Whistle nixes GPS to make a more affordable health tracker for dogs

Nathan Ingraham
Deputy Managing Editor

Whistle has been making pet-tracking devices for years, first starting with a product often referred to as a "Fitbit for dogs" and then moving into GPS-enabled tracking devices to find lost pets. Last year, the company released its most advanced tracker yet, and now the company another new device specifically focused on your dog's health. The Whistle Fit is a collar-worn device, like the existing Whistle Go, but it doesn't have GPS built in. Instead, the company says it is meant to capture info about your dog's behavior and activity as an alternative to its GPS-enabled wearables.

Combined with Whistle's smartphone app, the Fit gives dog owners recommendations for daily activity based on breed, age and weight; data it shows includes calories burned, distance traveled and active minutes per day. It also will alert owners to potential health problems based on activities it can recognize like unusual or excessive licking, scratching or sleeping. Whistle says the device can collect over 50 samples of a dog's movements every second, and the company analyzes that data to detect behavior patterns that owners may need to know about. Whistle says that thanks to the data it collects, it can add more features in the future.

One example of a health-related tracking feature Whistle can add is its new "nutrition" feature, which will work on the new Fit tracker as well as the existing Go and Go Explore trackers. This feature is built off of Whistle's database of 3,000 different kinds of dog food. Combining your dog's dog food with its pet's age, weight, breed, and typical calories burned will give you personalized recommendations for ho9w much you should be feeding your dog.

Whistle Fit

As for the new Fit tracker, Whistle says it'll be available to order on January 21st for $79.95. Unfortunately, you'll also need a subscription plan ($2.95 a month), which gives you access to Whistle's database to enable all the personalized recommendations, wellness reports, and so forth. At this point, all of Whistle's products require a subscription, and the company even admits in its press release that it considers itself a services company. That's tough considering how many subscriptions we're all inundated with these days, but three bucks a month isn't too bad to keep your dog healthy -- assuming that the Whistle Fit lives up to its promises.