Feb 232015

This blog post was written by, and highlights the Fall 2014 final project of, EMAC undergraduate student Justin Ozuna. Follow him on Twitter @TheOzunaVerse. The assignment for which he made the project can be found here.

Pet ownership is a way of life in the United States. According to humanesociety.org, more than 80 million dogs are pets in U.S. households. Eighty million! For perspective, there are an estimated 316 million people living in the United States. Nearly 47 percent of households own at least one dog, and the upward trend doesn’t show any signs of decline in the near future. In fact, pet ownership has nearly tripled since the 1970s.

Where there are numbers, there is a thriving industry. Americans will spend $58 billion on all pets combined this year. Walk into any store and there’s likely to be an aisle (or two) of pet food, snacks, toys and accessories. What you won’t be able to buy in the store, however, is time. After a long day of work and a full schedule of evening activities, Fido is ready for a long walk. The problem is that there’s not always time to take your pet for a stroll in the neighborhood before the sun goes down and the stars fill the sky. Walking your pet at night means you’re at the mercy of overcautious drivers and hyper-focused neighbors to stay safe.

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Feb 232014

I own three dogs and I’m a busy graduate student with a full time job.  I’m not sure my dogs get the exercise they need.  If you’ve followed my blogs you k now I have an addiction to the Nike Fuelband.  I won’t say I’ve been using it lately, but I love the idea of gamification of fitness.  Well, guess what?  For those of us who go more than ten miles out of our way to buy the best food for our pets there is a wearable fitness tracker designed for them too.

According the CNBC’s Cadie Thomson fitness will be big business in the pet market, which is expected to reach $62 billion this year.

This new tracker, made especially for dogs, is designed by a New York based startup company called FitBark.  The company describes their product as a “device that attaches to a collar and collects data on the dog’s activity levels throughout the day. The data syncs to the FitBark application, so owners can check in whenever they want.”

This new tracking device will gauge a pet’s health and break down health trends so that the owner can be alerted when something is out of whack. 


Dog wearing FitBark

Now, I like the idea, but if my pet starts to win more Fuel points than do…