If your dog is looking a bit on the chubby side, you may like to know that Co-Op are now offering a free PitPat wearable activity monitor for dogs if you take out a new pet insurance policy.
The PitPat, which normally sells for £39.99 is designed to monitor your pet’s activity and calories. It communicates via Bluetooth with an app on your mobile phone so that the owner can monitor their pet’s activity.
Clever use of accelerometers means that the PitPat device, which is attached to the dog’s collar, can differentiate between walking, running and playing. Data is downloaded to the phone app, which can also make an educated guess about how many calories the dog has burnt that day.
As the owner of a water loving labrador, I was relieved to see that the PitPat device is waterproof to 1 meter and has been designed to be rugged in use. The battery lasts a year before it needs to be charged and the phone based app can monitor up to three dogs, each wearing an individual PitPat.
Apparently, 60% of vets’ cite obesity as the biggest health and welfare concern for UK pets, according to the British Veterinary Association.
Matt Brash, Resident Co-op Insurance vet, explained that “Pet obesity is a rising problem in the UK, which, if left untreated can cause diabetes, heart disease and cancer, resulting in expensive veterinary treatment and emotional upset.”
As PitPat measures the levels of activity, which if adopted by insurers to measure individual pet health, could have the potential to bring down the premiums for owners with active dogs.
This could potentially work in a similar way to car black box insurance or telematics for car insurance, which record driver behaviours, and can reduce premiums.
David Hampson, Head of Pet Insurance at Co-op commented that “Just like humans, prevention is paramount when it comes to our pet’s health and analysing real time data can help to achieve this. By better understanding dogs and how they behave, we’re able to directly correlate exercise with health.
With this knowledge, owners are able to amend their pet’s routine in line with each individual breed’s exercise needs, and ensure that they enjoy an active and varied exercise routine.
“We want to help customers to take responsibility for their pet’s health as we recognise that lack of exercise is one of the main causes of pet obesity in this country. By providing new customers with an easy-to-use device we hope to help tackle this easily preventable disease and help educate pet owners along the way.”
The free PitPat offer is available to new customers only who buy Pet Insurance directly from Co‑op Insurance. The offer ends on 20/09/2017.