I put a fitness tracker on my dog — here's what happened

Minitailz Dog Health and GPS Tracker.
Belvedere (left) and his bud. (Image credit: Future)

I recently got my hands on the new Minitailz Dog Health and GPS tracker, announced in January at CES, and promptly affixed it to my dog Beleveder's collar, just in time for an epic afternoon puppy playdate. 

Think of it as a smartwatch or fancy fitness tracker for cats and dogs. The Minitailz, from Invoxia, sports an onboard GPS, Wi-fi and LTE-M antenna for real-time location and activity tracking. Priced at $100, the device has a monthly fee of a little over $8 for the cellular connectivity. 

Minitailz – key features

Minitailz Dog Health and GPS Tracker.

The Minitailz tracker has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. (Image credit: Future)

Beyond keeping tabs on your fluffy friend's location, the Minitailz provides insights into their exercise habits, as well as common behaviors like barking, drinking, eating, and playing. If worn day and night, it also provides daily wellness reports. 

Minitailz: $99 (tracker), $129 (annual subscription)

Minitailz: <a href="https://petcare.invoxia.com/en-US#tech_spec" data-link-merchant="petcare.invoxia.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$99 (tracker), $129 (annual subscription)
The Invoxia Minitailz is a rectangular device that attaches to your pet's collar, providing real-time location data, fitness tracking and wellness insights. It sports both GPS and LTE antennas to ensure precise pet positioning. The annual subscription cost covers the latter.

Heart and lung health monitoring are also key features. However, these tools require extended wearing. Over time, the tracker builds a profile of your pet's breathing patterns, resting and maximum heart rates and unique pulse signatures. With this data, it monitors for irregularities and serious health conditions, including atrial fibrillation (AFib).

Setting up the Minitailz

Minitailz Dog Health and GPS Tracker.

The tracker is fairly lightweight but a little chunky. I was able to attach it to the handle of my dog's harness.  (Image credit: Future)

With only a short amount of time to unbox and set up the Minitailz before Belvedere's ride arrived — it was fortuitously delivered the day of his playdate — I quickly got it charging and installed the companion Invoxia Petcare app.

Fortunately, the device arrived with a decent amount of battery life, and setup was a breeze. The app asks basic questions about your pet, including age, weight, gender and breed(s).

Belvedere is a mixed-breed dog, and I was able to specify his breakdown of Long-Haired Chihuahua, Miniature Pinscher and Dachshund. With all this info punched in and the device installed on his harness, he was ready to go.

And Belvedere's off! 

Minitailz Dog Health and GPS Tracker.

Zoomies alert! (Image credit: Future)

It didn't take long before I received my first notification from the Minitialz: Transportation was detected, and Belvedere was on the move! Using real-time tracking, I was able to check in and see where he and his buddies were headed. 

About forty minutes later, I received another update. Transportation had ended, and a pet walk was detected. However, it was the next notification that sent me into a fit of laughter: "Zoomies" had been detected — Belvedere had just made a sprint.

A few hours later, I got another update that Belevedere's walk had ended, and he was in the car on his way back home. 

It turns out, my dog loves to trot

Minitailz Dog Health and GPS Tracker.

Belvedere spent just under a third of his pup adventure trotting.  (Image credit: Future)

Once back safely in my care and completely tuckered out, I popped open the Invoxia app to see what other fun data points and insights might be waiting for me. That's when I discovered that my dog is a big-time trotter.

The Minitailz classifies movement into one of three categories: walking, trotting and running. Belvedere spent only one minute running during his adventure, which was a bit disappointing. But he did manage to get in a solid 34 minutes of trotting and another hour and eleven minutes of walking.

By the way, Invoxia defines trotting as "one of the gaits of dogs. When a dog trots, two of its legs touch the ground simultaneously, followed by the other two, and so on." Here I was thinking that was called prancing. 

Somewhere between a sprint and a saunter, the trot is the most sophisticated and graceful of all puppy movements — according to me — and reserved for only the most regal of Beagles (and mixed-breed pups named Belv). 

Minitailz Dog Health and GPS Tracker.

The Minitailz tracker stayed attached to Belvedere's harness without issue.  (Image credit: Future)

Minitailz pet tracker – final thoughts

Of course, activity insights only scratch the surface of what the Minitailz is capable of. And I look forward to testing out the health, behavior and wellness features as soon as I get a proper collar to attach the device to — the harness doesn't seem as ideal. Until then, catch Belvedere and me trotting down a sidewalk near you. 

More from Tom's Guide:

Dan Bracaglia
Senior Writer, Fitness & Wearables

Dan Bracaglia covers fitness and consumer technology with an emphasis on wearables for Tom's Guide. Based in the US Pacific Northwest, Dan is an avid outdoor adventurer who dabbles in everything from kayaking to snowboarding, but he most enjoys exploring the cities and mountains with his small pup, Belvedere. Dan is currently training to climb some of Washington State's tallest peaks. He's also a big photography nerd.