Whistle Go is a pet wearable that tracks sleep, scratching and licking

'Fitbit for pets' now includes health monitoring and extended battery life
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Whistle Labs, a leading maker of wearables for pets, is bringing a new level of health tracking to its devices.

According to a survey by the company, we love our pets more than we love ourselves, and half of us prioritize our dog’s health over our own. (Yeah, we could’ve told you that for free.) To help cater to this predilection for our pets, Whistle Labs has released two new devices that will keep tabs on Fido’s health.

Read this: Best dog GPS trackers, pet activity monitors and smart collars

Whistle GO and Whistle GO Explore are the fourth generation of the company's pet wearable, and combine the real-time location tracking and activity monitoring features of the current Whistle device, with a new behavior and health monitoring platform.

Other new features include extended battery life (10 days for Whistle GO and 20 days for Whistle GO Explore) and faster tracking. The Explore also has a built-in light you can turn on from the app, and an IPX8 rating (Whistle GO is IPX7).

Whistle Go is a pet wearable that tracks sleep, scratching and licking

First launched in 2013 as a “Fitbit for dogs,” the original Whistle was a chunky device you clipped to your dog’s (or large cat’s) collar to track the duration, time, and intensity of his/her exercise time, much like a Fitbit does for humans. The device similarly feeds the data to your smartphone over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, so you can see if Fido needs an extra outing that evening.

In 2015 the company purchased competitor Tagg and launched Whistle GPS with location tracking. Whistle3, which was also much smaller than the previous version so could fit on more dogs and cats, followed in 2017. With a cellular subscription fee, Whistle3 lets you set a virtual perimeter around your home or current location and get an alert when your dog crosses it.

The companion app also lets you check in on your pet’s daily trips, current and past, and see a heatmap of where they’ve been, and get notifications when your pet is close and achieves the daily activity goal you’ve set.

The Whistle GO models include all the same features and technology as Whistle 3, but incorporate a new health monitoring element that taps into the GPS and a new, more sensitive accelerometer to detect changes in sleep, licking, and scratching. Partnering with Banfield veterinarians, Whistle Labs undertook a three-year study of over 55,000 dogs to observe behavior and health trends to help develop the software that can alert owners to potential changes in the health of their pet.

“Whistle GO and Whistle GO Explore provide pet parents a new window into their pet’s world, helping to answer the top questions parents have regarding their pet--location, exercise, and health,” Collette Bunton, CEO of Whistle, told Wareable.

“It’s not a medical device, there’s no diagnosing, but it is about providing more information to you as a pet owner. We want to give some insight that the dog can't. Dogs are bred to be able to hide illnesses, so we're just trying to be able to say, ‘Hey, there's something going on that you may not have seen.’” Once you get that information, Whistle Labs hopes it will help inform your conversations with your vet and possibly diagnose any potential issues sooner.

Whistle GO is available now priced at $99.95 and comes in blue, pink, and taupe. Whistle GO Explore will set you back $129.95 and comes in gray, magenta and green. Both require an AT&T cellular subscription with plans starting at $6.95 a month.

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Jennifer has been an editor for two decades and has been covering the smart home, consumer tech, IOT and its intersection with sustainable living since 2013.

Jennifer currently covers the smart home for The Verge.

She began her career at The Daily Telegraph, before moving to Sun Valley, Idaho where she worked as a journalist and editor for local magazines and newspapers.

She also contributes to Wirecutter, U.S. News & World Report, Dwell.com, Success Magazine, Charleston Magazine and Mother Earth News; and is the Contributing Editor at Dwell Magazine.

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