In this age of big data we see humans jogging and running around with their sport watches, conscious about their exercise routines, limits and performance.
But how many times have you stopped to think about your animal best friend's exercise needs? Did you stop to think about it when the vet commented on how a few kilos less would be beneficial?
I walked into a pet shop a few months ago and a product caught my eye. The Heyrex, a device you can attach to your dog's collar and monitor its activities throughout the day. This information is then put in a chart where you can check daily, hourly and monthly activities - things like activity, scratching, sleeping.
I was surprised when looking at the box I found out the Heyrex is developed here in New Zealand, so after a few days I received a sample unit to try on Rosie.
Heyrex can be used as a standalone device for you to monitor your dog or you can upgrade to Heyrex Pro and have your account linked to a vet service so your vet can extract their own information to monitor the pet.
This is important in cases such as surgery recovery where the vet wants to make sure the dog is getting the proper balance of exercise and rest. I talked to my local pet shop and they confirmed they had a few Heyrex kits they sent out to be used in this way.
The Heyrex comes with two devices in the box: the sensor itself, which is attached to the dog's collar and the receiver which is attached via ethernet to your network.
The sensor collects data throught its motion detectors and store these bits of information until it can connect wirelessly to the receiver. It then uploads all the data to the Heyrex servers where you can then extract reports, check charts or even get your vet to access it directly.
Although I initially had the impression the Heyrex sensor was a bit large, it actually was a good fit even for a small sized dog such as our lowchen Rosie. She actually didn't bother with it at all after a few minutes.
The idea behind Heyrex is that a change in pet behaviour can be an indicator of health. Those changes can be too subtle for us to notice, or be lost if we are not constantly attending to the dog. Heyrex makes it easier to track activities, health and gives you and the vet information that can be useful if anything happens that affect the dog's health.
It currently doesn't have a GPS receiver so it can't track distances. Heyrex was developed and is locally supported in New Zealand.
- Lightweight, the pet can get used to it pretty quickly
- Data stored on sensor unit so a permanent network connection is not required
- Great tool for vets to follow up on dogs after surgeries and treatments
- No GPS tracking yet so can't report on distances or exercise locations