bone shaped device that attaches to a dog's collar. Weighing less than 10 grams, the start-up refers to FitBark as "the FitBit for dogs" and stresses FitBark's "focus on tiny technology and a simple user experience," in a video posted on FitBark's Kickstarter page. 

FitBark tracks the dog's activity 24/7 and sends the information it collects to FitBark servers whenever the wearable device is within range of an authorized smart phone or a FitBark base station. Once this occurs, the dog's data is analyzed and sent back to the owner's phone. Owners can then compare his or her dog's actual activities levels to the dog's daily fitness goals. 

The company has plans to ship the device by this fall. Pricing on the device ranges from $59 to $199 depending on whether a customer also orders a FitBark base station and if they purchase FitBarks during the Kickstarter campaign. FitBark has 32 days remaining in it's Kickstarter campaign and with 117 backers, has raised $18,048 of its $35,000 goal. 

But FitBark isn't the only wearable doggy device on the market. Whistle, which recently launched, provides dog owners with real time, 24/7 activity tracking and analysis which it sends to an owner's phone. Different in appearance (Whistle is a simple silver disc that attaches to the dog's collar), Whistle can be pre-ordered for $99.95 on the company's website.

Whistle--which has raised $6 million in Series A funding thus far-- seems to have a slightly different focus, however. Whistle's goal goes beyond a dog's fitness but rather tracks behavioral patterns to determine if a dog is behaving out of the ordinary to hopefully catch any health issues early. 

IMAGE: PKMousie/Flickr
Last updated: Jul 25, 2013

ABIGAIL TRACY is a staff reporter for Inc. magazine. Previously, she worked for Seattle Metropolitan magazine and Chicago magazine.
@abigailtracy




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