For the last five or so years, people have been wearing smart watches and fitness trackers on their wrists, monitoring their steps and heart rate at the touch of a button. As dog owners, we often ask ourselves if we’re giving our dogs everything they need in terms of nutrition, enrichment and exercise – and PitPat are giving pet owners the opportunity to do just that.
What is a PitPat?
A PitPat is a compact activity monitoring device that gives dog owners a way to keep track of your dog’s activity level. Through their easy-to-use app, you can set exercise goals for your pooch, as well as manage their weight!
The app shows you how much running, walking and playing your dog does in a day, as well as how much ‘pottering’ and resting. Not only is it a great way to check your pet is getting their steps in with you, but it’s fab for seeing how much energy they’re burning when out with a dog walker or at boarding kennels.
How does it work?
One of the questions I asked myself when viewing the stats is ‘how can it tell what’s running, walking or playing?’.
PitPat said: “PitPat judges walking and running by sensing the natural gait motion of the dog, and judges the difference between walking and running by the intensity/exertion. If a dog is constantly changing from walking, to running, to stopping and changing direction this is characteristic of many dog games and the activity is interpreted as playing.”
How do I set up a PitPat?
When my PitPats arrived in the post, I couldn’t wait to get started! It was really easy to set up, as all I needed to do was download the PitPat app and follow the instructions on screen. I attached the device using the velcro strap to each dog’s collars, connecting each PitPat to their individual profiles on the app by pressing the button on the device. I found the strap to be really secure, and there’s very little chance of them just falling off or getting lost!
We had to take the dogs out for a 10-15 minute walk to activate the device, and fetched the data as soon as they were back to see what they’d gotten up to.
After that, I just put their collars on each morning, and fetched their data in the evening before their collars were taken off for bed!
How much exercise do my dogs need?
Terriers are smart, active dogs that do require around 60 minutes of exercise a day. We’re lucky to have quite a large garden, so if there’s not much time for a walk, The Scamps still enjoy a good run around.
We also love brain training and enrichment, using toys and puzzles to keep them both entertained – but would it be enough to meet their 60 minute goal on the app?
Here’s what happened when Phoebe and Frank used their PitPats for the first week!
Tuesday, August 10
Phoebe and Frank wore their PitPats for the first time, heading out on a half hour walk around 11.30am. When they came home, they played in the garden whilst mum and dad had a brew before chilling out for the rest of the day, pottering in and out.
I was really impressed that the PitPat picked up exactly half an hour of walking after their outing, differentiating between walking, and play time in the garden.
On their first day, the PitPat said Phoebe had walked for 35 minutes, and spent 10 minutes playing – which was pretty accurate. It added that she’d done 5.3 hours of pottering about and 6.8 hours resting. Overall, she’d walked 12.8 miles, burning 581 kilocalories.
Frank walked for the same amount of time as Phoebe in the day, with 20 minutes of playing, suggesting he did a bit more running around the garden than she did. He also did 6.5 hours of pottering, and less resting than Phoebs at 5.4 hours. The app said he’d walked a whopping 21 miles throughout the day, burning 687 kilocalories.
Wednesday, August 11
On Wednesday, the dogs had a slightly longer walk of around 40 minutes at 10.30am. When they came home, their Boomer Ball had arrived, so again, they spent time playing in the garden. That said, the excitement of the new toy saw them play more intensely, and for longer, burning much more kilocalories.
In total, Phoebe walked for 55 minutes, played for 5 and ran for 5, spending just over 2 hours pottering and over 20 hours resting. She walked 12.2 miles, burning off 865 kilocalories. Frank burned off 1037 kilocalories, having walked 19.5 miles in the day. The PitPat said he walked for 45 minutes, and played for 30 minutes, spending under 2 hours pottering, and like Phoebe, a lot of the day resting (20.8 hours).
Thursday, August 12
Thursday was Phoebe and Frank’s most relaxed day of the week, spending the day at home – but still managed to get in half an hour of activity according to their monitors.
Phoebe walked for only 5 minutes of the day, but played for 15 and ran for 10, spending almost 7 hours pottering, and 16.8 resting. She covered 27.4 miles just in the garden and house, burning 904 kilocalories. Frank covered nearly double Phoebe’s mileage, at 45.4, burning 1103 kilocalories around the house, just with 20 minutes walking and 5 minutes playing. He spent nearly 8 hours pottering and 15.7 hours resting throughout the day.
Friday, August 13
A mid-morning walk saw The Scamps both get a few of their steps in on Friday, heading out around the black at 11.30am. The Boomer Ball also came out in the garden, as well as some rope toys that Phoebe likes to play with. She managed 45 minutes of activity all day, which included 20 minutes of walking, 20 minutes of playing and 5 minutes of running, in conjunction with 4.7 hours of pottering and 18.6 hours resting. She covered very few miles in this time, at just 2.9, but burned 921 kilocalories.
On the other hand, Frank covered 5.4 miles during his 15 minutes walking, 25 minutes playing and 5 minutes running, with 6 hours pottering and 17.3 resting, burning off 1143 kilocalories.
Saturday, August 14
Saturday began looking a little soggy outside, so I gave Phoebe and Frank these hamburger toys in the morning to keep them entertained. You can see the spike on their daily graph where they had the toys – albeit only for 5-10 minutes!
But by the end of the day, Phoebe had walked for 30 minutes and played for 20. She made sure to rest her paws for 16 hours, and pottered about for 7.2, covering 4.4 miles as she burned 951 kilocalories.
Frank also walked for 30 minutes, but played for an extra 10 minutes than Phoebe, resting just 14.8 hours and pottering for 8.3 hours. He walked nearly 8 miles through the day, burning off 1217 kilocalories – his best day yet!
Sunday, August 15
It was a big day for Phoebe and Frank on Sunday, as they were booked in for a 50 minute slot at Paddocks for Paws!
Phoebe was active for a whopping 100 minutes, of which 20 she was running! She walked for 75 minutes, and played for 5, pottering around for nearly 4 hours, resting for just over 16. At the freedom field, she took on 5.4 miles, burning 954 kilocalories.
Frank also had a great day, exercising for 70 minutes – which wasn’t quite as much as Wednesday, but still amazing. He walked for 35 minutes and ran for 20, playing for 5 minutes, He pottered around for 5 hours, resting for 15.5 hours. Despite walking less than Phoebe, he covered a further distance of 7 miles, burning 1078 kilocalories.
Monday, August 16
As suspected, Phoebe and Frank were absolutely shattered after their visit to Paddocks for Paws, so it was a very lazy day for Phoebe and Frank on Monday.
Frank played for 15 minutes, and walked for 5, pottering about for 6.4 hours and testing for nearly 15. He walked 4.1 miles and burned off 972 kilocalories. Phoebe on the other had, only walked for 5 minutes, pottered for almost 6 hours, and rested for 15 and a half. She walked 1.8 miles and burned 752 kilocalories.
Over the course of the whole week, Phoebe walked a total of 67 miles, and Frank covered 111 miles with his little paws! Both dogs earned badges on the app for walking ‘a lap of Stonehenge’ and ‘the length of Oxford Street’.
PitPats usually cost £39 each, or two for £69, but I managed to find a 30% off code so I only had to pay £49 for the pair. They are an investment, so I would suggest buying them for a birthday, Christmas or gotcha day, and be sure to sign up to their newsletter in advance as they often send out codes to use. I’ve really enjoyed checking the Scamps’ activity rates over the week, and I’ll be really interested to find out how much energy they burn on some of their favourite walks, or when we go on holiday!