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This collar is like a FitBit – Medic Alert combo for your fur baby

Most pet trackers tell you where your pet’s run off to using some sort of location-finding feature like GPS. PetPace takes this concept a step further. Instead of focusing on pet location, PetPace’s aim is to keep your pet healthy by acting like a Medic Alert/Fitbit combo for your furbaby.

Technically speaking, PetPace is a collar and base that communicates with a 24-hour monitoring service to track your pet’s health. Most animals aren’t good at communicating when they’re not feeling well. Some even hide. But when sensors in their collar pick up temperature, respiration, pulse, and HRV, their owner  — or even a vet — can see their condition on their phone app or on the web. Abnormalities in the readings trigger an alert to the concerned parties; and vets may use PetPace for inpatient as well as outpatient monitoring.

Activity levels and positions (as in sleep positions) show up for review too, since immobility can be a sign of serious trouble. Of course, no tracker today would be complete without a calorie counter, which brings to mind many chubby dogs and cats that could benefit from that particular stat.

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Some pets need PetPace more than others; they may or be recovering from a major surgery or suffer from a chronic condition. For example Pippa, a 61-lb. Golden Retriever with hip dysplasia (inflammation of the hip joint) was fitted with PetPace to track her pain levels and overall well-being. She spent more time laying on her right side than her left, which is unusual for dogs like her. That could indicate pain in that side. A closer look at her Heart Rate Variability, another pain indicator, also showed some fluctuations and skewed lower than expected.

Taken together, the HRV and positioning showed Pippa had mild, intermittent pain. But otherwise, she seemed perfectly healthy. Her pulse was better than dogs in her age and weight range, and her respiration was in the expected range. That was just one example the case studies PetPace has been involved in since its launch in 2012.

PetPace costs $150 for the unit, plus $15 per month for round-the-clock monitoring service. Not cheap, but worth the investment for special cases. The monitoring includes links to vets that use the system.