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Pet insurer hands out free ‘doggy Fitbits’

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Customers taking out a new pet insurance policy with Co-op Insurance will be given a free ‘doggy Fitbit’ to help them monitor their dog’s activity – and potentially lower their premium.

The PitPat, a wearable activity monitor, attaches to a dog’s collar and records via smart technology the time spent walking, running, playing and resting. It also calculates how many calories your dog has burnt.

The technology has been compared to telematics for motor insurance, which tracks individual driver behaviour.

The idea is that a healthier dog would require less veterinary treatment, which could in turn reduce premiums in the future.

According to the British Veterinary Association, two thirds of vets cite obesity as the biggest health and welfare concern for UK pets.

David Hampson, head of pet insurance at Co-op, said: “Just like humans, prevention is paramount when it comes to our pet’s health and analysing real time data can help to achieve this.

“By better understanding dogs and how they behave, we’re able to directly correlate exercise with health. With this knowledge, owners are able to amend their pet’s routine in line with each individual breed’s exercise needs, and ensure that they enjoy an active and varied exercise routine.

“We want to help customers to take responsibility for their pet’s health as we recognise that lack of exercise is one of the main causes of pet obesity in this country. By providing new customers with an easy-to-use device we hope to help tackle this easily preventable disease and help educate pet owners along the way.”

The PitPat was created by Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Andrew Nowell and retails at £39.99.

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