Product Review Fi Collars: A few weeks ago, some friends and I were headed out, and right across from our house, I saw a little dog sniffing a bush. There were no owners present, and it had just been raining, so the dog was soaking wet. I stopped the car. As soon as I tried to approach the dog, I realized I knew the owner! There are neighbors behind us who have three fluffy white dogs, and this one looked just like them.
I slowly approached the dog, not trying to scare it. It saw me and ran across the street. As my friends corralled the dog, I ran over to my neighbors house. After a couple minutes of knocking, someone finally came to the door. The person looked like a dog sitter, as I had met the other family members. She had no idea a dog escaped. Fortunately, we were able to get the dog safely home.
If my dog escaped, I would have known within minutes if he was missing. Unfortunately, if he did get lost, there would be no way of finding him. While he is micro chipped, the only way you can locate them is if someone brings him to a shelter or animal hospital, where they can scan the chip and know his exact address.
But what if no one returned him to the shelter? What if the person who found him just decided to keep him? Or he was sent to a shelter but no one thought to scan his chip?
Well, Fi Collars is here to help you solve this problem. A relatively new company, the owner wanted to keep track of his young pup, especially when they weren’t together.
So, he created a smart collar. Inside the metal box, attached to the collar, is a GPS tracking device. This is so you can see exactly where your dog is located at all times.
I was fascinated by this collar, so I reached out to see if I could try it out for a few weeks on my dog. Luckily, they were happy to oblige and sent me one!
As you can see in the photo, I received the following contents: a base charger, instructions on how to use the collar, and the collar itself.
I was impressed with the packaging. It was sleek, well designed, and very appealing. It makes you excited to open it.
First, you download the app on your phone. After that, the set up is fairly easy. You enter all your info and your dog’s, including their name, age, gender, breed, weight, and then a profile picture of your dog.
Then, you need to create your dogs “Safe Zone”. This is the area that your dog is “safe and at home”, and not lost. I made it our house and a little of our surrounding neighborhood.
Next, you need to plug in the base. They recommend you plug it in where your dog spends the most time (living room, next to a window if you they’re always in the yard, etc). I put mine in the center of the house, since Gant is all over the house, and it can sense him there. Then you need to connect it to WiFi. This part was fairly easy for me to set up.
Then, you need to charge your collar on the base for a little while. This is a bit of drawback, especially if your dog is a flight risk and you’d like to use it immediately. However, the battery lasts for WEEKS, which is really great, especially if you keep forgetting to charge things (like me…). However, a drawback is if you take your dog to a different location, you need to take the base with you and reset the “safe zone” so it recognizes THAT location as a the dog’s safe zone.
After all the setting up and your collar is fully charged, you’re ready to use it! This is what your dog’s profile looks like. As you can see, your dog’s picture is shown, where he is located, where he is throughout the day, and how many steps he has taken. Right now you cannot customize your dog’s steps, but the spokesperson for Fi Collar said they are working on that for the future.
I also realized, soon after, that the GPS part is NOT included with the collar. It is a separate, yearly subscription plan. As you can see below, you get a few features with the free plan, but you do not get the lost dog emergency alert features or 24/7 GPS tracking. In my opinion, you should get the paid plan, as the collar is not as useful without it. (They gave me a free subscription for a month to try it out, so I can see how the GPS worked).
The app also tracks the exact routes you go each day. I really liked this feature, and think it’s very useful for owners who use dog walkers or sitters, so they can make sure their dogs are getting all their required walks.
The app also texts you when you or another person is leaving with the dog. This is especially helpful when you leave your dog with a sitter or walker. You can also add another owner (I added my husband, for example), so they can track everything. They have to download the app as well.
One thing I noticed is that on occasion, the app would text me that “Gant was not with his owner” even though he was right next to me.
If for any reason (hopefully never!) your dog does get lost, you can use their Lost Dog Mode, which is included with their subscription. You press the red alert button your phone, and it immediately contacts Try Fi Headquarters to help you find your dog. I did not use this feature, but I’m curious to see how it works. I like that there’s someone else helping you find your dog.
After using it for about a month, here are my overall Product Fi Collar Review thoughts:
Design: 4 stars. The collar is sleek, comes in cool colors, and the GPS tracking device is nice and small. However, the collar seemed to big for my dog, who is 25 pounds. It was a bit too loose. I think it’s perfect for bigger dogs. Fi Collars told me they are working on smaller collars in the future.
Ease of Setup: 5 Stars. The Fi Collar app is very easy to use. It tells you exactly what to do, with clear steps on how to set it up.
Use of App: 3.5 Stars. It’s easy to use. I like how you can see the routes you’ve walked, see a log of where your dog has been, and that it texts you when your dog is with or without its owner. However, like I said above, the app told me a few times that “the dog was not with my owner”, even though he was right next to me. But most of the time, it was accurate. I also want to see you be able to customize the step goals.
Base: 3.5 stars. The Fi Collar base is nice and small, and can be easily moved anywhere in the house. But you do need to remember to take it with you if you head out of town with your dog. And, if you have a bigger house, you may need two bases.
Battery Life: 5 stars. I barely had to charge this collar. It was really great that I didn’t have to worry about it.
Overall rating: 4 stars. If my dog was off leash all the time, it would be a great accessory. But because he really doesn’t go off leash (unless at a dog park), or is mostly with me everyday, and we rarely leave him with a sitter, I don’t think I am the audience. However, this collar is perfect for larger dogs who are always off leash, or a flight risk, or you use a dog walker and want to track their steps. I can’t wait to see all the new things they develop in the future.
Additionally, they are extremely communicative, and always were there to help me with any questions. I think this is a very promising product for dog lovers!
To purchase, head to https://tryfi.com and use code SACCOSTUDIOS for $25 off your purchase!
Update: Now you can customize your dog’s step goals on the app!
This post may have affiliate links, and I may receive a small commission. However, all opinions and reviews are my own and not influenced in anyway.
Do you have a product you’d love me to review? email me!
Sacco Studios is a company founded by Lindsay Sacco, where dog (and cat lovers!) can find paw-sitively awesome products like greeting cards, art prints, apparel, and so much more! Check out her shop here.