DOG owners hoping to get in shape can now shed the pounds with their hound!
A new activity tracker has been invented for our furry friends to check on how much exercise they get each day.
The device – Pit Pat Pet – is a monitor worn on the collar that tracks how much the animal moves and gives a daily target to hit to stay healthy.
Owners put in their dog’s age, weight and breed and it works out how much activity they need to hit their optimum weight.
Andrew Nowell who invented the device said: “With so many dogs overweight in the UK, PitPat gives owners a fun and engaging way to keep their dog active.
“It’s a new and exciting way to bring dogs and their owners closer together, whilst encouraging exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
“Wearable technology has revolutionised how we keep fit and exercise, and now consumers are keen to use the same technology to help their pets stay happy and healthy.”
The information is sent to the owner’s smartphone and gives a daily breakdown of how long the dog has spent walking, running, playing and resting.
As well as seeing how long their pet has walked each day, it shows peaks and drops in the activity levels by monitoring movement and heart rate.
It means owners can keep a track of what their pet has been doing while they’re out at work, like how long they may have been out with their dog walker, how long they’ve snoozed for and whether they’ve been scampering around the house on their own.
Just like a FitBit, the tracker is paired up with Smartphones and gives encouraging messages like ‘pawsome’ and ‘fancy some play time’ to the pet as they get closer to their goal.
And the more active the pet, the healthier their owner can be too.
Julia Buckley, a personal trainer and author of the Fat Burn Revolution, said: “I think this idea is super-cute.
“There’s lots of research showing that owning a dog gets people moving more.
“But there are certainly plenty of dogs and dog owners who could use more exercise.
“And, let’s face it, Pitpat is for the owner’s motivation rather than the dog’s.
“Sure, some dogs are lazy, but in general, if most pooches had their way they’d be out running around all day every day.
“If Pitpat tells you your dog needs more exercise, it’s most likely you who need to the kick up the butt to get moving more!
“For a lot of people who struggle to find the motivation to exercise, knowing that lack of activity could be harming their beloved pet’s health could be just the trigger they need to get into a more active lifestyle.”
I tried out the Pit Pat Pet on my dog Daisy, a ten-year-old Patterdale Terrier weighing a healthy 8kg.
Normally, I walk her for three or four times totalling an hour a day and feel this is enough for her, but the app informed she needed slightly longer, 70 minutes a day.
Feeling guilty, I took her for a half hour mix of walk and running – and it turns out it was much less running than I thought – only 15 minutes by doggy standards even though I was puffed out!
I made sure she had another 40 minute walk to push her over the 70 minute goal, and I also learned that while I’d been out for a few hours, she’d spent 35 minutes playing, which I can only guess would be jumping around on the sofa, or perhaps barking at the post man or window cleaner!
It was great to see what she’d been up to while I’d been out, and now I make sure we both reach our active goals, me with a FitBit and Daisy with her Pit Pat Pet tracker.