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[UPDATED August 2021]
Welcome to my FitBark GPS review. If you’re familiar with the FitBark dog activity monitor, then you know just how valuable it is in tracking your dog’s health and activity. Well, your favourite dog activity monitor has received an upgrade! The FitBark GPS has been launched in 2019 for the U.S. market.
This is great news for those of you living in the U.S., now you will be able to track your dog’s health and location. Since its launch at the end of 2019, sales of the FitBark GPS have skyrocketed.
The FitBark GPS is the world’s smallest and lightest dog GPS tracker. In this in-depth review, we’ll look at all of the FitBark GPS features, how it works, its design as well as its pros and cons.
What Does The FitBark GPS Do?
Here is an overview of the FitBark GPS’s features and what it does:
- Wi-Fi Safe Zone Alerts: You will be able to create multiple safe zones for your dog around familiar Wi-Fi networks, for example, your home, friend’s house, relatives, or daycare. When your dog enters or leaves the safe areas you will get alerted on your mobile phone.
- Pinpoint GPS Location In Minutes: In case of emergencies, you will be able to track your dog anywhere in the U.S. via the embedded cellular service. You will receive 1-minute location updates until you are reunited with your dog. FitBark GPS uses Verizon’s 4G LTE network to send real-time location updates to FitBark’s server and the FitBark app. A subscription plan is needed and is separate from the service plan for your phone.
- Monitor Your Dog’s Sleep And Activity 24/7: Track your dog’s quality of sleep, activity level, calories burned, distance travelled, and overall health and behaviour. You can set fitness goals with other dogs of the same breed, age, or weight.
- Monitor Mobility And Pain: You can invite your vet or dog trainer to monitor any changes in your dog’s mobility, osteoarthritis, or orthopedic rehabilitation. By following the FitBark Health Index you will be able to catch any early signs of discomfort or disease.
- Monitor Stress And Anxiety: Keep an eye on how your dog is doing while you are away, or while he is in the care of others. By looking at the Hourly View after you leave home, you will be able to discover if your dog is anxious while you are gone. FitBark is a great way to monitor your dog’s separation anxiety to see if it has improved or worsened.
- Monitor Itchiness And Skin Diseases: The FitBark nightly Sleep Score will help you track any skin conditions in your dog that develop over time such as, dermatitis, hot spots, or flea allergies. Your dog could be up all night scratching and licking and a low sleep score will be an indicator of that.
- Link To Your Human Fitness Tracker: Be active and stay healthy right alongside your dog. If, you own a fitness tracker like the Fitbit, Apple Watch, HealthKit, or Google Fit device you can link it to the FitBark.
- FitBark Watchface: The FitBark Watchface is available for Fitbit Versa 2, Versa and Ionic. Once you install the app, you can glance at your Fitbit and get updated on your health, your dog’s health and his location.
FitBark GPS Design
The FitBark GPS is favoured not only for its health and activity tracking but also for its design. Unlike other dog GPS trackers that are heavy and bulky, FitBark GPS is the smallest and lightest of its kind. Let’s take a closer look:
The FitBark GPS is shaped like a tiny bone that fits dogs of all sizes from a tiny Chihuahua to a large Leonberger. This tiny bone-shaped device is durable, lightweight and waterproof.
It is made of high-impact polycarbonate which makes it very durable and rugged. That being said it is not 100% bite-proof and should not be chewed on by your dog.
The FitBark GPS weighs only 17 grams, it is very lightweight. It is designed to be flat and non-bulky so that it doesn’t stick out past your dog’s collar. Speaking of collars, it fits collars up to 1.5″ (38mm) wide.
If your dog likes to play or swim in the water, no problem! The FitBark GPS is waterproof and can be submerged up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. Just be sure to allow the unit to fully dry by removing the softcover after it has been in the water.
The battery life is usually 2-3 weeks. Most pups recharge after 10-20 days. It takes 120 minutes to fully charge a dead battery.
Factors That Directly Affect Battery Life:
- Bluetooth Proximity: FitBark GPS will use less power if connected to an owner’s mobile device. The more authorized owners nearby, the better. If fewer owners are nearby, day or night, the more power it will use to reconnect or scan for your WiFi Safe Places.
- Wi-Fi Signal: The Wi-Fi signal strength could affect the battery life. If you are in a congested Wi-Fi area, it could be harder for the FitBark GPS to locate your Safe Place Wi-Fi network. The harder it is to locate your network, the more battery power is drained.
- Cell Signal: A weak cell signal impacts the battery life. This will happen only when the FitBark GPS is not in a Wi-Fi Safe Place, or when it is not connected to an owner’s device.
- GPS Signal: If the device gets lost (solo mode), it will try to understand its location by acquiring a GPS location. This will use more power, affecting the battery life.
Different Scenarios and Battery Life:
- If your dog is always with you and within Bluetooth range of your phone, you can get 30 plus days of battery life. Providing you have the FitBark mobile app running in the background at all times with Bluetooth on.
- If your dog is typically in a Safe Place such as your home with good Wi-Fi signal, and you do a couple of 30 minute walks daily without any Bluetooth connectivity, then you can expect to get 20 days of battery life.
- If your dog enjoys daily alone time and is typically in a Safe Place with good Wi-Fi signal you can get 10 days of battery life. This is if your dog likes to spend a few hours a day outside without any Bluetooth connectivity and without the FitBark mobile app running in the background.
- If your dog is lost and is outside of a Wi-Fi Safe Place with no Bluetooth connectivity and no FitBark mobile app running in the background, the battery life will be 4 days.
How To Set Up The FitBark GPS
If you are a new user you can easily set up your new FitBark GPS device by following these steps:
1. Create Your User Profile
After you have downloaded the FitBark App from either the IOS App Store or the Google Play Store, you need to open the app and create your account. This is your personal profile, your dog’s profile will be created later.
2. Pair The FitBark GPS To Your Phone
Make sure Bluetooth is on in your IOS or Android device, and select “set-up device”. Plug the FitBark GPS device into the charger only when prompted by the app. The LED will start blinking rapidly to show it is in pairing mode. After 10-20 seconds the “next” button appears and once the FitBark App connects to the FitBark GPS, the screen will display the text “woof”.
3. Create Your Dog’s Profile
You’ll be able to fill in all of your pup’s personal information such as, name, age, breed, weight, medical conditions, location, as well as what lifestyle you want for your pup. Choose from Average, Active, or Olympian lifestyles.
4. Attach The FitBark GPS To Your Dog’s Collar
The device can be attached to your dog’s collar (up to 1.5″ wide) by using 2 zip ties that are included. The following video shows you how to attach it:
5. Firmware Update
You may be prompted to update the device’s firmware. Just follow the on-screen instructions. Depending on how extensive the update is, it could take a couple of minutes to 1 hour.
6. Create Your First Wi-Fi Safe Place
The Safe Place feature provides you with entry and exit notifications and allows the device to save significantly on power. It is recommended to set up your home as your first Safe Place so that your pup’s health data syncs regularly. You will be able to add more Wi-Fi Safe Places later on from the app settings, which will allow you to achieve a longer battery life.
7. Choose A Subscription Plan
The FitBark GPS requires an active subscription plan. All new subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee from the time of activation. You can choose from a monthly plan with no long-term commitments, a 1-year plan, or a 2-year plan.
What Is Included In The Box?
- FitBark GPS Dog Health Monitor
- 2 Black Covers: Different case colours are sold separately.
- 10 Zip Ties: You will need 2 zip ties to attach the device to your dog’s collar. If you decide to change dog collars you will need to use 2 new zip ties. Additional zip ties can be purchased separately.
- Charging Cable
- Quick Start Guide
How Much Does It Cost?
The FitBark GPS is priced at $99.95 US Dollars.
If you purchase from fitbark.com you receive:
- Free Shipping
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee: You can try FitBark for one month and if you don’t love it you get your money back, and FitBark will even pay for the return shipping (U.S. residents only).
- 1-Year Limited Warranty.
- Support Chat is available 24/7.
Pros And Cons Of The FitBark GPS
- Fantastic design. It is the world’s smallest and lightest dog GPS tracker.
- Fits all dogs, from 5 pounds to 240 pounds.
- Customer service is great, live chat support is available 24/7 and they respond quickly.
- It is easy to set up and the app is easy to use.
- Durable and waterproof.
- Tracks your dog’s location anywhere in the U.S., and gives you peace of mind.
- It works even if you travel outside of the U.S., as long as your dog is in the U.S.
- Has a long battery life, 2-3 weeks.
- Uses Verizons cell network. You do not need a Verizon account.
- GPS location is great and accurate.
- Only available in the U.S. at this time.
- You must purchase a subscription plan. The good news is that you can change or cancel your subscription at any time.
- Battery life is 2-3 weeks on average, which is still good but if you are used to the FitBark 2 you are used to it lasting up to 6 months.
- Cannot be used on a harness, you must attach it to a collar that is no wider than 1.5″ (38mm).
How Does The FitBark GPS Differ From The FitBark 2?
The obvious difference is that the FitBark GPS offers location tracking of your dog. The embedded cellular connection (powered by Verizon) allows it to be traceable anywhere that it has a cellular signal in the U.S.
With the FitBark GPS, you will receive alerts every time your dog enters or exits a Wi-Fi Safe Place, and it syncs your dog’s health data typically every hour via Wi-Fi without the need of a smartphone nearby, unlike the FitBark 2.
FitBark GPS is slightly bigger, weighing 17 grams vs 10 grams for the FitBark 2.
The battery life of the FitBark GPS is 2-3 weeks compared to 6 months for FitBark 2.
The FitBark GPS requires a subscription plan vs no additional fees for the FitBark 2.
If you are upgrading from the FitBark 2 to the GPS you can keep your existing profile and all of your dog’s historical data.
The launch of the FitBark GPS to the U.S. market is great news for all the dog parents who have been waiting patiently for its release. Hopefully, in the near future, it will be available to other countries. However, for now, if you do not live in the U.S. you can still monitor your dog’s health and activity with FitBark 2.
FitBark takes great pride in its design, battery life, easy integration with human fitness trackers, and its platform which is used and trusted by over 100 vets and research institutions.
As dog owners, it is impossible for us to monitor our dog’s health and behaviour 24/7 because we lead busy lives, and we can’t monitor our dog while we sleep. But, with the help of FitBark we can!
Dogs can’t tell us in words when something is wrong, but they do have ways of communicating with us. Restless sleep and lethargy are 2 of the most common signs that something is not right with your dog. With the help of FitBark, you will be able to track how active your dog is during the day and his quality of sleep.
FitBark is great for all dog owners who want to improve their dog’s health and monitor their activity level. FitBark has many uses and is able to provide you with many answers.
The FitBark GPS is a great device that gives you peace of mind knowing that you will be able to track your dog’s location if heaven forbid he gets lost. Even if your dog is microchipped, having a GPS tracker is extra security.
What About You?
Have you tried the FitBark GPS for your dog? Do you currently use a FitBark?
Please share your thoughts and comments below, and if you have any questions please ask! I would love to hear from you.
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