Kansas City-based tech firm FitBark recently released an in-depth, interactive map plotting the vast array of data it collects on dogs around the world.
The company, which relocated to Kansas City after completing the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator program in 2014, opened its database to the public, sharing a trove of insights into canine health and activity. Led by CEO Davide Rossi, FitBark’s public database — called FitBark Explore — aggregates and anonymizes data from thousands of dogs in 54 countries that collectively represent 160 breeds.
“It’s about really starting to give back to the community of users that have been contributing all this information,” Rossi said. “We want to give back to them and put their dog’s health into perspective. … The idea is really to get out information that improves and deepens our relationship with our dogs. We’re not charging for the data.”
The database colorfully shares with users such information as breeds’ average activity by age and weight, breeds’ sleeping patterns, dogs’ sleeping efficiency by weight and age, puppies’ activity and many more metrics. Rossi said that the database also enhances FitBark’s product by offering users more information on how their dogs compare to other similar breeds. It also makes people more curious about their pets’ health, which increases awareness of the product, he said.
FitBark is currently working with a variety of veterinary clinics and researchers around the world to gain new insights on dogs’ health. Rossi said that hundreds of FitBarks are being used in clinical studies to create and test treatments for dogs with different ailments and characteristics.
What many people don’t realize is that our product is currently being used by many universities, institutions and companies to run clinical studies,” he said. “(The organizations) understand and realize that it’s a medical monitoring tool to run studies and test treatments or medications.”
Here are seven interesting facts that FitBark confirmed with its data on the FitBark Explore platform:
1) Missouri has the most active dogs in the United States. Massachusetts, California and New York follow very closely.
2) Switzerland has the most active dogs in the world. Europe takes the crown hands down in this category. Pups in Switzerland, Ireland and Great Britain enjoy a highly active lifestyle.
3) Puppies don’t sleep as much as we think they do. Human newborns need 16 to 20 hours of sleep per day, while puppies need only 10 to 14 hours.
4) The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the most active adult popular breed. English Cocker Spaniels and Rat Terriers are other popular breeds that demand of their owners a special commitment to a very active lifestyle.
5) Overweight dogs are 11 percent less active than fit dogs. Now that we can quantify what the gap looks like, we can focus on helping these dogs close that gap to enjoy a better quality of life through improved diet, increased exercise or both.
6) Worldwide, Saturday is the day of the week when dogs are most active. Sunday comes in a close second. The United Arab Emirates is one exception. Friday tends to be the most active day for dogs in the UAE and across the Middle East.
7) Female puppies rule. On average, the girls are 15 percent more active than the boy pups. They do eventually let the boys rack up a few BarkPoints as they get older, though.