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What are Activity Trackers?
Activity trackers are devices which can monitor a person's vital signs, behavior, and overall health. People who have an active lifestyle use these devices to ensure optimal health. It can check everything from the number of steps taken when walking to heartbeats per minute. In this day’s technology, monitoring accessories are more accessible and easily installed in any gadgets.
So, it’s no surprise that there are also health monitors for dogs which allow owners and trainers to regularly check their vitals. Pet wearables for guard dogs such as activity trackers are a great tool for owners that are not physically close to their dogs. These devices can be attached to the collar or wrapped around the dog’s body.
Police K-9 units can benefit by using trackers for police dogs. Police dogs are active and energetic. They undergo rigorous training programs, not unlike the police officers who handle them. So, it is essential that handlers can regularly check their physical and mental health status.
Uses of Activity Trackers for Police Dogs
Unlike regular dogs, police dogs have strict diets and exercise regimens that handlers must follow. Therefore, activity trackers can be used in conjunction with their training. Aside from recording their activity during runs, these trackers can also be used to:
- Monitor physical movement, such as walking, running, or just sleeping.
- Record physiological parameters like temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.
- Set activity goals especially for rehabilitating pets after illness or surgery.
- Link monitor to gadgets to notify handlers about medication, feeding, and exercise.
- Use with GPS trackers to locate pets and to measure distance during jogs.
- Alert owner if someone forcibly removes the collar.
- Benchmark the progress of each dog with other puppy trainees.
Some activity trackers for police dogs have at least one or more features from the list above. Each feature is beneficial to ensure optimal health for dogs.
How can Activity Trackers be Beneficial to the Police Force?
Police officers exercise and keep themselves fit and ready for any situation. Police dogs should also be kept as healthy as their human counterparts. The use of monitoring accessories can help trainers keep track of the dogs’ physical health. They can also be used by veterinarians to record and check a dog’s progress during check-ups.
Police dogs can easily be over-worked. Activity trackers can be helpful in checking vital signs to make sure that their heart rates and temperatures are still within the healthy parameter. Many may disregard a dog’s panting as normal, but by using trackers, handlers can scrutinize if there are irregular breathing patterns.
During operations, a change in the behavior of the dog can indicate lots of things. They may have found the missing person, sniffed a bomb, or saw suspicious activity. The use of activity trackers can help their human partners identify the behavioral patterns of suspicious individuals and act accordingly.
Health monitors for dogs can also be used for older canines. Like any other living things, aging can cause a lot of problems for dogs. Police dogs are more susceptible to risks like arthritis, skin disease, and other work-related illness. Trackers can inform the handlers of the progression of the illness so they can decide how to handle or treat the next phase.
What are the Challenges of Using Trackers for Police Dogs?
As much as these activity trackers are helpful, there are still setbacks when using these gadgets. They can record and keep track of a dog’s behavior, but none can predict their possible medical conditions. Maybe in the future, trackers can diagnose an illness based on the changes in vital signs.
Too much tracking can also cause paranoia to the owners. A simple change in the behavior of the dog may result in hospital confinement or early retirement. Soon, more people might be dependent on these monitoring accessories in regards to their dog’s health.
While they look tough and intimidating, police dogs still need physical touch to know that they are cared for. No matter how many attachments are installed, physical contact is still the best way to instill a bond with dogs.
Market for Leading Activity Trackers
There is no single market for activity trackers. There are at least half a dozen of popular devices with each of their strengths and weaknesses:
- Fitbark – It gives handlers a time breakdown for a police dog’s activities and compares progress with other dogs of the same breed. It can also be recharged without removing it from the collar
- Pitpat – Similar to theFitbark, but a with a battery that can last for over a year
- Petpace – A comprehensive dog health monitor that vets can also use as reference. Thie pet wearable tracks physiological parameters such as a dog’s heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure.
- KippyVita – Integrated with a GPS tracker to monitor a police dog’s current whereabouts as well as record its past location.
Activity trackers can not only enhance the health of dogs, but it can also extend their life expectancy. Proper monitoring along with diet and exercise can go a long way in prolonging the life of any being – humans and animals alike.