So either I live under a rock and missed the trend, or I’ve stumbled upon an underrated gem. The P5 app was released March 17 last year, but until I found it by chance last month I had never heard of it. We’ve been using this app for just over half a month, and I’m still enjoying it. The P5 app allows you to collect the equivalent of gamerscore and achievements for training and exercising your dog. As someone who enjoys video games but also likes getting outside, that really appeals to me. I think apps that allow you to collect real-life achievements are a fantastic idea. While technically pointless, achievements are fun to collect and can even provide a motivator to try new activities with your dog that you may not have considered before or just haven’t gotten around to doing yet.
Aside from the novelty aspects, it’s also good for keeping track of your dog’s exercise and training routine. You can view your exercise times by day, week, and month which makes it easy to see your most active days and where you could improve.
Under the weekly overview it breaks everything down into low, medium, medium high, and high impact activity times. Here’s where I need to complain. Hiking is not a low impact activity, but that’s how the P5 app categorizes it. Their box jumps achievement falls under Strength Training Expert, which is a high impact activity. With all the rock scrambles and hill climbing involved, hiking at least deserves medium impact.
You select your dog’s weekly goal. I like that they break it down into the different difficulties. At first I thought they had the times broken down poorly, but after going over it again I think it’s fine. 7 hours of low impact activity is an adequate minimum for Suki, but 1.6 hours didn’t seem like enough on its own. However that breaks down into 14 minutes per day, which is a fair amount of very strenuous activity.
There are a variety of categories to earn badges in and collect Greatness Points from.
Within each category there are various challenges to choose from, which vary in difficulty and the achievement points earned reflect the level.
Under each challenge there is a short video demonstrating the task, as well as a written walkthrough.
One problem I noticed is that the badges appear to be bugged. We’ve completed the requirements for many of the badges but they’ve yet to appear in our achievement list.
I would love to see more activities to earn achievements in, as well as more challenges within the existing categories. An online database similar to Endomondo or Fitocracy, where you can join challenges, build friend lists, and check leaderboards would also be excellent. The app was created to coincide with Purina’s line of sport food so I don’t think they planned on it being a large, expansive app, but if it became popular enough I could see them dedicating more time to it.