The Whistle and the FitBark 2 are two excellent options for a pet activity tracker, but they differ significantly in what they have to offer.
With a killer battery life and detailed doggy statistics, the FitBark 2 is our top pick for those who would like to track their own health alongside their canine companion. The Whistle tracker, on the other hand, is one of the best options on the market for keeping tabs on your dog’s location.
We compare the Whistle vs. FitBark 2 below to help you figure out the pet tracker that fits just right (both literally and figuratively).
Whistle vs. FitBark 2 — Things in Common
3D Accelerometer – Since the Whistle and FitBark 2 are both activity trackers, their primary method of measurement comes from a 3D accelerometer. The technology used with the FitBark is a proprietary point system that measures the physical activity of your pet through “activity counts” that are generated through the readings. These readings are taken multiple times a second, and reported over a 1-minute period. This sort of activity model has been used in veterinary research around the world, and is one of the reasons why the FitBark is so accurate.
The Whistle 3 can also track the activity of your dog using an accelerometer, and keeps track of intensity and minutes of activity for your pet. You can even set activity goals based on your pet’s breed, weight, and age.
Monitor Activity & Sleep 24/7 – The Whistle 3 monitors your dog’s daily activity as well as when they are resting in order to give you comprehensive health information. You can then use this information combined with the custom goals for your pet’s age, weight, and breed in order to ensure that your companion is in excellent health. FitBark has very comprehensive activity and sleep tracking, providing minute-by-minute reports on activity, sleep, distance, and calories burned. It should also give you an idea of your dog’s overall health and behavior.
Water Resistance – Both the Whistle and FitBark 2 are waterproof with IPX7 rating. This means that you shouldn’t be using them for extended swims, but the devices are rated to hold up in water up to 1 meter deep for up to 30 minutes at a time. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about your pet playing in the rain or jumping in the pool. Just make sure that you close the back of the FitBark 2 to keep the tech safe from water!
Bluetooth – Both the Whistle and Fitbark 2 use Bluetooth Low Energy to quickly and efficiently sync up. They do differ, however, in that the Whistle only uses Bluetooth for setup while the FitBark model uses it as its primary form of data transmission.
Whistle vs. FitBark 2 — Differences
Difference #1: GPS Location Tracking – One of the biggest differences between the Whistle and the FitBark 2 is that the former supports GPS tracking while the latter does not.
The Whistle uses two satellite systems, GPS and GLONASS. When you first set up the device, you’ll set a safe place (usually your home) for your pet using a WiFi connection. You can even set up multiple safe places based on where your dog normally spends their time, and in these locales the Whistle will use WiFi to transmit data and save power.
Using GPS technology, the Whistle will notify you both when your pet enters and when they leave a safe place. Once they leave their safe place, you’ll be able to find your pet using GPS anywhere in the United States.
While there are multiple GPS trackers on the market, Whistle is one of the most comprehensive as it uses GPS, WiFi, and cellular technology to keep you apprised of your dog’s location — regardless of where they are located. While Bluetooth-only trackers have a range limit of around 5 feet, you can find your dog from coast to coast using Whistle’s three-pronged system.
The FitBark 2 does not support GPS tracking, focusing instead on giving you a detailed picture of your pet’s health and wellbeing.
Difference #2: Trips – Using the same technology listed above, you can view a readout over the last 24 hours of where your pet went and when. A trip is automatically created each time your pet leaves one of their safe places, and ends the trip when they get back home and connect, once again, to WiFi.
Difference #3: Proactive Alerts – One of the biggest benefits of having a GPS-enabled activity tracker like the Whistle is its ability to help you keep your dog safe. With proactive text, app, or email notifications, you’ll be notified immediately as soon as your pet leaves their safe place.
Having that information that your dog isn’t where you expect them to be is much more useful when it happens immediately rather then when you get home from work. The Whistle tracker can give you the peace of mind that your dog is accounted for, 24/7.
Difference #4: Subscription – Because the Whistle tracker uses AT&T cellular signals and GPS technology to keep you aware of your dog’s location, there is a monthly fee associated with its use.
There are three tiers available, and the prices are lower if you buy more months at a time. If you pay month-to-month, it will cost you around $10 a month. When you buy a full year of service at once, however, you save 20%, and a two-year commitment saves 30%.
Because the FitBark 2 has no GPS capabilities, there are no additional fees associated with its use.
Difference #5: Battery Life – One area in which the FitBark 2 has a significant advantage is in battery life. In most situations, you’ll only have to plug it in for a charge twice a year! Because data is recorded and transmitted using Bluetooth Low Energy technology, it’s incredibly efficient and should keep tracking minute-by-minute for months at a time.
The Whistle, on the other hand, usually lasts around 7 days on a single charge. The company recommends, however, that you charge it around every 2 to 3 days. You’ll get a notification on from the app when it’s time to plug in, and it only takes around 2 hours to get it back up to full charge.
For more information on charging the Whistle battery, visit their charging page.
Difference #6: Connectivity – As mentioned above, the Whistle tracker uses GPS, Cellular, Bluetooth, and WiFi in some manner of the course of its daily use.
When your pet is at home, the WiFi checks your pet in at its Safe Place and uses the signal to upload data. Keep in mind that the connection only works on 2.4GHz networks, however, so you’ll want to make sure your home network is compatible before you make the purchase. Bluetooth low energy connections are also used for the initial setup process.
When your pet leaves WiFi and heads out into the world, however, GPS and Cellular kick in — giving you a sense of your dog’s whereabouts wherever they may be.
By leveraging all of these different communications standards, The Whistle can keep track of your dog whether relaxing at home or in any place across the US.
The FitBark 2 only uses Bluetooth technology, which gives it an excellent battery life at the expense of some useful features.
Difference #7: Linking to Your Profile – With the FitBark 2, you can link your dog’s tracker to your own human activity tracker. By following the steps listed on the FitBark site, you can compare relevant fitness and activity information from a Fitbit, Apple Healthkit, or Google Fit device and keep an eye on your fitness progress compared to your pet’s daily activity. Having access to this information can serve as great motivation, and keep you moving towards keeping up with your canine friend. The Whistle 3, on the other hand, lacks this feature.
Difference #8: Designed for – The FitBark 2 is primarily designed for use with dogs, but you can use it with other species with the understanding that the data will be limited and not quite as accurate.
The Whistle will work with pretty much anything you can strap a collar to — dogs, cats, T-Rexes, you name it! Just set up the tracker and strap it on to take advantage of activity readouts and detailed information about your pet’s locale.
Difference #9: Fits Collars – The Whistle attaches to collars that are 1 inch or less in diameter, which could possibly be limiting depending on the size of the collar you’re using for your dog. The FitBark 2 works with collars up to 1.5 inches wide due to the way it fastens — an aspect which we describe in more detail in the next section.
Difference #10: Fasten Type – To connect your Whistle to your dog’s collar, simply snap it into place. The fastener keeps things secure no matter how active your dog may be, and when it’s time to charge you simply twist it off and plug it in.
With the FitBark 2, you attach the tracker via zip ties. This keeps things quite secure, although it may be difficult to remove without a cutting tool. With that said, you can charge your FitBark 2 just fine while it’s connected to a collar, allowing you to set it and forget it unless you need to move it to a different collar.
Difference #11: Design – With a width of 1.45 in, height of 1.82 in, and 0.61 in of thickness, the Whistle is definitely bulkier than the FitBark 2.
The Fitbark 2 isn’t that much smaller at 1.6 x 1.1 x 0.5 in, but it’s significantly lighter at 0.35 oz versus the Whistle’s 0.92.
Difference #12: Color – The Whistle is available in Black, Blue, and Green. The FitBark 2 is only available in Black, but there are a huge variety of skins available that allow you to personalize your tracker. Overall, the FitBark 2 is the clear choice for the doggy fashionista.
Whistle vs. FitBark 2 — Comparison Chart
|Whistle 3||FitBark 2|
|Monitor Activity & Sleep 24/7||Yes||Yes|
|GPS Location Tracking||Yes||No|
|Records Trips||Yes from device’s GPS||No|
|Linking to Your Profile||No||Yes|
|Water Resistance||Waterproof IPX7||Waterproof IPX7|
|Battery Life||Up to 7 days||Up to 6 months|
|Localization||Only available in the U.S.||Works anywhere in the world|
|Designed for||Dogs, Cats, T-Rexes, etc.||Mainly dogs|
|Fits Pets||Any pet over 8 lbs||All|
|Fits Collars||Up to 1″ wide||Works w/ collars < 1.5″ (38 mm).|
|Fastens to Colar||Attachment Piece||Zip-Ties|
|Weight||0.92 oz (26 grams)||0.35 ounces (10 grams)|
|Dimensions||1.45 x 1.82 x 0.61 in
(37 x 46 x 15 mm)
|1.6 x 1.1 x 0.5 in
(41 x 28 x 13.5 mm)
|Finish||Black, Green, Blue||Black|
Whistle vs. FitBark 2 — Accessories
As mentioned above, the FitBark 2 colored skins are a worthwhile buy if you feel that black is a little boring, and zip ties are also useful if you anticipate having to remove the tracker from the collar. The WiFi base station is also a useful accessory, allowing your device to easily and automatically sync whenever your dog is at home.
The Whistle is pretty complete as is, but the carry case may be helpful when it comes time to transport it sans dog.
Whistle vs. FitBark 2 — Our Thoughts
If you can stomach the monthly fee, we feel that the Whistle 3 is the better choice due to its comprehensive tracking that builds upon the basic activity tracker. However, the FitBark 2 may be the go-to choice for those who want to track their own health in line with their dogs, and for those who don’t care about GPS tracking.
If you’d like to look at another GPS tracker option, consider taking a look at our Whistle 3 vs. Link AKC comparison to find the best Activity & GPS tracker for your pet.
Last update on 2020-01-22 at 12:59 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API