Whistle Switch Smart Collar Review: Wins at Health and Fitness Tracking

My dog wearing a Whistle GPS Switch Smart Colar

Whistle is an American company that produces smart devices and GPS trackers for pets. They stand out from their competitors because of their ability to gather multiple data points to predict your pet’s health. 

Whistle GPS Switch Smart collar is one of the three devices the company has, and the product we tested this time. Here are our thoughts after one month.

What We Loved

  • Many activity and health metrics
  • Virtual geo-fence
  • Real-life location data

What Could Be Better

  • It’s a bit bulky for small dogs 

What’s Included

  • Whistle Switch device
  • Whistle Switch collar
  • Two interchangeable batteries
  • USB charging cable
  • Instruction guide
Whistle Switch unboxing

Setup Process

For pairing the device for the first time, you must be at home (or where your pet spends most of the time) near your Wi-Fi and phone. Initially, the Whistle app on your phone will connect to the collar using Bluetooth to establish pairing.

Whistle Switch collar pairing process
The light on the device will turn blue once it is paired with your phone

It will then ask for your home Wi-Fi network information and password so the Whistle Collar can upload the fitness data to the cloud over Wi-Fi. This technology is better than other smart collars using only Bluetooth because you don’t need to be near your pet for the data to sync. When the pet is outside, the device will collect and still upload data using a mobile data connection, and for that reason, you will require a paid subscription (we will cover more details in the App section). 

setting up the app

The setup process finishes by answering a few questions to complete your pet’s profile.

Completing my dog's profile

If you plan to change your home Wi-Fi at some point, contact customer services first to clear the device before pairing it again. This particular model does not have a reset button that allows you to do it from your end, unlike other devices from the same company. Fortunately, the customer service team is very responsive and can help you with the process. Based on my personal experience, it took around 2 business days to resolve the issue (after exchanging a few emails).


The device has a nice and secure design. The collar has a dock which makes it a lot easier to change the batteries compared to other products. 

The product comes in two colors (black and yellow), and in three sizes (XS/S, S/M, and M/L). They have a size guide on their website to help you decide but keep in mind that the battery is kind of bulky on small and skinny dogs.

Small dog wearing a Whistle Switch collar in small size
Here is Mickey wearing the small size. It seems a bit big, but he got used to the collar quickly without complaining.

The product comes with two interchangeable batteries, each one lasting almost two weeks. When you use the product for the first time, make sure to charge the batteries fully after the pairing process, as they may not come fully charged. Going forward, just keep one battery charged while the other one is being used, so that you can swap them once they are done. The device will let you know when it is time to replace the battery (we got a warning to replace it with the second unit at 25%).

Technical Specifications

Battery2 batteries for 24/7 tracking
WaterproofWaterproof up to 6 ft, IPX 8– meaning your pet can go up to 6 feet (2 meters) of static water for up to 30 minutes.
Warranty6 months
SizeFor dogs 5 lbs and up


Location Tracking

You can create a virtual geo-fence around your property in the app. Whistle will notify you in the app (and email) when your pet has left home, and when they return home. There is also a warning notification if your pet is further away from home than usual (as was triggered when Mickey went on a car ride).

Location tracking

Activity and Health Tracking

The tracker can estimate your dog’s activities using a three-axis accelerometer. This is the same technology your smartwatch or phone uses to track yours.

The app collects several metrics such as eating, drinking, resting and sleeping time, and distance traveled. As well as health concerns such as licking, scratching, and calories used. These are more metrics than other devices I’ve tried, where they only measure active vs resting time.

Activity and health tracking
🐾 Pro tip: you can share your dog’s health data with your vet straight from the app.


Whistle app requires an annual subscription of $99. This is because the tracker works on AT&T cellular coverage to locate your pet and communicate with your smartphone. Your phone doesn’t need to have AT&T service to function, but the device itself relies on the AT&T network to download the updates to your phone. 

While the app lets you use it without the subscription, it nags the user a lot. Additionally, you may experience delays or miss out on important notifications

🐾 Pro tip: Check LTE coverage in your area to make sure your smart tracker will work smoothly.

Use Cases in Senior Dogs

Use Case #1: Monitoring Scratching and Licking Habits

Mickey has skin allergies from time to time, which leads to itchiness and irritation. During flare-ups, we have to keep an eye on him because he can do more damage by licking and scratching the affected areas. 

The Whistle app was really helpful to monitor Mickey’s condition by:

  • Alerting us when these behaviors were more frequent than usual. 
  • Comparing daily frequency vs normal baseline.
  • Keeping a 24-hour log and showing us exactly when he was scratching or licking the most. 
  • Identifying trends over time. 
Collar tracking licking movements
Mickey was dealing with one of those days 🙁
Comparing scratching and licking time with previous days
Scratching and licking track

Use Case #2: Tracking Eating and Drinking Time

Appetite and thirst levels are key indicators when assessing your senior dog’s quality of life. Sometimes changes can be so subtle that we leave them unattended, but early detection means we could do more for our pets. 

Here is how I found Whistle helpful with this: 

  • Tracks eating and drinking minutes per day.
  • Monitors thresholds based on your dog’s habits after collecting data for a week.
  • The more data the device collects, the more accurate the predictions will be.

Use Case #3: Keeping Exercise Routine

Mickey is now spending more time napping and enjoying life at a slower pace, but he always has the energy for a 30-minute walk to the park. Physical activity is an important part of his routine because it helps him maintain a healthy weight and body score, and keeps him mentally stimulated.

How does the Whistle smart collar help? 

  • It sets personalized daily activity goals based on your dog’s age, breed, and weight. 
  • It tracks calories burned, distance traveled, minutes active, etc. 
  • It captures all activity throughout the day and can tell apart playing, walking, or resting time. 
Mickey's activity goal status
He did a good job closing his activity rings
Activity daily log
Daily activity logs

Use Case #4: Monitoring Digestive Health with Poop Scan

Whistle has an AI-powered feature called “poop scan” that analyzes the quality of your dog’s poop and gives you advice. It also tracks patterns and spot changes before they become bigger issues. 

Last week, was specially helpful because Mickey had a crazy poop and got us concerned. He is almost fully recovered by now. 

*This feature is currently available on iOS devices only.

Our Verdict

The geolocation feature is handy for dogs with access to big open areas like farms. It gives you peace of mind by showing where your dog is in real time. Additionally, the tracking features are very helpful if your dog spends many hours away from you, for example, when you leave them in the daycare or with a pet sitter. It provides a daily log of their activities and the places they have been.

As a senior dog caregiver, I can also say that these metrics come in handy to spot changes in their routines and prevent health complications, such as overweight, allergies, hormonal imbalances, etc.  

Where you can get it

Katherine Ortega

Blogger and pet lover. I've been around dogs my whole life and have experience caring for all types, sizes and ages of pups. Senior dogs hold a special place in my heart 💗

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