Fitness Trackers for Pets

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They’re wrapped around almost as many wrists as watches are. One in 10 Americans has a fitness tracker. These wearable devices track your steps, calories burned, and a bundle of other stats. Now, novel trackers that hang from a collar log our four-legged friends’ activities, too.

Think a pet fitness tracker sounds a little over the top? Consider this: More than half of dogs and cats are overweight or obese. Pets have the same weight-related health problems as people. So why not try the same strategies to boost exercise? At around $100 to $200 each, about a half-dozen pet activity trackers hit the market this year. A number of veterinarians think the gadgets will revolutionize pet care.

“Some of these devices will blow your mind. They’re going to change the way I talk about physical activity with my clients,” says Ernie Ward, DVM, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

How much fitness does your furry friend need? Pooches should walk or play for 30 minutes a day. Kitties should get in three daily bouts of play at 5 minutes each, Ward says. So far so good — but do you think your pet is exercising while you’re at work? You should think again.

“Most people are under the misperception that when they leave the dog out in the backyard, he’s running, galloping, and playing all day. And it’s just not true,” Ward said. “These monitors are extremely valuable to me as a veterinarian because they verify just how inactive your pet really is.”

The device tracks activity of varied intensity from walking to aerobic play as well as periods of rest. Some devices also monitor breathing and heart rate. They send all this data to your phone, often wirelessly, so you can check in on the pup when you’re away. Several of these gizmos connect to caregivers’ phones, too, so when the pet sitter shows up, you’ll know.

The devices’ apps compare your pet’s activity to that of pets the same age and breed. They help you set fitness goals, track progress, and log meals. One thing you’ll probably learn is how much more exercise your pet needs. Keep in mind, the exercise guidelines are general. Your vet knows best as to how much your pet needs and can handle.

Source link Pets.Webmd

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