Strava is adding dog step counts and fitness rankings to its app

A photo of a greyhound looking up while wearing a Fi dog collar.
(Image credit: Fi)

What you need to know

  • Strava has partnered with Fi, maker of smart dog collars, to display your dog's fitness data in the Strava app.
  • In your Strava activity summary, it will show a graphic of your dog's step count and rank compared to other dogs of the same breed.
  • The Fi collar has GPS and LTE support to track your dog's location, and costs $19/month. 

Fitness apps like Strava love to use step-count leaderboards to appeal to your competitive spirit (or shame) and make you walk more, and on Thursday, it announced a new approach: displaying your dog's step count in the app, too.

Specifically, Strava has partnered with Fi, a smart dog collar maker that uses GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO simultaneously — similar to a Garmin watch — to track your dog's accurate real-time location, broadcasting it via LTE-M cellular. The collar's main purpose is to ensure you can find your dog at all times, but a secondary purpose is to track its daily step count during walks. 

The Strava x Fi integration will let the smart collar automatically upload walk data to the app. As soon as you finish a Strava activity, Fi will also share your dog's step account and append it to the same activity, including a leaderboard rank for how its step count compares to other dogs' counts worldwide.

(Image credit: Strava)

The graphic above shows what it looks like. The Fi app has you set a daily step count target and mark which breed you own, then displays that data in Strava for you and your friends to see. This way, you'll see how your little chihuahua compares to the competition without longer-legged dogs like huskies skewing the leaderboard. 

The Fi collar also tracks your dog's sleep data, but a Strava rep told me this data (and your dog's location) won't be shared in the Strava app, only the Fi app. 

You probably know about the pressure for humans to walk 10,000 steps a day, but dogs need their steps, too, to stay healthy. It's just not always clear how many; the Fi ranking system would make it clearer if you're not walking them enough — or walking them excessively. 

While this integration sounds like a lot of fun for dog owners, you'll need to pay for a Fi collar, which comes with a monthly subscription of $19/month or about $16/month if you pay annually. The Fi smart collar has IP68 dust and water resistance, with a stainless steel (and chewproof) design and a two-month battery life. It also has a built-in night light. 

Strava recently added a messaging function to its app. Presumably, this dog step count tool will prompt your fellow dog-walking friends to roast you if their canine buddy gets more steps than yours. 

"Strava data has shown that pets are a key motivator for many athletes in pursuing their goals,” said Strava VP Mateo A. Ortega. “This partnership with Fi is a natural fit, and a way for athletes to not only include pets in their community, but get credit for all of their movement including the daily dog walks."

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.

    Dear God. We've finally done it.

    This is the equivalent to the move 'Scrooged' where they discuss cats and dogs being the new demographic for televion.

    Such a useless and irrelevant feature. Your dogs steps don't matter, the vet cares about walks and exercise in distance and duration. Steps are meaningless. Your dog does 10 circles before deciding to take a dump and those steps are now counted...

    I guess this is what you add/announce when you have no ideas left but want to remind people you still exist.