PitPat, a UK based company, specialise in dog GPS trackers and non GPS activity monitors. This review will cover the current PitPat dog activity and fitness monitor (also known as a dog FitBit), a lightweight, very affordable, no-subscription based device without a GPS tracker. But what’s this little activity monitor like to use? This is my complete review of the PitPat dog fitness monitor.
This was my first foray into activity monitors without the addition of GPS tracking, essentially it uses bluetooth to pair to your phone/tablet. You attach the little device to your dogs collar or harness and it will keep a track on distance, exercise amount and timings. Even better, it doesn’t require a subscription – so once set up, it’s ready to go.
Before I dive deeper into the PitPat monitor, I’ve compiled a handy table of key features.
PitPat Activity Monitor Overview
The UK based PitPat Activity and Fitness Monitor is a lightweight and small monitoring device which pairs to your phone and can be attached to your dogs collar or harness. With a replaceable battery lasting up to a year, once you set it up – you don’t really need to think about it – other than checking your dog’s progress.
Starting with your dogs key information such as age and weight – the PitPat can be used as a passive monitor or, if required, as a tool for improving your dogs weight, exercise regime and overall health.
Note: Although I could only find these devices available for sale in the UK, if you find one elsewhere in the world (let me know in the comments) they should work fine – it does allow other countries to be selected during the setup.
PitPat Activity Monitor Features
As the PitPat fitness monitor is app based, I’ll cover the app itself in more detail later in this review as well as my experiences using them.
The core purpose of the PitPat device and centrepiece of the app is the activity monitor. After your dog goes for a walk or other exercise, the device will record the data. Once paired (you ask the app to update the data then press the “Paw” button on the front of the PitPat) you will receive the following information on the app:
- Time spent overall
- Walking time
- Playing time
- Running time
- Rest time (between the last walk/exercise)
- Kilocalories burned
- Distance travelled in miles
This is broken down as a calendar so you can monitor daily progress or even go back a few month and compare the results.
Fitness and Activity Summary
My favourite part of the app is the summary screen as it compiles all the key information I need including the total distance travelled in miles, my dogs best exercise day and the average exercise my dog has done over a seven day period.
When you first set up the PitPat monitor, it asks for your dogs weight. If you want to work on raising or lowering your dogs weight, you can follow a wizard which will calculate your dogs ideal weight. It will also track progress as you enter new weighting information. As with anything health related (which the app also recommends) it’s always best to consult your vet or other professional first before changing your dogs regime to increase/decrease their weight.
What’s in the Box?
Like the device itself, the box it came with was beautiful and simple. The recycled cardboard packaging was easy to open and contained a colourful card with the tracker attached. The card could be lifted out with some simple instructions at the back telling you how to both attach the tracker and install the app.
As the straps on the tracker are velcro, you simply remove the tracker from the card and keep all the packaging if you wish.
Beyond this, there’s not much to say – it’s all you need, nice and simple. The rest is done using the PitPat phone or tablet app.
PitPat Activity Monitor App
I downloaded the app from the Apple store for my iPhone, however it is also available for iPad as well as Android based devices.
Before you begin the app registration process it’s worth having the following to hand
- Your dogs approximate date of birth (as mine is a foster dog, there was some guessing here)
- Your dogs weight (in either kg or lb)
As the PitPat monitor does not require a subscription – the registration and configuration for your dog is all fairly self contained and simple.
Opening the App for the first time prompted a Bluetooth access alert which I allowed, as well as a notifications prompt which I also accepted. If you already have a PitPat account, you can sign in – however I’ve opted for “This is my first time” which started the registration wizard (personal note: I loved the little animations driving me through the wizard).
The initial stage required an email address and a password to be setup. It also asked to agree with the terms and privacy policies which is always worth checking – but I didn’t find anything non-standard in them.
Once I verified the email address, it asked for some basic details such as name, country etc. That was the core parts done – now to set it up for one of my dogs, in this case a Great Dane.
After asking for my dogs name, it asked if my dog was a boy/girl and if they’d been neutered/spayed – this is so the app can recommend different exercise and food requirements, however this setting can be changed if your dog is later neutered/spayed.
Next I entered the breed from a comprehensive list. There’s also an option to enter a picture of your dog if you choose to.
I was asked to enter my dogs date of birth, which given he was a rescue I didn’t have a clue – but I gave it an approximate guess as this information will be used when the apps give recommendations on exercise. The more accurate the information, the better – but if not – a guess will do.
The app then asks for your dogs weight (in either kg or lb), it’s probably worth knowing this in advance to save having to go away and starting again later. There is a weight wizard where you pick up your dog on normal scales and then minus your own weight, but as I neither had the strength or inclination to pick up a fully grown Great Dane, I asked my partner who thankfully knew.
There’s a fun little Pack you can include yourself in which compares your dog to others – you don’t have to, but I thought I’d give it a try. You can also be more specific in your location using your postcode (which I did) but otherwise that’s the app configured.
Once configured, the app recommended I start with 60 minute of exercise per day (based on the breed, gender, age etc) which felt about right – though I could adjust it if needed.
It was then time to pair the app with the PitPat Activity Monitor. As it uses Bluetooth, which I’d already accepted this was simple – all I needed to do was tell the app it was the PitPat Activity Monitor and click the paw button at the top of the device which flashed for a few seconds then connected. Note: the first time I tried this, I fumbled about trying to find the tracker while the phone was waiting – it seems to time out pretty quickly. If this happens, just cancel and try pairing again, pressing the button within a few seconds of prompting – then it works fine.
Using the PitPat Fitness Tracker
Given the trackers weight, battery life and always on – I found the entire experience rather effortless. With some activity trackers, you need to remove it from your dogs collar/harness and charge it up every so often. The battery on the PitPat lasts a year so once I’d attached it – I just left it there and let it do its thing.
The straps on the PitPat were velcro so attaching it to my dogs harness was easy. It needs to be on the outside and needs to be tight enough so not to move around when your dog runs. I’d also keep it somewhere the dog cannot easily get to it, in case you have a biter. The straps were a similar material to that of the harness and I didn’t see any evidence of rubbing or chafing against my dogs skin.
If you’re wondering how to replace the battery (a CR2032 coin cell battery will be needed for a replacement), there’s a screw opening at the bottom underneath the velcro, you can open it with a small coin or similar then just replace the battery.
The PitPat is waterproof to an IP67 standard – which means it may be submerged in up to 1 metres of water for 30 minutes. This is good for both rain and swims in the lake, though it’s always worth giving any device a clean later if your dog is swimming in salt water.
For this review I used the monitor for several days and was able to track my dogs progress nicely – it was fairly accurate when measuring the time walking, running, playing about and resting.
I did find the distance travelled to be a little inaccurate at times. There is an option to adjust this on the app as by default they count your dogs daily steps then multiply by stride length. You can tweak this by increasing or decreasing the estimate by a set percentage – but there is some trial and error required to get this right.
I also found the trade-off for the massive battery life of the PitPat, the app and device needs to be sync’d manually to update the information. It’s not a huge issue, you just have to ask the app to accept new data then press the top button on the device – but it is something you need to remember to do often to keep your data up to date.
Overall, I found the PitPat Activity Monitor to be a well designed, simple to use and helpful piece of technology. For the price, it’s nothing overly fancy – but a lot of attention has gone into it and that shows in the packaging as well at the app.
- An inexpensive, lightweight, activity monitor
- Requires no one-off or monthly subscriptions
- Simple to use and monitor using a phone app
- Recorded data can be a little inaccurate at times (though you can tweak this)
- Trade off to enormous battery life is manual sync with app
A compact, lightweight, bluetooth based activity monitor for keeping track of your dogs fitness.
For the price it's such a beautiful little device, from its colourful packaging to enjoyable app. As an activity monitor, it's a great piece of technology - the distance measurements may need some tweaking - but overall it does exactly what it says it does. And without a monthly subscription.
Editor and Head Writer | K9Gadget Magazine
Having worked in the technology sector for many years – he now immerses himself in all things dogs. Writes about subjects ranging from dog food to canine psychology with a little bit of pup technology thrown in. He’s been writing for nearly 15 years on the topics he loves. Lives in London.