I've always been a tad bit jealous when I see people with their dogs in off-leash areas with their dogs actually off leash. Call me a worrisome dog-mom, but sometimes I get way too nervous that Maya might decide to dart at an animal, leaf, or her imaginary dog friend (anyone else feel like their dog chases after nothing somethings? Ha!). Luckily one of my dog-mom friends from Gal's Best Friend introduced me to the Fi Smart Dog Collar. I hadn't looked much into it before her and her team sent us one to try out, but once I understood the GPS tracking capabilities, lost dog mode, and other great features of this product, I was hooked! Read on to learn about the best features (and the not so great features) and our overall opinion on the Fi collar.
The Best Features:
The only feature I was aware of when we received the Fi was the activity tracking. At the time, we had recently been told that Maya was a bit "fluffier" than she should be, so upping her activity was on my mind. The collar syncs to an app that allows you to track steps by day, set weekly step goals, and share walks with friends and family. I thought great! A fit bit for my dog, super fun. If only I could compete with her too haha!
In my opinion, the true power of the collar lies in the GPS tracking. It's a fun feature if you're like us and travel with your dog (when I'm on the solo go I can see the fun Maya's up to), but it's an extremely powerful safety feature as well. You may be wondering how good a GPS tracker can be in a tiny collar. Fi was built with the best technology - the newest networks (LTE-M) for 20-30% more coverage, Bluetooth Low Energy tech, and a battery like that lasts up to 3 months (one of the longest on the market) thanks to the powerful technology.
The GPS tracking is not only fun, but it also enables you as a dog-parent to act quickly in emergency situations. If you're notified that your dog escapes from one of the "safe-zones" you set up in the app, you can immediately activate the Lost Dog mode. Once activated, a few things happen: live location tracking is turned on, you will start to receive notifications about your dog's location every minute, and a red flashing light will activate on your dog's collar. You'll also have access to emotion support from Fi's pet recovery experts through their 24/7 lost dog helpline.
In addition to the great functionalities, the collar is pretty sleek as well. The band itself is detachable from the tracking device, a smart choice by Fi, allowing them to introduce more collars FINALLY! We currently have the gray band but are anxiously waiting to find out which colors will be released next (check out the screenshot below for the options we voted on!) The tracking device is also water-proof, which is a must for us since we love the beach.
The Not so Great Features:
It's hard for me to come up with things about the Fi collar that I don’t like, but there are a few things to consider if you're looking into purchasing one. Yes, it is technology, which means the collar has to be charged. But what's another device to charge in addition to the 5 we already use? The collar is also a bit chunkier than a regular collar, so I sometimes worry about Maya's comfort, but we try to avoid any discomfort by removing her collar at night when she sleeps. Otherwise, it doesn't seem to bother her at all. Lastly, the only other issue I've had with the collar is when we go to the beach. Sometimes sand gets stuck in the buckle, making the collar hard to remove/re-clip. I've solved this issue for the most part of tapping the buckle on the ground to get the sand out.
All in all, I give the Fi collar an A+. While I started out thinking it was a "just for fun" kind of product, I quickly realized the safety benefits the collar provides. If you're the slightest bit worried about your dog wandering off like I am (after all, we did raise adventure dogs), the Fi collar is a must. Check out the Fi shop here, and use the code Maya25 for 25% off!