By Kate Freeman
Here's a whole new reason to play fetch with Fido. With Tagg – The Pet Tracker, the activity tracker for dogs, you can view how much activity your pet has had in the past 24 hours and determine if he needs more or fewer walks. And just like advanced activity trackers for humans, this one can differentiate between various activities — in this case, catching a Frisbee, rolling over or playing fetch.
This new activity tracking will be available late next week for free to current Tagg owners in an over-the-air update. The current Tagg device is used solely as a tracker and uses GPS to keep tabs on your dog's location. This technology will still be available in the new version, but now includes the activity monitoring. To buy the collar attachment and base, it'll cost $99.95 plus $7.95 a month for the service. Or those with multiple trackers, each tracker after the $7.95 charge is .50 cents.
"Activity, exercise and wellness are hot topics these days, and while there are hundreds of ways for people to measure their progress, there has not been a tracking option for pet parents to monitor the activity of their four-legged family members as they do for themselves," Dave Vigil, president of Snaptracs, the company that made Tagg, tells Mashable. "Much like the exercise journals and health records we use to help understand our own health and wellness, the data captured using the Activity Tracking feature will help owners monitor their pet's overall activity so they can make informed decisions about their pet's exercise routine and be alerted about changes in their pet's activity over time."
Pet parents can see how active their dog has been on the free iPhone or Android app, or on a desktop through a free Tagg account on the website. Movement is assigned a "Tagg Point" value based on the intensity and duration of the activity, ranging from resting to highly active. Tagg activity points are assigned to one of the following categories:
Tagg will notify you and up to five people immediately if your pet leaves the "Tagg Zone" – the area where the pet spends most of its time. You can also view your pet's activity level and Tagg Points for each 10-minute period, plus weekly, monthly and 90-day charts displaying their activity levels. This way, pet owners can decide if Fido needs more outdoor time or can enjoy a treat and a nap.
Battery life of Tagg depends on how close your pet stays to the docking station, but if the battery does get low, you'll receive a text message reminding you to charge the device. It takes about an hour to charge it.
Tagg comes in four colors: white, gray, blue and pink, and attaches to your dog's existing collar with a clip and strap. The rubber strap allows you to attach the Tagg tracker to various sized collars, but it won't work with metal, studded or jeweled collars. The collar is meant to be used for dogs and cats over 10 pounds.
In addition to tracking your pets health and location, the free apps can direct you to local vets, dog parks and pet stores.
Tagg is available on the company's website and on Amazon.com, Target.com, Apple.com, Petco.com and at Target and Apple stores, and veterinarian offices nationwide. The trackers being sold at Target and Apple retail for $99.95 with three free months of service. Soon it will be sold in Best Buy and other retailers.
Would you like to know how much exercise your pet is getting when you're gone during the day? Tell us in the comments.