Product Review: Animo Dog Activity and Behaviour Monitor
Adulting is hard, and sometimes after a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is leash up your pooch and head to the park. That’s why many pet parents opt to pay for the significant convenience of a professional dog walker. For most of my dog’s life (10 wonderful years), I have used a walker Monday to Friday while I’m at work earnin’ the bacon. This luxury is necessary for me because my pup, Gizmo, has separation anxiety, and sometimes my days are long.
While I love the convenience of using a walker, let me tell you, they ain’t cheap! Although the hefty monthly bill is overall worth it, sometimes I can’t help but wonder what, exactly, am I paying for? Does my dog behave on his walks? Where does he go? What does he do? Does he get scared? Are the other dogs friendly? My questions are endless!
For months I’ve considered trying out a dog activity monitor to get answers to some of my (many) questions, but with so many on the market, I didn’t know where to start. That’s why I was over the moon excited when Sure Petcare reached out to have me try their Animo Dog Activity and Behaviour Monitor; finally, I could get some much-anticipated insights into my dog’s health, wellness, and routine — especially while I’m away at work
The Animo tracker is small and attractive, and most importantly, easy to use. It seamlessly attaches to any dog collar up to 1 ¼” wide and is secure, so you don’t have to worry about it falling off. It lays flat, and at only 22g, Gizmo doesn’t even seem to notice he’s wearing it. The tracker appears to be well made and durable, and most importantly, it’s waterproof, so walks on rainy days or muddy puddles at the park are no big deal. I’m particularly impressed with the long-lasting battery; a standard coin cell battery that lasts for up to six months. The best part is when the battery is low or needs replacing the tracker will alert you by sending a notification via your Sure Petcare App (compatible with iOS 9 and above or Android 5.0 and above).
Over the past couple of weeks, my Animo has been great because it’s been showing me exactly how active Gizmo is with the walker, and how many calories he’s burning on his daily adventures. I have to admit, I’m impressed with the results and feel pretty guilty for having had any doubts.
What I love about this tracker is the fact that you get real-time behavior-based alerts to indicate changes in your dog’s health; this has helped me understand what’s going on with Gizmo (things that I might have missed otherwise). For example, the other morning I received an alert letting me know that he’d had a restless night, so I was able to tell the walker to take it easy on him that day and make sure he didn’t run himself too hard.
I was also alerted to a significant change in Gizmo’s level of shaking a couple of times. The week that this happened he was under the weather, so it made sense to me that his shaking had increased. My only complaint about the shaking monitoring (currently in beta testing along with the barking and scratching features) is that the x-axis on the graph doesn’t show me what his shaking is getting measured against (it’s blank) so I don’t have a comprehensive understanding of what the chart is trying to tell me.
Why Use a Tracker
Dogs are creatures of habit and changing their routine, or trying something new, doesn’t always go over well. This tracker can give you medical insights and feedback on how your pooch is adjusting to changes in their life, and help you understand your dog’s progress and development with things like post-op recovery, separation anxiety, diabetes, arthritis, dermatitis, and weight loss/gain. The longer you use the tracker, the more detailed the data and this detailed information can help you inform your veterinarian about what’s going on with your pup, so together, you can make better decisions for their wellbeing.
Once your dog has been wearing the tracker for at least a week, it will begin suggesting goals based on the previous week’s activity. If you feel the goals aren’t accurate because they’ve been skewed by a change in your routine (i.e. your dog walker goes on vacation, and you slack on walks for a day or two) rest assured, you can manually change the goals in the app.
Knowing just how active Gizmo is with his walker on any given day has been HUGE for me. That said, I’d love the next iteration to include a map that shows me where he goes on his walks, and how many miles he walks (as this information isn’t currently available).
Overall, the Animo has been beneficial given my lifestyle, and my particular concerns and I would happily purchase this product. Although I originally wanted a tracker to monitor what’s happening on my dog’s walks, having insight into Gizmo’s overall health has been genuinely comforting. The more information I have available to be proactive with Gizmo’s health, the longer he’ll be with me, and what could be more important than that? If you’re a pet parent who wants to stay on top of your dog’s health and wellbeing, I would definitely recommend the Animo Dog Activity and Behaviour Monitor.
Just a note that Animo isn’t designed to be a location – it’s focus is on dog’s health and wellbeing (GPS trackers come with a monthly subscription and have a horrendous battery life).
For more information or to purchase the Animo Dog Activity and Behaviour Monitor, visit Sure Petcare.
Marie Van Wassenhoven lives in Toronto with her partner, and one of a kind French Bulldog, Gizmo. Marie has had a passion for critters (big and small) since she was a young child. She particularly has a soft spot for rescues and senior animals, and it's not uncommon to find her trying her darndest to re-home an animal in need.
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