There are a lot of advantages to having a dog: constant companionship, unconditional love, a source of entertainment – but did you know that being a dog parent can actually help you live longer?
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Recent studies show that people who live with dogs have reduced levels of stress, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight. And while part of their health perks come from the fact that owning a dog forces you to get out and walk around at least twice a day, those short walks do not fully account for the differences in overall health between people with and without dogs.
So what is it about having a dog that helps us stay healthy? Two companies – Whistle and Jawbone – are taking their behavior monitoring equipment and harnessing their abilities to track the relationship between people and their dogs.
Meet The Partners
Whistle is a monitor that attaches to your dog’s collar, keeping track of just how long your dog has been active throughout the day. The Whistle app knows when your dog has been playing, walking, or resting, and it also lets you set goals, see how active other dogs are, and generally better understand what a day in the life of your dog looks like.
Jawbone – pioneers in the bluetooth marketplace – developed an incredibly popular armband that records all of your daily activity, uploading it to their app to help you track your progress, set goals, and reach milestones. Called the UP system, this intuitive piece of technology is Jawbones contribution to the new “quantifiable-self” health craze.
How The System Works
In order to help you understand the specific ways your dog impacts your health, Jawbone and Whistle have formed a modified partnership, allowing your to track both your and your dog’s activity on one app. This partnership makes it simple to see exactly how your dog’s behavior impacts your own.
Steve Eidelman, co-founder of Whistle, says that “By collecting this information, we’re creating the largest set of data correlating human and pet activity to help us better understand the true benefits of animals in our daily lives.”
So, not only will this system help you figure out whether having your dog sleep in your room helps you get a better eight hours, but by adding your data to this large community pool, you are helping to uncover exactly what it is about having a dog that makes us all healthier.
Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy for Jawbone, outlined why this partnership with Whistle is so important:
We are making it easier for people to see the valuable impacts of owning a pet and the improved quality of life that comes from that relationship. People have always had the notion that pets can help individuals live healthier, more active lives, but until now there has been very little access to specific insights around this topic. By integrating data from Whistle, we’ll be able to see the trends in healthy habits of dog owners.
What do you think about tracking your dog’s activity throughout the day? Would you do it? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.