We have fitness trackers such as Fitbit, Apple Watch, etc. to help guide us through our fitness and health. They tell us how many steps we’ve taken, our heart rate, how many calories we’ve burned, etc. They can be of great help.
So why not have the same thing for “man’s best friend” or find out what really happens when the cat’s away? Dogs are often our walking companions, so why not track their fitness and health as well? And you’ll have a better idea of what your outside cat is doing. This is what Whistle Go accomplishes as it tracks your dog or cat’s fitness and health and provides the added benefit of your pet’s whereabouts as well.
The Whistle Go can erase all the concerns you have for your pet’s well-being and safety.
Introducing the Whistle Go
Whistle Go is a tracker that you can either affix to your dog or cat’s current collar or one bought along with the Whistle Go. It connects back to your smartphone allowing you to track your pet’s whereabouts.
The Android or iOS app shows the daily stats for your pet’s fitness, just like your fitness tracker. It shows the calories burned and the distance your pet walked (or ran!). It also includes maps of where it walked. Once a week it sends you a summary of health data such as how much it scratched. But it also locates your pet and sends you alerts if it leaves a safe place or locates it if it gets loose.
Using the Whistle Go
I received the Whistle Go tracker with a collar, but I could have also attached it to his existing collar.
After downloading and opening the app, which is available in both Apple’s App Store and Google Play, you need to pair it with your phone. It works with the AT&T cellular service, but you don’t need to be an AT&T subscriber yourself to use it. However, you do need to have a cell service, so it won’t work on tablets that don’t have cellular service.
Once it pairs, you need to place it in the charger and plug that into a a USB slot. You will then see an orange light on the device. When it is completely charged, it will turn green, and you will receive a notification and can reattach it to your pet’s collar.
If there’s one important negative to the Whistle Go, it’s that not only do you need a subscription, but you have to buy it for a whole year’s worth just to use it. There is no trial period, and you can’t try it just for a month. Monthly, it’s not that expensive. $7.95 really isn’t that much considering you’re talking about the health and safety of your pet. But $95.40 in one shot is an expensive undertaking when you’re not sure how you will like the device and app.
When your pet is within Wi-Fi range, the device goes into a power-saver mode. You don’t need to keep dibs on your pet within your home, so this helps save the battery. Yet, when your pet goes beyond the Wi-Fi range, GPS will check in every six minutes to be sure you pet is still within its safe place, most likely your home. But you can also deem other locations as a safe place, such as the homes of other family members.
Once GPS sees that you pet is not in its safe place, you will get a notification on your smartphone: either an email, text message or both. Every day when my dog goes for a walk with either me or my husband, I get alerts telling me he has left his safe place and what his location is. When he returns home, I get another alert telling me so.
While you can set goals for your pet’s activity, you can also observe what it did in a day with daily activity reports. You can see in the image above this a portion of my dog’s activity. He went for a half hour walk, completing his goal for the day in the process, had low activity for nearly two hours, and was then actively playing for a few minutes. But like most dogs, he also spent most of his day resting, and the app told me that as well.
Along with the daily report, you also get a Weekly Wellness Report. This includes his time being active, his average calorie burn, his total distance, his average daily rest, data about his scratching and licking, and also a sleep analysis. The health and behavior reports, however, are limited to dogs.
Additionally, you can go into the Settings and choose to share your pet’s health and location data with someone else in the family by providing their email.
But that’s not all. The app now includes monthly Health Insights stats looking into a dog’s scratching and licking. There is also a link to read a more detailed report on the Web. You can share it from there as well. A tab in the Settings will save reminders and to-dos you have for your pet.
The detailed report shows his daily stats for one month of stretching and licking. It lets you know in comparison with other dogs, if your dog’s behavior is infrequent, occasional, elevated, or severe. You can see in the image above that my dog had a few days at the end of the month/beginning of the month where he was having difficulty with scratching. We are in the midst of rehabbing both of our bathrooms so it’s been very dusty in here. I attribute the scratching to that.
The Whistle family offers three separate trackers and three colors. All include the device, two separate collar attachments, a USB cable, and a quickstart guide. Collars may be bought separately
- Whistle Go Explore offers all of the features I have laid out here, has a battery up to 20 days (though mine lasts longer, over a month), waterproof rating of IPX 8, night light, health data, the weekly reports, and will support future health feature updates. $129.95
- Whistle Go is similar to the above but has a a lesser battery, is rated IPX 7, and does not have a night light. $99.95
- Whistle has a battery that is only supposed to last up to seven days, is rated IPX 3, and does not monitor health data or provide weekly wellness reports, nor future health feature updates. $89, but it is not offered on the Whistle.com site.
The devices themselves are not expensive for an IoT product. The subscription plan is not expensive either; however, paying for the plan yearly means you have an initial large investment going into it. That said, it’s really hard to put a price on the safety of your pet, let alone all the health data provides. Overall, the Whistle Go is a very worthwhile device for pet owners.