BEST PET WEARABLES 2017: GPS Activity Tracker, Smart collars for Dogs & Cats

BEST PET WEARABLES 2017: GPS Activity Tracker, Smart collars for Dogs & Cats

If you’re a proud parent of an all fours version of a Max or a Lucy, a Roxy or a Buster, take a few moments to check out this list of the best wearables tech pet gifts for 2017.

We break it down for you in six (6) major categories of wearables tech for pets:

1.0 geolocation & geofencing

2.0 fitness tracking

3.0 behavior tracking & training

4.0 point-of-view (POV) cameras

5.0 language translation collars for dogs and cats

6.0 futuristic gifts splendidly looming on your horizon for next holiday season

Best GPS Tracker for Pets

1.0 GEOLOCATION TRACKING & GEOFENCING

The Louisiana chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports that “According to the National Council of Pet Population Study & Policy and the National Humane Society, “a family pet is lost every two seconds in North America. The organizations also report that more than 10 million pets are lost each year and one out of three pets will be lost during its lifetime.””

So a staple of any hipster wearables tech household that accommodates today’s fashionable and Internet Protocol savvy dog or cat is a geolocation and/or geofencing collar or accessory.

The first principle of pet parenting is to know where those crazy four legged kids are in the neighborhood or around the premises, especially if they wander off to dangerous parts unknown, with driveby cars aplenty, in the primordial, yet furtive canine or feline pheromone search for a species propagation hook up.

There are plenty of geolocation & geofencing wearables to choose from, so here’s a robust bullet list of gift options that gives today’s pet parent peace of mind and hits the soft spot in your pet loving heart.

For Dogs

PeTrack GPS Pet Tracker by ElectroFlip (MSRP USD$114.50):

  • Uses uBlox GPS technology and GSM (with prepaid SIM card required) to access signals from 50 satellite channels to get precision readings of the location of your pet to within 10 feet at all times (GSM is used if/when the satellite signals are unavailable);
  • Easily slip it onto your dog’s collar and download the free ioS or Android app onto your smartphone to instantly locate your pet at specific GPS coordinates and dates and times and even addresses, review and keep records of historical location data on your pet’s whereabouts over time, or get alerts if your pet is outside your preferred invisible “geofenced” safe zone;
  • Motion sensor knows when your pet is still for 3+ minutes or moving in order to conserve the life of the 7 days of GPS tracking life or 30 days of standby mode capacity of the rechargeable lithium ion battery life;
  • Durable and waterproof (IP67 rated).

Whistle GPS Pet Tracker (MSRP USD$79.95 + national cellular network service plan as low as USD7 per month):

  • Waterproof GPS and cellular location attachment for your pet’s collar (for pets 15 lbs and above);
  • Tracks location (find your lost pet U.S. nationwide), activity and rest, and monitors key behavioral and health trends;
  • Designate a Whistle safe zone (geofenced area) in your app and get notifications via app and text alerts if your pet leaves your home or office safe zone;

Tractive GPS Pet Tracker, 2.0 (MSRP USD$150 + flat USD$5 monthly network service fee):

  • Uses integrated SIM card and access to cell networks (e.g. AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.) to communicate realtime, 24/7 location positioning and historical path trace of horses, cats, and other animals, as well as notifications of when they leave the safe zone you designate;
  • App compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows smartphones and Web browsers;
  • 100% waterproof, weighs 35 grams, recommended for pets over 9 lbs.;
  • Battery life of 2 to 5 days (depends on usage & network), battery charges to 100% in 2 hrs.

For Cats

TabCat Cat Tracker by Loc8tor (MSRP USD$99.99):

  • Lightweight (0.25 ounce), splash proof device built by GPS beacon industry experts Loc8tor clips to your cat’s collar;
  • Can track your cat up to 122 meters (400 feet) away;
  • Instead of using a smartphone + app, follow the red and green lights on the credit-card sized directional radio frequency handset to guide you to walk within 2.5cm of your cat’s location, including within hidden spaces in your home, shed, up in a tree canopy, or in your neighbor’s garden;
  • Activate the handset’s remote collar beeping system that the cat hears and you stand a 70% chance your cat will come home on their own.

Ambipetrous (For Dogs or Cats)

Tagg Pet GPS Plus, Dog and Cat Tracker Collar Attachment (MSRP USD$180 + USD$7 per month required cellular network service fee):

  • Award-winning app available on iOS and Android smartphones;
  • GPS device with nationwide cellular location coverage attaches to your pet’s collar to enable you to track your pets anywhere in the United States and to define safe zones which if broken by your pet will cause the collar to send you a text, email, or app alert, and you can use an interactive app map to follow directions to the current location of your pet;
  • Track daily activity and rest levels for health and behavior monitoring, including air temperature localized to the pet so you know when the pet is likely too cold or too hot;
  • Not recommended for dogs weighing less than 10 lbs.

Pod 2 GPS + WiFi Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor (MSRP USD$199 + free Pod service subscription in year 1, then USD49 per year thereafter):

  • Realtime GPS + WiFi + cellular network capable pet location tracking outdoors or indoors in 175 countries, with alerts when your dog or cat departs your safe zone designated boundaries, and a Find button that enables you to immediately locate your dog or cat on a map in real time;
  • Monitors pet’s activity levels and records 8-hrs of pet adventure locations with continuous tracking;
  • One of the lightest pet trackers compatible with both dogs and cats;
  • 2 batteries and a charging dock.

Nuzzle Pet Collar (MSRP USD$190; ships mid-December, 2016):

  • Waterproof (rate at 10’ water depth for 30 minutes), red & white LED safety light collar with GPS geolocation and geofencing capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity to your iOS or Android smartphone app enables you to track your pet’s location, activity, temperature via SIM-card enabled, dual band 3G cell connectivity;
  • Nuzzle device is detachable so you can attach it to a third party collar of your choice; suitable for small collar pets or large collar pets;
  • 2x swappable and removable/rechargeable, 300mAh lithium-ion polymer batteries last up to 5 days, includes charging station;
  • Bundled solution option for Embrace pet health insurance.
Pet Fitness Trackers

2.0 FITNESS TRACKING

For Dogs

FitBark Dog Activity Monitor (MSRP USD$60 to USD$70):

  • Tracks activity and sleep 24/7, measured in “barkpoints”
  • Connectivity with iOS and Android smarphones and Web apps and via the optional FitBark WiFi Base Station;
  • 14 day battery, Waterproof;
  • Fits Chihuahuas to Leonbergers.
Kyon Pet Tracker

Kyon Pet Tracker (crowdfunded MSRP USD$249 + monthly subscription for 3G connectivity):

  • Connects to your smartphone to help you track your pets with a variety of activity and health and wellness monitoring techs enabled by integrated 3G, GPS, accelerometer, altimeter, and pacifying ultrasonic buzzer (to avert dog fights);
  • Waterproof collar with water detection sensor informs you if your dog is in water distress (pool, local reservoir, etc.); and a heat sensor detects if Rover is in distress in a hot car;
  • Battery lasts for 30 days after every base station recharge.
Petpace Pet Tracker

PetPace Smart Collar (MSRP USD$149.95, with 1 year of health monitoring):

  • One of the few activity monitors that both dogs and cats can wear; Fits cats 8 lbs to 20 lbs; dogs 8 lbs to 60+ lbs;
  • Tracks your pet’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, heart rate variability, respiration, activity, calories burned, posture, and notifies you via text message or email of any abnormal activity or health patterns.
Pet Behavior and Training Trackers

3.0 BEHAVIOR TRACKING & TRAINING

For Dogs

Wuf Smart Dog Collar | Pet Trackers

Wüf Smart Dog Collar-Walkie Talkie Hybrid (crowdfunded MSRP USD$149):

  • GPS location tracking, activity tracking, invisible leash, training games & exercises, smartphone app;
  • Two-way audio lets the human parent talk to and listen to the dog’s noises;
  • “Essentially a “Smartphone for Dogs”, WÜF’s Smart Collar and App helps modern, mobile dog owners keep tabs on and provide the best care for their furry little friends.” [Source: Wüf]

NOTE: There are six (6) versions of a nifty “Garmin Delta Dog Tracking & Training Collar” for the hunting dog community, with MSRPs ranging from USD150 to USD300. That wearables tech holiday gift is not covered in this gift list since it is not intended for the mass market. However, it does offer some features that may transition over time into the mass market of wearables tech pet collars.

Best Pet Activity Monitor

4.0 POINT-OF-VIEW (POV) CAMERA SYSTEMS

For Dogs

GoPro Fetch Dog Harness (MSRP USD$40)

  • Capture your dog’s-eye-view perspective videos with a comfortable harness that’s compatible with GoPro models: GoPro HERO, HERO+ LCD, HERO4 Session, HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver cameras;
    • Two adjustable mounting locations (back and chest) with soft padding fits most dogs from 15 to 120 lbs. to enable a variety of perspectives in order to capture dog’s-eye-view camera recording of bone-chewing, digging, paw action, playing, running, fetch, jumping, etc.;
  • Water resistant to enable swimming, splashing, mud and outdoor use as well as machine- and hand-washing;
  • Tether secures your camera to the harness.
Best Smart Collar for Dogs and Cats

5.0 LANGUAGE TRANSLATION COLLARS

For Dogs

Pet Translation Collars

WhatsYapp (One to Watch! Not yet available; release date TBD):

  • Conceptual design for a smart collar with built-in microphone and movement, time, and location sensors that pairs with an app on your smartphone to translate your dog’s barks into human language text message;
  • iBeacon stickers attached to dog bowls, doors, and beds helps integrate a dog-smart home;
  • Launched by the UK pet store, Fetch (fetch.co.uk) and their Fetch Petnology Centre.

For Cats

Pet Translation Collars

Catterbox, the World’s First Talking Cat Collar (One to Watch! Prototype stage demo; MSRP and Availability TBD; we can only hope for 2017):

  • Apparently this is only a ad agency and Temptations Labs prototype project at the moment, but perhaps intrepid, holiday-gift-seeking-you can put gentle meow pressure on Temptations Lab to include your kitty in a Christmas season inspired talking cat collar beta test;
  • Integrates a microphone, speaker, Bluetooth and WiFi into a sleek-looking cat collar that captures a cat’s meows and algorithmically translates them into human speech—words, cat to human translations that still need to be scientifically validated and peer reviewed, and perhaps cat peer meowed;
  • Pete Simmons, Global Brand Director for Temptations summarized this creative achievement this way, “Through research, we learned that an adult cat’s meow is their way to communicate with humans and, by investing in this prototype device, we can start to improve understanding between them both—giving cats a voice for the very first time. At the Temptations brand, we are passionate about bringing cats and owners together. We have always done this through our treats, but we wanted to go one step further.” [Source: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/temptations-made-collar-finally-gives-your-cat-human-voice-so-it-can-talk-you-171123]
Best Wearable Tech for Pets

6.0 FUTURISTIC GIFTS ON THE HORIZON

Your 2017 or 2018 holiday season gift to Fido or Squeaker may very well be the result of the creative minds of Professor Masahiko Tsukamoto and his research colleagues at Kobe University’s Graduate School of Engineering in Japan and Joji Yamaguchi, CEO of a new startup company in Japan called Inupathy. Inupathy is next year’s potential wearables pet gift of the year, “the world’s first dog’s mental visualizer” or put another way “the world’s first dog mood empathy device.”

Inupathy is a wearables tech dog collar that reads your dog’s mood via heartrate tracking and signals those moods to the dog’s pet parent.  Six LED lights on the pet collar glow blue when the dog is relaxed, red when excited, and a rainbow hue when happy. In part, it does this by integrating noise-canceling technology that isolate and monitors your dog’s heartbeat and reactions to food, games, people, and toys.

For Inupathy’s CEO Joji Yamaguchi, the value proposition for this new empathy device is based on the premise that “Visualizing your dog’s emotion will surely make life with dog more fun.”

So by this time next year, you may very well be seeing red LED lights on your dog’s collar as you read out loud all the empathy benefits of their new holiday gift from you!

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