Last week, my husband and I noticed that our six-and-a-half year old pup, Sunny, was acting a little sluggish.

For the most part, Sunny gives us daily clues about his health and well-being. When he's happy and feeling great, he dances, runs, and sometimes, gets a little chatty; when he's sick or sad, he mopes and sleeps. It’s his own language that we've learned over time.

In this case, he was sluggish, tired, gnawing on his paws and rubbing his eyes…a lot. We couldn't decipher what was wrong at first, but then we remembered that this happens every year; Sunny has seasonal allergies.

We joke that Sunny's pretty vocal, but there's a reality that he'll never be able to tell us what's going on (in English). We rely on patterns in his behavior, what we each see when we're with him, and what our dog walker reports back via her daily sticky note.

Truthfully, this system isn't perfect. It relies on our collective and distributed observations. It assumes that we won’t miss a beat, we’re accurately remembering all of Sunny’s behaviors over time, and we’re communicating them thoroughly to each other. We also can’t be with him all day, every day (although we wouldn't mind that at all!).

These challenges in keeping track of Sunny are why I’m so excited about pet wearables. Having a reliable system in place to monitor his activity day-to-day means less guesswork and more understanding of how he’s actually doing, especially as he grows older.

That’s why I joined FitBark as an advisor this past summer. I truly believe in their commitment to the future of responsible pet parenting. Not only will we be able to know more, but we can also worry less.

In the meantime, we’ll keep using our sticky notes, and good news: Sunny’s feeling better. He’s back to his cheery, dancing, chatty self. We’re happy that we speak “Sunny” fluently. Now, if he could only tell me where the remote went…

Sunny, the dog, taking a nap with his lampchop toy