Originally being a scientist, I love a bit of juicy data that helps to prove or disprove any ideas I have. So when Heyrex offered me one of their activity monitors I thought this was a great opportunity to see what Cress does each day and have a better insight into his wellbeing. Cress has sensitive skin and can quickly get very itchy. While I try to monitor this I wanted to see the real story around how much he scratches.
About the product
Heyrex is a monitor that fits onto your dog’s collar, building a profile of their behaviour. It achieves this by recording every aspect of your dog’s activity in real time and transferring the information to the Heyrex receiver every time your dog comes within range.
The main data it collects are exercise levels, scratching and sleep quality, and the intensity of each activity. Providing daily, weekly and monthly summaries of the information via graphs on your dog’s Heyrex dashboard (on the website). There is also a diary function where you can record key milestones and events in your dog’s life like when you gave medication or they had a grooming appointment, etc.
The longer your dog wears the monitor the more comprehensive the data is that it collects. It can establish a baseline of behaviours and therefore alert you to any changes or differences in your dog’s behaviour – which is fantastic.
Cress showing us his Heyrex monitor!
There are a few parts in the box but once you get going the setup is quite simple. The enclosed booklet directs you to the Heyrex website which takes you through each step. The video tutorials are particularly helpful. The only issue we had was the collar Cress was wearing had a clip-style buckle and unfortunately the monitor did not fit over either end. Luckily for us Cress has a ‘collar wardrobe’ and the second collar managed to fit with the buckle adaptor attached perfectly.
Cress was happy with the monitor on and didn’t show any signs of it being uncomfortable. I checked his dashboard the day after we set it up and there was a day’s worth of lovely data sitting there. I could see the peaks of activity during his morning park visit and the long sleeps, especially his favourite afternoon snooze. As I mentioned, though, my main interest for the monitor was to observe his scratching levels. Cress has allergies and at times can scratch a lot. His suspected allergies are to some grasses, fleas (just one flea can drive him crazy) and possibly grains (we try to cut them out of his diet). But of course in a busy household it is sometimes hard to know if the scratching is getting worse when you are not with him all the time. So the Heyrex was the perfect solution for me to understand what was going on.
Cress has now worn the device for 4 weeks and over that time I have seen a steady reduction in his scratching. This is really pleasing not only as I hate for him to be uncomfortable and agitated but I now know the steps I have taken to reduce his itches have actually worked and how quickly they have worked. The beauty of the Heyrex system is that it not only records the data but also notices changes and alerts you to them. After two weeks of wearing the sensor I could see on the dashboard the trend in the scratching activity reducing, but it was also great to receive email alerts from Heyrex (like the one below) letting me know that his scratching activity was down. As an experience it is good to know that all the data checking and interpretation is not up to me and Heyrex will notify me of important changes in a timely manner.
Email alert from Heyrex
Your dog’s dashboard
Once I logged into my account on the Heyrex website I could see Cress’s dashboard with all the data charted in line, area or histogram graphs. I could see the spikes and dips in activity intensity levels, which match to his morning walk and other active times. I could also see his deep sleeps at night and in the afternoon. The dashboard displays data in daily, weekly and monthly intervals so as you record more data you can look back at previous days and weeks to compare trends. I have enjoyed logging in to see what Cress has been up to every fews days.
Sizes and specifications
The Heyrex sensor is not tiny. Its measurements in its casing are 8.0cm long and 4.0cm wide, making it relatively large for smaller dogs. I would say there are some smaller breeds that the sensor would possibly be too large for, and it would not fit properly on their collar.
The Heyrex sensor is waterproof and in our testing so far very durable. On the website it says it works in any temperature in any environment, keeping in mind your dog would not be keen on temperature extremes!
If you go away the Heyrex sensor can store up to 2 weeks worth of data, or until the monitor becomes full. Battery life can vary, and depends on a number of factors like the amount of time your dog spends within range of a receiver, and how active they are.
Batteries should last approximately 12-18 months. Heyrex will automatically notify you when they are low. Heyrex also comes with a one-year warranty which includes online technical support.
A Heyrex starter pack costs (AUD) $199.95 with a 12 month contract of $5.95 per month to access the dashboard. To see all the options visit the Heyrex Store.
- Timely alerts about changes in your dog’s behaviour that enable you to take better care of them and even possibly lett you know about serious health issues.
- Greater insights into your dog’s sleep patterns and the quality of that sleep, plus when he gets active and the intensity of that exercise.
- Easy to setup, use and keep on top of the information provided.
- The monitor did not fit one of Cress’s collars – not a big deal for a dog with options in the wardrobe department.
We have really enjoyed using the Heyrex and even though I am home with my dogs nearly everyday I have still learnt more about them by having the hard data in a dashboard in front of me. In all honesty having a Heyrex does make me feel I am more on top of Cresswell’s health and wellbeing.
Note: This monitor does not have a GPS tracker and cannot be used to help locate your dog.
Disclosure: We were sent a Heyrex to road test. Our reviews are not sponsored.
I am not sure about this angle Mum!