Fitness for You and Your Pet

First, my wife, Amber, got a Fit Bit® and started challenging her friends to walk and exercise more. Then, I got a Fit Bit. All of a sudden, Amber and I were competing to walk our dog, Tater Tot. Minimally, a short Tater walk will give us 1,000 steps. That is a good chunk out of the American Heart Association’s goal of 10,000 daily steps. Tater was thrilled that his daily walks seem to double overnight.

fitness for you and your pet

Soon, we got a Fit Bit® for Tater! Well, it’s actually called a FitBark. A Fitbark® is a bone shaped device that attaches to his collar. It is virtually connected to an app on my phone, so that I can track his activity. Instead of counting steps, the program calculates Barkpoints through an algorithm that senses exercise, play and rest. I have no idea how it actually figures out his Barkpoint number, but I do know that Amber, Tater and I are active as ever. We are all motivating each other.

Wait a minute, you say! How is Tater motivating us? It is psychology 101, man! As a pet owner, I feel bad if my dog is lying around all of the time. Now, I have numbers to tell me when he is living an active or a lazy existence. Be careful what you measure!

As a veterinarian, I have encouraged many parents to exercise their pets more. This is a great tool to assist in those efforts. There are other similar devices out their like Voyce® and Whistle®. They all have some unique attributes. For me the price was right for the Fitbark® (about $58) and it does not require a monthly fee.

Clearly, none of us need to use a device to keep our pets in shape. Sometimes, tools come along to help us connect with our pet in a fun way. For cats, one of my favorites is a laser pointer. If you have never seen a cat attempt to pounce on a laser spot, you are missing some good fun.

Please share your thoughts on the Golden Paws Facebook page about what you do to stay active and engaged with your pet. I would love to hear your ideas!

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