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Activity monitors for dogs are trending, and it isn’t hard to see why: Humans have been all in on FitBits, Apple Watches, fitness apps, and more to track our own health and mileage. While our dogs do their best to communicate with us, figuring out if they’re truly getting enough exercise, if their food is meeting their activity and health needs, and what they’re feeling about it all can be a guessing game at best.
Fitbits for dogs try to help by giving pet parents some concrete numbers around their pup’s wellness, but the dog health tracking devices on the market vary a lot, and it can be hard to sort out which one will be most useful for your goals. One of the more affordable options out there is the Petkit Fit P2, an entry-level device that promises to track your pup’s exercise, sleep, and—more unusually—mood.
We review the Petkit dog activity tracker to see how it stacks up.
Petkit Fit P2 Activity Tracker Key Features
The Petkit Fit P2 tracks your dog’s health in three categories: exercise, sleep, and mood.
What’s in the box:
- Petkit Fit P2 device (weight: one ounce)
- Coin cell battery
- Opener to pry the device open for battery insertion
- Loop and two band sizes to attach the P2 to your dog’s collar
- Exercise, sleep, and calorie-burning tracking capability
- Algorithm that calculates mood level based on other tracker inputs
- Reminders calendar lets you track grooming, medication, vet appointments, vaccinations, and more
Once you’ve entered your pup’s breed, weight, and age, the free Petkit app creates a mood index for your dog based on their sleep and activity levels. The higher the score, the better the mood.
The app also has a built-in calendar so you can set reminders on your smartphone to help you stay on top of things like grooming, administering medications, and vaccinations.
Reviewing the Petkit Fit P2 Activity Tracker
There are lots of reasons to be interested in a dog activity tracker. For me, it was about the novelty of learning more about my high-energy pup’s exercise needs—and curiosity about trainer Erin Richardson’s comment that using one of these devices helped them get a handle on how much their dog was actually walking (spoiler: it’s less than they thought!).
The Petkit P2 is an extremely lightweight and minimalist tracker in sleek packaging—maybe a little too sleek, since it was hard to pry the smooth device apart with the included tool to get the battery in. I was worried I’d damage the tracker right out of the box!
Once the battery was in, the small white indicator light flashed on; I downloaded the free Petkit app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, and made sure my Bluetooth was on.
Creating an account in the Petkit app is straightforward—you select the device you’re using (Petkit makes a few) and then create a profile with your own information and that of your pet: name, breed, and weight.
There are some quirks to the Petkit activity tracker, such as the screen for choosing your pet’s gender:
And while I wasn’t clear on what this was, my partner puzzled out that it likely meant how experienced you are as a pet parent, so I hesitantly tapped “experienced in loving.”
As with most activity trackers, the longer you use it, the more data it can collect and analyze, giving you a fuller picture of trends and overall lifestyle. The Petkit Fit P2 tracks sleep and activity by minutes, noting what that translates to in calorie consumption, then graphs those trends over a week, a month, and a year.
So I put the collar on Pepper and we went about our regular activities.
The app is simple, but it takes some poking around to get to where you want to be. For example, on what feels like the home screen, you’ll see a box called “Pepper’s FIT” with a graph that summarizes movement for the day:
You have to tap into that to get more. On the next screen, there’s a sync icon that you need to tap each time to make sure the most recent information is downloaded from your P2—it doesn’t do this automatically.
The “FIT report” is where we find the mood algorithm and other analytical tidbits, such as what percentage of exercise and sleep Pepper has achieved for the day.
Everything is based on time—how many minutes of exercise, how many minutes of light versus deep sleep. That can be confusing when, for example, days with dramatically different mileage result in the same “amount” of exercise in minutes.
For example, compare two of Pepper’s most active days: one day she had five hours with tons of play at dog day care, and the next day we went for a trip where she got to run off leash at a beach for an hour. Both let us know we had achieved more than the recommended six-plus hours of exercise time according to the tracker.
But while I knew she had done some intense running and jumping in water (not sure I’d call what she does “swimming” yet), and a few hours pulled together of walking around, I wasn’t sure how we were getting to the 8 hours shown in the app. For me, mileage tracking would be a more useful measurement to put her activity in context.
The app does offer trends over your last two days, and it divides exercise into regular and “strenuous,” which might offer some clue as to how exercise is being weighted:
As for sleeping, our numbers were always going to look a little odd, since we take Pepper’s collar off at night, when the bulk of her snoozing happens. It did, however, track daytime sleeping effectively.
For example, when Pepper was at dog day care, I could see that her activity level charted constant movement, which is consistent with a very social and active dog surrounded by playmates. She logged no hours of sleep during this time—that came afterwards. When we left her in her crate to run errands for about an hour on a different day, she slept lightly then too.
Like with exercise, the app divides sleep into regular and deep.
Results of the Petkit Fit 2 Review
First, the positive: the Petkit dog fitbit is durable. It came through water and playing and rolling with other dogs looking like new. And after a few days of using it, the battery power still stands at 100%—the company says that it should last 4 to 6 months.
The negative, however, is the interface and the data collection style. We found the Petkit app simply takes too many taps to review what you need to know, and the minute-based tracking system can make sorting out the data confusing and unintuitive.
- Lightweight and unobtrusive, at one ounce
- Available in five colors
- Tracks activity, sleep, and calories, then calculates mood based on those
- The app is free
- Doesn’t track mileage; exercise is only based on how long you’ve been out
- Home screen doesn’t offer a simple snapshot of your progress through the day
- Simple to use, but information isn’t straightforward, requiring multiple taps to get into different areas
- Typos in the app; it feels unfinished
Recommendations: The Petkit P2 Is a Lightweight, Casual Option
Ultimately, the Petkit P2 doesn’t feel like it tells pet parents much that they don’t already know about their dog. For example, we already know a lot of exercise and training games make Pepper happy, and we know she naps in between activities. It was a safe bet that she doesn’t sleep at places like dog day care and naps solidly in her crate when we’re not home.
Compared to other dog health trackers, the Petkit device doesn’t really contextualize much of the data beyond what’s already obvious to me, someone who works from home and sees her dog on the regular.
That said, we think the device has some utility for those looking to track their dog’s health and wellbeing when they’re not home—if, for example, you find your pup is more sedentary than you thought, you could incorporate an extra walk, or recognize a lack of sleep when you’re not around as a sign of untreated separation anxiety.
Pet parents serious about health tracking, or who want the option for GPS tracking, may need to look to heavier-duty options, like the Fi Smart Collar, the FitBark 2, and the Whistle Go Explore.
For a comprehensive look at what’s on the market, check out “The Best Dog Activity Trackers for Monitoring Your Pup’s Health,” or read about their different use cases with “Does Your Dog Need a Fitbit? Experts on Why Dog Activity Trackers Are Trending.”
Who will like the Petkit Fit 2:
- Pet parents looking for a more affordable, entry-level device with light exercise and sleep tracking
- Pet parents who want basic data about what their pup gets up to while they’re away
- Those who want an app with a built-in calendar to set dog-related reminders
Who won’t like the Petkit Fit 2:
- Those who want GPS tracking for safety purposes
- Pet parents interested in mileage tracking comparable to a traditional human fitbit
- Those who need a simpler, no-fuss user interface
- The 6 Best Dog Fitbits and Activity Trackers for Your Pup’s Health
- Does Your Dog Need a FitBit? Experts on Why Dog Activity Trackers are Trending
- Review: The Whistle Go Explore’s Combo of GPS and Activity Tracking Is Hard to Beat
- Review: How Does the Tractive GPS LTE for Dogs Stack Up?
- A Guide to Getting Fit with Your Dog