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Tracking your pet: Company offers new way to track animals

Whistle attaches to your pet's collar, allows you to track their location

(KPRC)--We’re right in the middle of thunderstorm season in Central Florida -- and that means terrified pets on the daily.

The Stone family said they’re still able to enjoy a day at the park with their beloved dog, Daisy, thanks to new technology that helped track her down when she left home

"She's always doing something, always into something, she's really nosy," Daisy's owner, Aaron Stone,said.

[Learn more aobut Whistle, here.]

The Stones said Daisy can't be contained, especially when the weather turns stormy.

"When thunderstorms come, she's a wreck," Aaron explained.

During one recent storm, Daisy got out of the yard and took off running. The Stone family was frantic.

"Everybody was upset, so I said, ‘We got to go find her,’" Aaron recalled.

They found Daisy in a neighbor's garage. But that scary experience led the stone's to search for peace of mind.
They found a device called Whistle. It's a monitoring tag you attach to a dog's collar that combines GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology to track your dog.

Here's how Whistle works.
You set a perimeter where your dog is allowed to roam. Typically inside the house and around the yard.

"Once your pet is outside of the perimeter of the zone, you'll get an alert that says Fido is 300 feet from home and it will show a nearby address," Caitie Steffen, who works with the company that developed Whistle, explained.

Notifications to your phone give you updates on your dog's location. Daisy got out of her safe zone recently and Aaron's phone immediately got an alert.

"You can turn that device into tracking mode where it will constantly, for 30 minutes, send your notifications where she was last until you can get there to try and locate her," Aaron explained.

Within about 10 minutes, the Stones found daisy a few blocks away.

"It's worked, it's been great," Aaron said.

The Whistle can also monitor your dog's activity to help you meet a health related goal. The Whistle costs about $80 and the monthly monitoring fee is $7.

To help your pet manage stressful situations like year-round besides storms, like July 4th, New Year's Eve and extended vacations, here are some tips from pet behavior experts at Whistle.

1. Have a Pet Safety Net: Don't leave your dog home alone overnight, especially on a high-stress night. Dogs value a routine, and if their normal routine gets interrupted, i.e. being left alone, it can put them at a higher risk to try to escape.

2. Talk Before You Walk: Ideally, you're home with your pet during a stressful time, but if you have plans to leave, make sure they're in the care of someone who they're familiar with and trust. If you have to use a service such as Rover, make sure you schedule time for your dog to meet the sitter prior to leaving so this person is not a complete stranger to them.

3. The Pet Perimeter: Secure your home's perimeter, including every window, door and gate, and make sure there are no escape routes. If your dog does get out, hopefully, you have a Whistle so you can track where they go and get them home safe.

4. Hear No Evil: Creating a sound buffer for your pet can act as a calming aid. White noise machines, classical music or tuning into a non-animal-related TV channel are all great, affordable options.

5. The Canine Cave is Key: Set up a safe spot inside your home that is your dog's area. If they're crate trained, a crate with a nice fluffy bed and a large blanket draped over it can be an excellent option. And for a nice distraction from the loud noises outside, give them a large Kong-stuffed with their favorite treat.

6. Vets Know Best: If your dog regularly panics around loud sounds, reach out to your vet or use a service like PetCoach to see if there is any recommended treatment for their anxiety. Sooner is better, as many pet owners flood to the clinic for last minute appointments before holidays and big events.