GPS trackers are not only for human use. These nifty devices can now also be used in monitoring the activities, albeit only the whereabouts, of our beloved dogs. We all love our pets, especially our dogs. They provide us companionship like nobody else can. They also guard our homes and our loved ones. That is why many of us don’t really want to lose sight of our beloved dogs. Unfortunately, we cannot keep an eye on them all the time. Getting a doggy sitter can be an expensive proposition. That’s why a GPS tracker attached to their collars can keep us up to tabs on their whereabouts so we’ll feel more secure about their safety. We’ve collected some of the best GPS trackers for dogs available today and we’re going to share them first with you before we check out how you’re going to buy the right dog tracker for your pet.
A lot of pet owners trust the Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor system for a variety of reasons. First, it provides nationwide coverage through the country’s existing cellular network infrastructure. It doesn’t only rely on GPS technology to tell you the whereabouts of your pooch. Secondly, you can also use its WiFi connectivity to create a dedicated safe zone for your pet and to help conserve battery on the Whistle 3.
The Whistle 3 GPS tracker for dogs also allows for automatic notifications should your pet stray away from the safe zone. The dog’s daily activities can also be monitored and be given the opportunity to manage its activities. The Whistle 3 system is also lightweight and is ideal for pets at least 8 pounds in weight.
Proactive alerts and notifications
Activity monitoring and location tracking
Durable and weatherproof
7-day battery life
One of the best dog tracker units you can find in the market is the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar. Unlike other systems wherein you have to attach onto your dog’s collar, the Link AKC is already a dog tracking device and dog collar rolled into one. This helps eliminate the need for constantly mounting and removing the pet GPS tracker onto and from your pet’s collar. However, it is critical that you choose the correct size of collar so that it fits snuggly around your pet’s neck and won’t get in the way of its movement.
The Smart Dog combines all the useful features of a GPS tracker, activity trackers, adventure recording, veterinary records management, remote alerts and notification systems, and ambient temperature monitoring. There’s a catch, though. You’d have to subscribe to any of Link AKC’s service plans if you want to experience the full range of benefits of the technology.
GPS tracker and activity monitor embedded within collar
Monitors location, activity, and temperature
Remote light and sound activation
Health reminders and storable vet records
Available with subscription plans for iOS and Android devices
You’ll never go wrong with a Garmin GPS product. It’s been in the industry for a long time and has always been relied upon by trackers, adventurers, and even hunters. No wonder its Alpha 100 TT15 Dog GPS Bundle is preferred by hunters with their respective hunting pooches. What makes it quite exceptional is that the Alpha 100 doesn’t only rely on GPS technology it also utilizes the GLONASS platform to make very accurate tracking of your pooch’s location.
The Garmin pet tracker comes with a collar that is embedded with 18 training levels each of momentary and continuous stimulation. It’s also perfect for training and tracking up to 20 different dogs, the perfect solution when you’re in a hunting party with several dogs leading the charge. Because it operates like any other Garmin device, don’t expect its battery life to be stellar. At least, it should last 20 hours of continuous use or up to 40 hours of sporadic usage. Is this the best dog tracker? Well, it could be. Our only lament is that the collar is quite bulky.
Addition of GLONASS in its spectrum of satellite activity
Rescue Mode, stimulation levels, and LED beacon lights all integrated into one nifty collar
18 training levels
Manage up to 20 different dogs
9-mile effective range
Battery lasts 20 to 40 hours
The Duo+ is not just an ordinary pet tracker that will give you peace of mind on the whereabouts of your furry friend. It is also a venerable activity tracker that even gives you a glimpse of how your dog’s day has been by reviewing where it went the whole day. The system also allows for customization of safe zones so you can be instantly alerted to your dog’s out-of-bounds activities.
The only downside is that you’re tied to the limited range of the Duo+ which is only about half a mile in city settings and 3 miles in wide open spaces. While this may seem unacceptable, at least you will no longer have to worry about paying any subscription fees. You can also bring it anywhere, even overseas.
On-demand and escape alert notifications
MAZE subscription-free GPS pet tracking
Customizable safe zones
Activity level tracking and reviewable activity log
Waterproof up to 3 feet
0.5-mile and 3-mile effective range in urban and rural settings
We’re not really sure what to make of the FitBark, appearance-wise. It looks more like a bar of bath soap than it is a stubby dog bone. However you look at it, the FitBark Dog Activity Monitor is a lovely looking dog tracking device that is surprisingly lightweight, too. At just 0.32 ounces you’d be inclined to think that this is nothing more than an adornment to your pooch’s collar. But it does an exceptional job at being a pet GPS tracker complete with a rugged and waterproof construction.
You can track and manage your pet’s whereabouts including its activities via the Internet or even on your iOS and Android device. Its battery life is quite impressive at 14 days, too. The great thing with the FitBark is that it works seamlessly with the FitBit system so you can monitor your fitness progress together with that of your pooch easily. This integration with the FitBit system gives you an idea of how your pooch measures up to breed standards in health and wellness.
Whimsical and lightweight design, just 0.32 ounces
Waterproof and rugged construction
Activity monitoring and management via Web, iOS, or Android platforms
Works well with FitBit fitness monitoring wearable technology
Battery life: 14 days
Most dog GPS trackers rely on orbiting satellites high above the earth’s atmosphere. MARCOPOLO doesn’t work that way. Instead, it relies on the same technology that you have been using with your 2-way handheld radios. Given that MARCOPOLO operates using radio waves, the immediate question is its range. And while the 2-mile published effective range seem sufficient, this is based on a clear line of sight.
Still, the MARCOPOLO is a great choice for those who are more confident about using RF trackers. Moreover, there are no subscription fees to worry about. MARCOPOLO is also designed specifically for dogs that love to swim, allowing you to keep track of their whereabouts even when they are in bodies of water.
2-mile radius effective RF range
3-pet monitoring system
6-week battery life
Rugged and waterproof construction
When it comes to GPS devices, one of the most trusted names is Garmin. As such, when the brand decided to step into the world of dog GPS trackers, you’ll know that you’ve got the best system in the world. The Garmin T5 doesn’t only utilize GPS technology in its tracking capabilities; it also utilizes the Russian version of GPS, GLONASS to further improve the ability of the T5 to track your dog.
The T5 already comes with two types of antennas to further extend the range of its already-remarkable 9-mile coverage. What you will love about the T5 is that you’ll be relying on advanced tracking systems without getting tied down to monthly subscriptions.
GPS, GLONASS systems
9-mile effective range
Rescue mode and LED beacon lights
20- to 40-hr battery life
1 ATM water rating
The Anki HappiGo Nut Smart Tag Bluetooth Anti-Lost Tracker Key Finder Pet GPS Tracker Locator is not really a GPS dog tracker per se since it only operates on Bluetooth technology. This allows you to check whether your pet or any item that has the Nut on is within the effective range of its wireless connection. In an open field, this is 50 meters. However, once you factor in other variables, then the range substantially decreases.
It does come with some neat features, though. It’s super-slim and can easily be attached to almost anything. It works like the Tile Mate Key Finder except that the Tile has more robust and proven features. The Nut still is a worthy pet tracker for under $20.
Bidirectional alarm with smart reminders
Maximum effective range: 50 meters
Super-slim, compact, and lightweight design
While the DOTT Smart Dog Tag Virtual Leash is not, in its strictest sense, a real GPS dog tracker, it is nonetheless one of the best systems when it comes to tracking lost puppies and dogs. The moment your pet goes off the radar, you’ll receive an instant notification which activates the DOTT lost pet recovery system. The DOTT app will continue to broadcast a lost pet poster while sending alerts to anyone within the vicinity.
DOTT relies on its extensive community of pet lovers and good Samaritans to help find and locate your dog so that it gets reunited with you at the soonest possible time. It currently works on iOS devices although it is undergoing its Beta-testing for Android platforms. Best of all, it’s absolutely free to use the DOTT lost pet recovery services.
Lost pet recovery with digital lost pet poster broadcast
Real-time updates in pet activities
Water-resistant, lightweight, and elegant design
Requires no monthly subscription
You don’t have to break a sweat when buying a tracking gadget for your pooch. While the market for dog GPS trackers may already be saturated, this should not dissuade you from choosing only the best. Our dog tracker review is here to help you make the right decision as to the best GPS tracker for dogs.
A GPS tracker for dogs is a device that is not that different from the GPS technology that we use on our smartphones and other mobile devices as well as modern automobiles. You can think of it as a small gadget that can either be attached or mounted onto your dog’s collar or is already embedded into a canine collar design. It is more like a transceiver, beaming signals to orbiting satellites in the earth’s atmosphere and receiving information that will tell you the exact location of the device.
Do take note that the information generated by orbiting satellites indicates the position of the device and not the dog. If the dog is currently wearing the device at the time of information generation, then you can say that the position reflected on your smartphone’s screen is an approximation of the exact position of your dog. This also means that if your dog is not wearing the device, you will still be receiving positional information relative to the location of the device, but don’t expect your dog to be there.
This is a very important thing to understand as it is one of the limitations of such technologies. It only works insofar as your dog is wearing it.
Related Post: Best Cat GPS Tracker
You might be wondering who would want to use these devices on their dogs. Well, you’d be surprised that there are actually a growing number of pet owners who now put these gadgets into their dogs’ collars. Here is a list of individuals or special interest groups who may benefit from dog trackers.
If you own a piece of land half the size of Montana, there really is no way you can keep an eye on your pooch, especially if you have a hound that is quite adventurous. Of course, our Montana comparison is just to illustrate the point. The fact is that if you have an unusually large tract of land it is nearly impossible to supervise and monitor the whereabouts of your dog. This can have serious implications in their safety as they may venture into areas of your property that they shouldn’t go. Many of today’s GPS dog trackers come with the ability to set or define a safe zone for your pets. If they wander off this safe zone, the system will automatically send an alert or notification to you. This way you will be able to manage the situation before it gets out of hand.
Greyhounds, Salukis, Vizslas, and Afghan hounds are known for their speed. They can bolt out of your fence and run like there’s no tomorrow. Labradors, Siberian huskies, and Collies are known to be very adventurous. There’s nothing more pleasing than exploring what the great outdoors has to offer. The Rat terrier, Rhodesian ridgeback, and Australian shepherd are well-regarded for their increased activity. There really is no point tying these pooches down or restricting them in a kennel.
In these instances, you simply cannot dampen their resolve to explore, run fast, and be as active as they can be. You can only make sure that they don’t wander off too far for comfort. This is where a GPS dog tracking device can really help. These gadgets give you an idea of where your pooches are, where their limbs have taken them, and where their senses have allowed them to explore.
This is akin to the above. However, even if your pooch doesn’t run fast, doesn’t have the tenacious explorer type of personality, or isn’t that really active, yet you often find it straying far from home, you’d feel more confident if you have an idea of their whereabouts or just as they are about to leave the predetermined safe zone. Of course, escape-proofing your property is one of the solutions to a pooch that has become a Houdini. But then again, there will always be instances when you forget to close the gate. Next thing you know, your pooch is already several blocks away. While a GPS tracking device will not prevent your pooch from escaping, you will at least be alerted to such escape attempts by defining a safe zone for your pet. Preferably, you would want the safe zone to be within the property, just several meters from your property fence. This way, once your dog is out of the safe zone, you’d be alerted immediately and your pooch will still be within the property premises.
Have you ever tried hunting in the woods with your dog? Retrievers, Spaniels, Hounds, and Setters are all excellent at hunting. Unfortunately, once they have set their senses on the prey, you’d really have to be quick on your feet, too, if you want to stay close to your hunting pack. That’s where a GPS tracker for dogs can help. You can easily identify the exact location of your pooch in the woods without having to rely solely on your sense of hearing, straining to listen to your dog’s bark. The same is true if you’re hunting as a group with several dogs going in for the kill. You would want to know where the different dogs are.
Civilian and military rescuers can benefit a lot from GPS trackers for dogs especially if they are going to send out their rescue dogs beneath the rubble, crawl through tight spaces, and search for survivors or casualties. Since these dogs are trained to look for survivors, their location can pinpoint the exact position of casualties in a particular accident or disaster. This helps save lives.
If you look in the market today, you’d see that there are currently two fundamental types of pet trackers. One is a legacy technology while the other is a relatively new one, capitalizing on the advances of the digital age. Pet trackers should never be confused with microchips, though since the latter contains pertinent information about your pooch. On the other hand, pet trackers are devices that transmit and receive signals to and from another device to pinpoint the exact location of the tracker. Here are the two types of pet monitors.
If you’ve ever used a two way radio before this is what radio pet trackers look like. There’s always a radio transceiver attached to your dog’s collar and a handheld radio for you. Pressing a button on your handset will transmit radio signals which will be received by the device on your dog’s collar. The same device will then transmit back its approximate position. This is displayed on your handset’s screen. The problem is that the device and the handset should be within range of each other. Moreover, radio transmission can be reduced by a variety of factors such as the presence of obstacles which can interfere with effective radio transmission.
This is not to say that radio pet trackers are no longer used. These are still preferred by hunters to establish the position of their hunting dogs. These are also used by dog owners who happen to live in areas where there are no cellular services or where GPS coverage is simply absent.
These pet tracking devices rely on orbiting satellites high above the earth’s atmosphere. They provide greater precision and accuracy in locating the exact position of the device. The beauty of these technologies is that you can easily open a virtual map on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer to pinpoint the exact position of your dog. There are also those that provide connectivity with other applications so you are not only able to locate your dog, you can also learn, monitor, evaluate, and manage its many activities. Many high-end devices come with real-time satellite tracking.
One of the downsides to using GPS devices is that it is dependent on the position of the orbiting satellite providing the signals. As such, many companies choose to augment their GPS tracking capabilities with cellular network tracking. This greatly increases the accuracy of the service while also increasing the area of coverage. The other downside is that most of these services, especially those that connect to cellular networks, come with a subscription fee.
Picking a tracking device for your pet is quite easy. We already discussed two of the different types of pet trackers that you can choose from. Here are some other things you may have to check when picking a tracking gadget for your pet.
We already mentioned that GPS trackers provide the greatest accuracy in positional determination. However, do understand that this is still subject to various factors. Good thing the addition of cellular connectivity can greatly improve accuracy.
While not absolutely a must, it would be great if you can keep track of your pet’s activity levels, too, in pretty much the same way that wearable technologies allow you to monitor your fitness levels. This way you can customize your plan of activities for your pet, including their playtime and diet.
Don’t be content on receiving notifications on your smartphone alone. The more avenues upon which notifications and alerts can be sent the better it is for you and for your pooch.
This is actually a must. It is imperative that the device be waterproof, shockproof, and even dustproof since you would want to use it when your pooch is outside the confines of your home.
It is equally important that the GPS tracker for dogs is equipped with a system that allows you to define a safe zone for your pet. If your pooch wanders off outside this safe zone, then you’d be alerted immediately.
If the tracking device is already embedded into the dog collar, then the right size should be the collar size that fits snuggly around your pooch’s neck without strangling it or causing the collar to slip off over its head. If the device needs to be attached to your dog’s collar, then weight is a major consideration. You don’t want to burden your dog by putting something very heavy on its collar. It should not also be very bulky that your dog can easily scratch the device off its collar attachment. Most companies require the dog to weigh at least 9 pounds. But then again, this is just a guideline since there are GPS trackers for dogs that weigh a fraction of an ounce.
GPS trackers for dogs are considered by many as their insurance policy. They no longer have to worry about losing their dogs whenever they venture out of their homes. With these GPS trackers for dogs we’ve listed here, it’s about time you consider giving your dog the same technology so you’ll feel more confident about its whereabouts, too.
A: There are different kinds of dog tracking technologies. There are those that rely on satellites orbiting the earth’s outer atmosphere. Some work with cellular networks while others employ wireless internet connections. Still, there are others that work with Bluetooth technology and even the more traditional radio frequency. Regardless of the type of tracking technology, however, dog trackers work using the same principle of signal transmission and reception. The technologies are there basically to define how the signal is transmitted and received.
The general framework includes a device (A) located on your pet that communicates with another device (B). Device B is connected to another device (C) or platform providing information about Device A.
Let us say for example, you have a GPS dog tracker. A small GPS device is worn by your pet, usually on its collar. This is Device A. it sends signals to an orbiting satellite (Device B) about its location on the ground. The satellite then sends this location information to a viewing and managing platform (Device C) which can be your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop that has the appropriate program. From this program, you can then make appropriate actions related to the information that you receive.
This is the same thing with cellular network-connected devices, wireless internet-connected devices, Bluetooth-connected gadgets, and even radio frequency modules. The same communication pattern from Device A to B and to C exists regardless of the technology used.
Of course, there are differences, too. GPS technologies can give you the precise coordinates of your dog that has the GPS device. Cellular-based technologies can only tell you the approximate location of your pet, provided that it is within the area of coverage of your service provider. WiFi, Bluetooth, and radio frequency technologies will only work insofar as Device A is within range of these technologies.
A: Different manufacturers of dog GPS trackers design their devices to be attached in a variety of ways, often to differentiate them from competition. What is clear, however, is that majority of pet GPS trackers in the market can be attached to a dog’s collar. Some products already come with their respective collars or have GPS devices embedded right into the design of the collar. Some come in standalone dog tracking devices that can be fitted onto existing collars. There are also designs that resemble tags or pet IDs. Again, these are attached to dog collars using clips, D-rings, or some other similar mechanisms.
A: Since the idea of pet tracking is illustrated by the relationship between Device A and Device B and between Device B and Device C, the tracking device in this pattern is Device A. Since Device A can only be carried by a single animal, then it can be said that a tracking device can only track a single animal. Now, if you have several animals that have the same tracking technology, you can simultaneously track these animals using your Device C or, in this case, your smartphone or tablet app.
To illustrate, let us say that you bought 5 units of a tracking device A and you’re going to attach these to the collars of your 5 dogs. Depending on the product that you bought, you can simultaneously track all 5 dogs since these devices (A1 to A5) will still communicate with Device B and then to Device C.
So, how many animals can you track with a tracking device? Since a device can only be placed on one animal, then you can only track this animal. If you have several animals that have the same device, then you can also track this same number of animals.
A: Since pet trackers are mostly attached to a pet’s collar you can use your tracker on almost any other pet, including cats. If you wish to track your pet bird, you can also do that. However, you will need a lighter, smaller, and more compact tracking device that can be wrapped around the bird’s feet. Want to track your pet fish? By all means. But you need to use a tracking device that has excellent waterproofing, otherwise it will never last long.
The point is that pet trackers work on almost any other animal. As long as you can attach it to something on its body, then it should work. Of course, there are certain things you have to consider as well. For instance, the dog tracking system should in no way interfere with the pet’s normal functioning. So if you do decide to put a tracker on a bird, then you don’t put it on its wings; otherwise, it won’t be able to fly anymore. The same is true with cats. Since cats are just like dogs that can wear collars, you can put your tracker in your cat’s collar. However, make sure that it is not too big or too heavy for your pet. Dogs weigh heavier and are larger than cats.
A: Before we answer this question, let us first get a clear understanding about what microchips for pets are. Technically these are very tiny chips that contain important information about your pet. Microchips typically range in size between 2 and 2.2 millimeters thick and 11 and 14 millimeters long. This is implanted just under your pet’s skin using a syringe. This is most often embedded in the region between your pet’s shoulder blades. In the event that your pet gets lost and is found by someone, the information contained in the microchip can be read using an RFID device.
So, do you need a tracker even if your dog is already microchipped? The straightforward answer is ‘Yes’! Even if your dog already has microchip embedded under its skin this will not tell its owner the dog’s exact location or where it has been or where it is headed. Only a pet tracker can tell you where your dog is currently located.
On the other hand, having a dog tracking collar on your pet will also not give any information about your pet. It doesn’t contain a digital signature that is unique to your pet. Even if someone finds your dog, he or she will not be able to tell who the owner of the dog is or any credible piece of information that can help establish the dog’s identity. Only a microchip can provide such information.
It is for this reason that dogs should have both microchip and gps dog collar to help ensure you’ve got the basic safety issues covered.
A: Manufacturers always design their GPS dog trackers to work with existing technologies. Most come with both iOS and Android platform compatibility. Some have special preference for iOS or Android devices only. There are also those that work exceptionally well with 3G and 4G cellular coverage, but not on legacy platforms like 2G and 2.5G. If you really want to know if your GPS dog tracker is compatible with your electronic device, then you should really read the product description to determine device compatibility.
From this list of GPS dog trackers, some fell short of many pet parents’ expectations, although they came with very friendly prices. At the end of the day, however, the overall functionality of the device especially in terms of keeping track of your pet still reigns supreme over any other consideration. Sure price matters, but if the technology simply cannot give you the peace of mind that you seek in such products then you’d definitely be better off with one that is priced higher yet gives you all the things you need.
This is exactly what we feel about our top pick for the best GPS dog tracker plum. The Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor may come out as a very expensive way to track and monitor your pet, but it’s definitely more than worth it. We honestly believe that Whistle 3 remains the benchmark against which other products are evaluated. Sadly, none can even come close to its unique features and especially the accuracy of its geolocation services. It is blindsided by its limited coverage, however, with some products offering international coverage. But we do believe it more than makes up for this limitation with its bevy of pet safety-rich features.
Not everyone may agree with our pick. However, if we are also going to factor the voices of pet parents sharing their thoughts and experiences with the Whistle 3 we’d say we made the right pick.
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