September 23, 2013

Tagg Pet Tracker - Peace of Mind for Pet Owners

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Tagg™ Pet Tracker, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #pettracker

Charger is a rescue dog who was given a very lucky second chance after being found starving on the streets in San Bernadino by an incredibly good natured fire fighter on Christmas Eve.  His family nursed Charger back to health, and tried to find his owners since he showed no signs of abuse and was as friendly as they come.  It seemed pretty plausible that he just ventured too far from home and never found his way back.  Alternatively, as some form of pitbull anything was possible to explain why he was roaming the streets.  But they knew taking him to a shelter was not an option as he'd get a week at most before being put to sleep.

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

With no success in finding his owners and two big dogs of their own at home, they started looking for a permanent home for him and long story short, that's where we come into the picture. On a whim, we adopted him after a dog trainer friend met him and insisted that he was the best natured dog she'd seen in a long time.  Fast forward a year and I'll never forget the day I thought we lost him for good.

I was on a conference call and Charger must have figured out how to hop the fence in our backyard.  I figured he couldn't have gone too far, but I think I underestimated the curiosity and endurance of a dog who was probably bored hanging out in the confines of our yard.  After canvassing as much of our steep mountainside neighborhood as I could on foot I was left with the most desperate and awful feeling.  Standing there with a dog-less leash, a pocket full of treats, a cell phone and not a clue in the world as to where to look for Charger I called Craig nearly in tears.

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

Don't worry, this story has a happy ending. Duh. In the end, a contractor doing work on a house a few blocks away was greeted by a slobbery, waggy tailed, panting dog and was kind enough to hang on to him and call his now frantic owner.    At this point Craig had come home from work and we were driving around aimlessly looking for Charger and praying we would find him in one piece.  Sure Charger was mircochipped, but that was useless until someone found him and brought him to a shelter and certainly wouldn't help me find him any faster on my own.

Which is why when I heard about the Tagg Pet Tracker I was dying to check it out.  The Tagg Pet Tracker is basically a GPS for your dog, cat or pet wallaby if you happen to have one of those.  But then I'm totally jealous of you and not sure if we can be friends.  It has a lightweight piece that you clip on to their collar which allows you to see some pretty cool information via the Tagg App on your iPhone.  

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

I was able to set an adjustable perimeter called the Tagg Zone.  If Charger was inside that zone then he was good to go.  If he left that zone I would get an alert that he had left the Tagg Zone.  Sure, that sounds pretty good, right? On the day I thought we lost Charger for good, here's what I really could have used.  

Not only does the Tagg Pet Tracker locate your pet and show you where they are if they wander away from home, it then gives you directions to where your pet is.  I could get full step-by-step directions to find Charger that day.  Even if he was on the move.  Technically, he was not too far from our home, but because of how our neighborhood is designed it was a bit of a distance by car and not a street I would have instinctively thought to look on. 

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

Beyond that, I have to say that being the owner of a lot of random pieces of technology I've never seen one that sends more valid, intelligent alerts.  For example, I get an alert when the battery on Charger's Tagg is running low.  It pops up on my phone or email and lets me know I need to give it a recharge.  Can we talk about the fact that I wish my Toyota Highlander sent me an email letting me know I need to put gas in it?  And if that wasn't impressive enough, I also get an alert when the battery is finished charging so I remember to put the Tagg back on Charger's collar.  No use having a GPS if it's sitting on your desk instead of on your dog.  Which brings me to the next cool thing...yes, there's more. 

Wide eyed pitbull Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

Taking into consideration the fact that Charger's need to run around the neighborhood was largely due to him being bored, a few months back we added Stella to the mix.  Stella's story is a lot like Charger's only she was found and dropped off at a local shelter with Parvo.  This is the face that won me over in a heartbeat.  What I didn't realize at the time was that this sad eyed puppy had enough energy to power at least a full city block. 

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

Both of our dogs live to chase tennis balls.  Only I've noticed a shift in the last few months.  Charger who has always been the powerhouse athlete, incredibly fast runner and the first to any ball suddenly has some competition.  That's right, Stella is kicking his butt in our recent games of fetch.

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

Which left me wondering if Charger was getting enough exercise or if we were being consistent in giving Charger and Stella enough time to run like the wind. You know, they say that exercise is the key to keeping dogs from getting destructive. My ever shrinking collection of socks and the sheer number of Kayla's destroyed stuffed animals I have sneakily thrown in the trash lead me to believe that Craig and I need to step up our game with the dogs.

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

Have you been in the market for one of those activity tracking devices like a Fitbit or a Fuelband?  I know I have, but haven't pulled the trigger on choosing one yet.  So it's insanely cool to me that the Tagg also functions as a device similar to one of those in addition to the peace of mind GPS tool.  I can check Charger's activity level and see not only how active he is, but also compare the different levels of activity  like running vs. walking vs. chasing flies in the yard Mr. Miyagi style.  Okay it doesn't really track the last one, but it's actually water resistant so I don't have to worry about Charger diving into the pool (as he does) before I have a chance to take it off.

Tagg Pet tracker GPS for dogs, #pettracker , GPS and fitness monitor for dogs

We do take Charger and Stella's collars off in the evening once we put Kayla to bed so they don't wake her up by shaking and jingling their tags and don't usually put them back on until mid-morning when we head outside for anything more than just a bathroom break.  Therefore we miss out on some data but certain things like sleeping children can't be sacrificed.  What I did find out is that there was a lot of variation in Charger's activity level and that my suspicions were right, we really do need to make sure we give those dogs more exercise consistently.  We tended to slack during the work week and give the dogs more exercise on the weekends. I probably could have guessed that on my own, but there is nothing like hard evidence to force you to change your ways.

And the real question in our home these days is how do we get one of these made into a bracelet for Kayla?  I want a Tagg Zone for my equally adventurous 4 year old.  Just sayin!  If you are curious about Tagg I'm happy to share that you can snag one for 10% off the regular $99 price using the discount TAGG10 this also includes 3 months of service for your Tagg Pet Tracker.

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