Insurer, More Than, have rolled out an ultra-modern, ultra-useful GPS collar which records how much exercise a dog does in a session, yielding a fruitful pet insurance incentive in the shape of a 20% discount on premiums for owners who exercise their ëbest-friendsí appropriately.
The collar is fitted with a microchip which tracks the dogsí physical movements and automatically transmits the results to both the ownerís insurance company and smartphone for their personal reference.
As such, people finally have financial reason to indulge in those tranquil walks away by the sea, to the delight of pups everywhere. If the specification outlined by the insurance company is adhered to, then owners will not only be afforded the 20% discount but could be eligible for other free perks such as nutritious dog biscuits.
Moreover, the collar can be viewed as constant tracking device on dogs, which from an emotive standpoint will assuage ownersí fears about their overzealous mutts ever going missing, whilst saving cash on the age-old reward system for any individual who locates the dog in the first place.
More Than have brought out the GPS collars in response to growing consumer unrest over increasing numbers of cases of pet obesity, resulting in greater expenditure on vet bills and higher insurance premiums.
Matthew Poll, of More Than, has presented the collars as a no-brainer saving hundreds of pounds on pet insurance bills whilst offering peace of mind over your dogís health. He compared them to Nikeís wristbands for humans, which rest on the same premise allowing health-conscious folk to record the number of calories theyíve shed during their exercise session.
"Rewarding owners who look after the welfare of their pets is important, and while we're unable to confirm the exact level of discount at this stage, we believe the technology has the potential to result in possible savings of 10 to 20 per cent," he said.
Another feature of the collar is the ability for owners to compare weekly bouts of exercise against one another, or against an average of the total exercise done, while the microchip also takes down the speed a dog is moving at to combat any underhand owners seeking to save some money without putting in the hours. Mr Poll specifically remarks upon this feature, lauding the speed gaugeís ability to prevent owners from skirting the system by driving the dog round in a car or riding with it on a cycle.
Insurance conditions will vary dependent on the nature of the dog, with different guidelines reliant on the size, energy levels and breed of the dog. Other financial perks include potentially free vaccinations, pet food, toys, tablets and treats.
The value of pet insurance has been queried in recent years, with many deals never paying out due to the unlikelihood of the conditions of an insurance deal being breached. However, many believe it to be a worthy cause, with certain operations costing thousands of pounds and many owners willing to part with such sums due to how close the bond forged between pet and owner becomes.
"Pet insurance is as much about peace of mind as it is about money. You may pay insurance premiums for years and never make a claim. But think about whether you could afford a huge vet's bill if your pet fell ill or had an accident in the short term," said consumer group Which?.
The new GPS collars expected to be in shops by early 2015.