FitBark Review

FitBark Review: Dog Activity Monitor

FitBark Review Overview: Is This Dog Activity Monitor Worth Purchasing For Your Pet?

A brother and sister started a project on Kickstarter back in 2013 – FitBark. What came of it has been a whirlwind of a ride that has seen their product become a worldwide success. Here at Christina’s Pet Sitting we come in contact with all different types of dogs and dog owners on a daily basis, and there was a question that started popping up with our clients that we didn’t quite have the answer to, “What’s the deal with this FitBark thing?” That being the case, we decided it was high time we wrote up a FitBark review to provide hard answers to those questions.

It goes without saying that maintaining a healthy dog is of the upmost of importance. So we decided to purchase a FitBark of our own for our little guy Jasper, (he’s the coolest little dude ever) and see for ourselves. We knew of the utility and convenience that the fitbit provides for us humans. But could that technology be successfully transferred over to our canine pals? We were about to find out…

View FitBark Website

FitBark Review Part 1: How Did This Product Make It’s Way On To The Scene?

It started the way that a lot of new product ideas start. The two co-founders, Sara and David, were trying to figure out a way to gauge their dog’s activity levels against other dogs. They tried finding products that were already on the market, but couldn’t quite find anything that was targeted specifically for dogs. At that point their inner entrepreneur took over. They saw an opportunity. A gap in the market that they could fill with a new product.

Enter FitBark.The technology is not new, as we previously discussed it is a very similar concept and technology to the fitbit. What is new is the segment in which they have introduced the product. The pet health segment. People are heavily invested in their pets, and keeping them healthy is a top priority for pet owners. Even more so these days with the increased attention on food choice and proper amounts of exercise. Until the FitBark, however, it was almost impossible for pet owners to gather specific data on their pet’s daily activity levels.

That is when the brother-sister team decided they would take the next steps. They performed some initial research and decided it made sense to create a crowd funding campaign on the well-known crowd funding site Kickstarter. From there they made the right connections with product development resources and brought on a marketing team that could get their product in front of the right audience. An audience that was bereft of any other product of its kind.

Since its launch the company has shifted its headquarters from Italy to the US. They are now based out of Kansas City due to the rich resources and buzzing startup community available there. Their product is produced and manufactured in New Hampshire, and they hope to continue keeping it inside the US for as long as they can.

 

FitBark Review Part 2: What Types Of Features Does It Provide?

Next our FitBark review will go over some of the important features that the product provides. We wanted to give you as good of an idea of what this thing actually does before we get into the pros and cons section. The device itself is relatively small and shaped like a dog-bone. It connects with a large repository of comparative data to assess your dog’s vital and physical stats. This is to allow you to easily reference your dogs health markers against those of a dog with similar characteristics. This allows you to quickly and easily know if your dog needs to examined further by a veterinary professional.The FitBark is designed to fit dogs of any sizes.

It is compatible with both iOS and Android. The device’s casing is designed out of a hard synthetic polymer. The software is fully maintained and kept up to date by the team’s technology resources. Battery life lasts up to 14 days, which means there is plenty of playtime flexibility between recharges. You are able to conveniently plug in a standard micro USB cable (provided) without removing the FitBark from the collar. Bluetooth 4.0 enabled, FitBark syncs via BLE (Bluetooth 4.0) whenever it’s next to your smartphone or that of another authorized user.

 

Additional Product Specs

Brand FitBark
Item Weight 0.3 ounces
Product Dimensions 1.6 x 0.4 x 1.1 inches
Shipping Weight 2.4 ounces
Domestic Availability Item is available in the US
Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
Color 5 Colors
Software Syncs with iphone and android
Item Package Quantity 1
Batteries Included? Yes
Batteries Required? No
Usage Type Exercising and Weight Management For Dogs

 

FitBark Review Part 3: Review Summary & Pros vs. Cons

FitBark Review Jasper
Ok so now you have a pretty good understanding of what the product is and what it can do (or at least what it advertises that it can do). A good place to go next is to look at how the product performed when we put it into action.

 

So let’s go ahead and take a look at the pros and cons list that we came up with after taking this baby out for a test drive with the cutest test guinea pig ever – Jasper. Trust us, he’s not that cute when he’s barking his head off at a leaf blowing across the yard!

 

Review Summary

Price: 4 / 5

The FitBark is reasonably priced right around $69.95. However, their main goal was to make a product affordable for a broad-range market. The price point as it currently stands, in our view, does not reach as broad a market as we would hope to see – we want to see as many dogs and pets living healthy as possible. On the other hand, this is a technology product, which means the research and development costs that were sunk into it may prevent the retail price tag from being set any lower.

Design & Convenience: 4.5 / 5

The FitBark is very conveniently designed, small enough to not be a distraction to your dog, but also flexible enough to fit/work with dogs of any size. Because of this design and ease of use it makes set up simple and fast. The software syncs right to your phone via bluetooth 4.0 and we did not encounter any issues getting set up. There is a small window of learning curve as you get up to speed with navigating the user interface and understanding how the features are configured. This is nothing you won’t pick up on within 10 – 15 minutes though. The only reason this isn’t a 5 is because we are user experience sticklers here, and we believe there is always room for improvement 😉

Feature Set / Functionality: 4/5

With an easy to use software system, and simple to use controls, there is not much to not like about the FitBark product. The features provided are pretty comprehensive, easy to use, and give dog owners a great dashboard view of their pet’s most important health markers. One of the coolest features, we thought, was being able to add furry friends to your “Top Dog Board” to create fun challenges. Functionally we did not encounter any real issues. The product was designed and manufactured very well. Features that we would like to see integrated in the future are GPS monitoring and the ability to map activity trails.

Final Score: 4.2

 

Frequently Asked Customer Questions:

Question:
Does it require a monthly service fee? What if i don’t have a strong cellular signal?
Answer:
No monthly service fee. The connection between the sensor and your phone is via Bluetooth so cell signal for documenting activity has no impact. The only concern could be for updating firmware to the sensor or updating the phone app, but that would likely require wifi anyway.

 

Question:
Is it water proof/resistant?
Answer:
Yes, but only if you keep the rubber cap at the back of the unit correctly closed! FitBark’s waterproof specification is IPX7 (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes).

 

Question:
I have two dogs, will the app allow you to easily view both dog’s stats?
Answer:
It will through the “My Dogs” tab! It even allows you to friend or follow other dogs in your life (like those of friends and family) on a separate “followed dogs” tab.

 

Question:
How does it connect to the collar?
Answer:
With a rubber band that clips to it and around the collar. Comes with extra ones too. It’s nice since you can charge it while clipped on the collar.

 

Pros vs. Cons

Pros:

FitBark Consumer Reviews

*Highly rated across the board… All of the major retail outlets report scores of 4.3 or higher

*Lightweight, portable, durable, waterproof

*Intuitive software integrates with a free smartphone app – constantly being updated and improved

*Wide-ranging database gives owners trust in knowing they are getting the most accurate information

*Can even track changes in typical behavior specific to your dog’s normal baselines

 

Cons:

*Still a new product, so the feature set is still evolving (no gps, no activity trail mapping, uncertainty on some level of where they will evolve the feature set into the future, etc.)

*A young company, making it a bit of a risk to purchase not knowing the long-term outlook of the company (however, in our opinion FitBark is not going anywhere anytime soon)

*A few reports of product malfunction or durability issues, although these claims are very much in the minority vs. the majority of positive reviews. The company has also developed a very good track record of accountable and punctual customer service.

 

FitBark Review Part 4: Conclusion

Keep Your Dog Healthy For Better Quality-of-Life

For interested buyers / window-shoppers, you can view the FitBark product page on Amazon by clicking the link below.

View FitBark Website

We hope that this review provided a useful account of this product and gave you the insight you needed to complete your pre-purchase evaluation process. We take pet health seriously here at Christina’s Pet Sitting and would never recommend a product to our clients or readers that we didn’t feel comfortable using for our own pets.

That being the case, keeping pets healthy is a primary concern for us, which is why we were so interested in the FitBark product from the jump. We did this FitBark review to satisfy our own curiosity as well as provide a helpful account for prospective buyers. Our opinion after carefully dissecting and using this product is that we believe FitBark is a really good product, with the opportunity to become even better.

We definitely plan to continue using this product with our little guys here, and recommend this product to clients in order to help them keep their own furry families in good health. We can’t wait to see how this product continues to evolve over time and we hope you enjoy the same benefits as us. That being said, we encourage all of you to make it a point to get more active with your dog, it will help both of you lead happier, healthier lives!

View FitBark Website

Keep an eye out for similar reviews in the future that will compare similar products. Until next time!

Thank you for reading this FitBark review. We are an affiliate of Amazon and we do earn commissions by linking to Amazon products. However, this does not affect the final purchase price for you and helps us continue to bring you helpful information and product reviews.

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