Aug
11

Many people ask if Ruby’s microchip is also a GPS tracker. No, microchips simply store identification data – if scanned by a vet or shelter, the chip can tell you our names, address and phone number. Of course she has a dog tag on her collar with my cell number on it as well.

In the last 6 months or so, I’ve been called twice by neighbors saying Ruby was hanging out in their yards. Which completely freaked me out because we always keep her safely in the house or fenced in the back yard – she’s not allowed to roam.

Yet she has gone exploring a few times. Once the back fence was left open. Another time during home remodeling a contractor left a door wide open. And each time I have a heart attack. What if she was lost? What if she gets hit by a car? What if someone steals her? She’s gorgeous, who wouldn’t want her?

A friend told me about Whistle for dogs, so I checked it out. Overall, it had very good reviews and pet parents seemed to like the peace of mind that comes along with it. I also looked at pricing, which as of today is $79.95 from Whistle directly, Amazon and Chewy. All three have free shipping and you can read lots of reviews on Amazon and Chewy. We’ve been using it for a month now, so I can confidently say that I am really happy with it. You can see the device attaches to her collar in the picture on the right. It’s light and pretty inconspicuous. She doesn’t seem to notice it at all and we rarely do.

Whistle connects to our home wifi and lets us know if Ruby leaves the wifi/home area with an alert via the Whistle app on my phone. So far, all of those alerts have been because family members have been taking her for walks. If she were accidentally wandering, I would know pretty quickly. And then that’s when the GPS technology comes in handy, because you can ping the GPS location every minute or so and track down your dog. It’s not real time tracking, but getting their location down to the minute is very helpful! I’ve tried it out when we are on walks with Ruby and it’s always very accurate in terms of location.

The other thing I really love about Whistle is the activity tracker. It’s like a fitbit for dogs! It can tell how active Ruby is and we can set goals for her and see if she hits her goals. Our goal for Ruby is to get 60 minutes of activity (minimum) per day. The Whistle adds this up from how many minutes she’s on walks but also I can tell it goes up for playing and running around in the house as well. I check this every day to see how she’s doing and encourage more activity if she’s running low for the day. Once there were a few days when her activity was lower than usual, and I got an email from Whistle letting me know and checking to see if Ruby was feeling okay. How cool is that!

Another cool feature is that you can have more than one person with access to the app – they generate a special code for privacy reasons and you text it to another person you want to have access to your dog’s info, such as a spouse or dog sitter, etc.

I should mention there is also a monthly subscription fee to use the GPS tracking portion, since that is out of the home wifi area and requires a cell signal. It ranges from $6.99 to $9.99 per month, depending on if you pay per month or pay ahead 1-2 years. I went with the cheapest, pay ahead option.

To be crystal clear, this is in no way a sponsored post – I paid for all of the Whistle features myself!

 

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