Keep tabs on your dog’s exercise, health and location with one clever device
Having a lost dog would have to be one of the worst moments in a pet owner’s life – your furry friend’s spot on the sofa is empty, you have no idea where they could be, if they’re hurt or whether they’ll ever be found safely. In this time of sophisticated technology like microchipping and activity trackers, there’s no need for a lost dog to not eventually become a found dog but sadly, this isn’t the case.
According to US studies only 15-20 per cent of runaway dogs are returned their families. When it comes to your dog’s safety and security (and to ensure their spot on the sofa is claimed ASAP), a couple of clever doggy devices are the answer.
Microchips are a must-have
If you have a dog and it’s not microchipped, or if you don’t know whether it’s microchipped, get to the vet now! All animals should be microchipped at a minimum. If a lost dog is taken to a vet clinic or shelter, they’ll be scanned for a microchip (which is implanted under your dog’s skin for life). If a microchip isn’t found, the dog could be transferred to a shelter as a stray. Each pet you own will have to have their own individual microchip and chip number, they cannot be shared.
If your dog does have a microchip, make sure the contact details which are associated with the chip are current, without this, a chip can be pretty useless.
The high number of lost dogs (and who stay lost) is linked to the fact that not all dogs have microchips or wear ID tags or activity trackers – all these devices will help owners be reunited with their dog sooner rather than later, should they wander off or get stolen.
Yes, doggy FitBits are a thing
GPS or activity trackers are usually worn on the dog collar, not implanted. The most useful feature without a doubt is that most trackers work in real-time, with some even sending alerts to your phone (just like a canine FitBit). This allows owners to track their dog’s movements when they’re out with the dog walker or roaming the streets lost or hurt.
Some sophisticated trackers also keep owners updated on any unusual behaviors from your dog and will send notifications if something doesn’t seem right. Calendar alert features also help owners keep on top of medication and scheduled visits to the vet and other appointments.
GPS trackers will monitor activity – you’ll be able to see how much time your dog is spending resting, sleeping and walking. Some trackers, just like a FitBit, will also be able to record how many calories they have burned which owners can take note of if their dog needs to lose weight or to ensure their dog is getting enough exercise to prevent issues such as obesity.
Owners will also be able to keep tabs on dog walkers, their walking route and times. This is especially handy if you want to see if your requests are being honoured and just how many treats your dog is consuming when you’re not around!