A new canine tracking device could be a helpful tool for Wairarapa dog owners worried about their beloved pooch's health, a local vet says.
The device, which locks onto a dog collar, enables owners to monitor the behaviour of their pets when they are alone.
Information about a dog's level of activity is transmitted to an online site which owners can access.
Peter Morriss from South Wairarapa Veterinary Services Carterton clinic said most dog owners would be familiar with their canine's pattern of behaviour.
"It's probably a good extra to help you to identify those sorts of [health] issues," he said of the device. "[But] I don't think it's a substitute for spending time or just being observant.
"Unwellness doesn't always show up in lack of movement," he warned.
Nathan Lawrence, chief executive of Heyrex, the company that manufactures the devices, said they could help identify possible health problems. Research shows an animal's activity level is linked to how it feels, he said.
One Kapiti Coast owner found that their dog needed treatment with a soothing aromatic remedy because "it just went absolutely mad" every time they returned home, Mr Lawrence said.
Use of the Heyrex device revealed the dog was not doing anything during the day. After treatment, its moods evened out.
Anxious owners who disliked leaving their dogs could also find the tracking device helpful.
Mr Lawrence added that cat lovers could soon have access to a similar monitoring product, with a feline-friendly version expected to hit stores later this year. APNZ