In May, Fujitsu, a company in Japan released a pedometer for dogs. This isn’t a new concept. The pedometer is on the dog’s collar and transmits pace and mileage to the owner’s smartphone which then can be uploaded to a website. Sound familiar? Sound like the Nike+ iPod app that many of us used with the sensor that attached to our sneakers? Yes, same idea. What makes this pedometer stand out is that it is designed for the dogs. It monitors and records the number of steps they take, as well as signs of shivering and external temperature information, the device enables owners to stay informed about the dog’s regular activity levels, making it easy to detect any changes in their pet’s health.
The downfall: It’s only available in Japan.
So what about us dog lovers in US?
What can we use that may have the same techy, geeky, feel?
While there isn’t a gadget that attaches to our dog’s collar and logs miles to a website or server just yet, there are apps that use our smartphones and the GPS technology to log walks we take with our pups. At the moment, we may not know how much they paced while we were at work or how many miles they logged zooming around while they were at the dog park, we can log our walks with our buddies.
A simple search in the app stores for Android and iPhones brings up several results that track the miles, map it, and allow users to share information to social networks. While they all may seem to do the same thing, how they do it, the design, and usability made two stand out the most to me.
For the iPhone, MapMyDOGWALK is from the makers of iMapMyFITNESS and offers a convenient way of logging dog walks while automatically tracking how many calories are being burned at the time. It’s easy to set up with Twitter and if you want to, your music can play while you’re walking. The map function keeps track of the route taken and syncs it to the MapMyWalk.com website. It also lets users know about any upcoming dog events in the local area that might be worth checking out. MapMyDOGWALK is free to download.
For Android, The Purina Petometer, a free app (also available for iPhone) lets owners upload photos and profile data for up to six dogs and share details and locations of those walks with their Facebook friends. A barking-dog alarm signals when the pre-set duration of the walk is over. The app also lets pet owners set alerts for the next walk time, access pet exercise routines as created by Purina’s animal care experts, and build a calendar of walks, veterinary visits, grooming appointments and other canine commitments. Users can share their walks on Facebook and Twitter to show off just how fit and trim their dog is becoming!
Images from Engadget, Apple, and Google Play