All pet parents love their dogs and want the absolute best for them, but even the most caring and diligent among us cannot keep an eye on our four-legged companions at all times. Sometimes, we have to travel for work, other times for pleasure, and sometimes dogs just run away no matter how much they love us.

Thankfully, we can keep our pets safe and secure even when away from home by using GPS trackers for dogs. These nifty devices can help us keep tabs on our pets’ whereabouts and accurately pinpoint their location if they get lost. We evaluated and rated many different GPS tracking devices, including GPS dog collars and attachable tracking units. Below, you’ll find a list of our favorites and a buying guide on how to pick the best one for your pup and budget.

The 10 Top-Rated GPS Trackers for Dogs

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line
Rating
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Whistle Go Explore Dog GPS Tracker
Lightweight Durable
Needs WiFi connection
A pet tracker and activity monitoring device that slides onto your pup's collar with ease.
3.3
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Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker
Track in real-time Record your dog's movements
Subscription plan needed
An ideal GPS tracking system for dogs that live a more active lifestyle during the day.
3.9
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FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor & Tracker
Built-in tracker Activity monitoring
Requires subscription plan
One of the best GPS tracking collars available, this product records your pup's activity and more!
4.3
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Link AKC Smart Dog Collar With GPS Tracker
Multi-pet tracker Ideal for large packs of dogs
Bulky tracker
Combining a tracking collar with a handheld device, this product allows you to track up to 20 dogs.
3.4
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Garmin Multi-Dog Tracking GPS
Set a property perimeter Instant alerts
Requires a SIM card
Using geofencing technology, pet owners can set a boundary to alert them if their dog wanders off.
4.7
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Eureka Technology Tracking And Locating System
Track your dog while they're swimming Waterproof
Clunky design
With no subscription fees, dog owners can enjoy knowing where their pup is at all times without paying extra.
4.1
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Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar
Wide tracking capabilities Uses GPS and GLONASS
Bulky tracking collar
Created by a trusted brand who make various GPS tracking collars and devices for pets.
4.6
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Anki HappiGo GPS Tracker For Dogs
Lightweight design Easy to use
Flimsy attachment
A tracker that can be placed on any pet's existing collar or added to your personal items.
3.3
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PetFon Pet GPS Tracker
Pre-record voice commands Track via mobile app
Short battery life
No subscription service is needed to utilize the highly accurate tracking system on this pet tracking product.
3.7
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Jiobit Smallest GPS Tracker For Dogs
Fits any pet collar 10-day battery life
Requires subscription plan
A lightweight tracker that is great for pet owners who can see themselves using the tracking service for a long time.
4.2

1 Whistle Go Explore Dog GPS Tracker

Whistle Go Explore Dog GPS Tracker
Key features:
  • Pet tracker activity monitor
  • Proactive alerts and notifications
  • Health insights
  • Durable and weatherproof
  • 7-day battery life
  • Subscription and WiFi required

The Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker and Activity Monitor system is one of the best ones on the market for two simple reasons. First, it provides nationwide coverage through the country’s existing cellular network infrastructure, so it’s able to pinpoint your pet’s location at all times. Second, you can use its WiFi connectivity to create a dedicated safe zone for your pet and to help conserve battery. These two reasons make this GPS pet tracker reliable, accurate and long-lasting.

Additionally, this unit allows for automatic notifications should your pet stray away from the home. The dog’s daily physical activities can also be monitored to see how they measure up for their breed, age, and weight. The Whistle 3 system is also lightweight, durable, and waterproof for up to 30 minutes. It comes with long battery life and is ideal for all dogs weighing more than 8 pounds.

What others say about it:
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I bought one for my sister’s new puppy(6 months GSD)& then another for my 3 yr old doodle. They are very active and being able to keep up with them has been great. Customer service is fantastic. Also waterproof and mudproof! The puppy held the doodle down in a mud puddle. It wasn’t fun to clean him up but they had fun!

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Pros
  • 7-day battery life
  • Insights into the health of the wearer
  • Weatherproof
Cons
  • Needs a subscription plan to function
  • Must be connected to WiFi
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2 Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker

Tractive LTE GPS Dog Tracker
Key features:
  • Follows your dog in real-time via your mobile phone.
  • Tracks and records your dog’s movement to look over later.
  • Can also be used to track your dog’s fitness.
  • 100% waterproof, and lightweight.
  • Works throughout the US, Canada, and 150 other countries.
  • Requires subscription from $4.99 a month. (plans available)

The Tractive GPS tracker is a subscription-based service that provides everything you need to keep track of your four-legged friend. With 1 year, 2 years, and 5 year plans available starting at $4.99 a month, they have designed their service to provide you with your money’s worth. This GPS tracker gives you a real-time look at what your canine pal is up to, which is sent directly to your phone for ease of access. Additionally, if you’re ever wondering what they may have been up to during the day, it also has a tracking feature that records their movements and creates a map of their whereabouts throughout the day. This is a great feature for cat lovers as well.

Ideal for active dogs with a busy schedule, this tracker doesn’t only track their movements but their fitness levels too. By monitoring their active time, rest periods, and calories burned, you can see whether your dog is getting the right amount of exercise. This is especially helpful with breeds that struggle with their weight, as you can ensure they stay as fit and lean as possible. It is 100% waterproof, and lightweight to suit all dog breeds, and works in over 150 countries, so you don’t need to worry about your location and can take it away on vacation with you.

What others say about it:
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We have been very pleased with this tracker and the tools in the app. Yes, it requires a subscription, but for what you get I believe it is a fair value. We live in the mountains of Colorado and have a large amount of land. I have never had an issue with being able to get service. I set up the virtual fence to cover about 10 acres of our land. The moment our dog steps outside that area I get notified. I go out and yell her name and can see her turn around on the live track and watch her come back. The only downside so far is the short battery life (you have to charge it every 1.5 to 2 days). Also, it would be nice if there was a way to give the dog feedback when they leave the virtual fence. Ie vibrates or plays a sound.
Overall this is exactly what we were looking for.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Inexpensive subscription
  • Waterproof dog GPS tracker
  • Works in over 150 countries
Cons
  • Contract subscription plans
  • Bulky design
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3 FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor & Tracker

FitBark 2 Dog Activity Monitor & Tracker
Key features:
  • Stylish 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

The FitBark dog activity monitor is a reliable and stylish-looking dog tracking unit 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 tracker complete with rugged and waterproof construction.

You can track and manage your pet’s whereabouts including activities via the Internet or even on your iOS and Android device. It has a super long battery life too – 14 whopping days. 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.

What others say about it:
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The fitbark 2 has been a pretty good activity monitor. I do wish that you didn’t need the wifi base station to sync the fitbark over the wifi network. This would be my one major issue with it. I do wish that you could move the fitbark easier from collar to collar or harness, while using the zip ties is not difficult it’s just time-consuming and seems wasteful when moving the fitbark.

Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

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4 Link AKC Smart Dog Collar With GPS Tracker

Link AKC Smart Dog Collar With GPS Tracker
Key features:
  • GPS tracking and activity monitoring dog 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

One of the best GPS dog collars you can find in the market today is the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar. Unlike other systems that have to be attached to your dog’s collar, the Link AKC is already a dog tracker and dog collar rolled into one. This helps eliminate the need for constantly mounting and removing the tracker onto and from your pet’s collar. 

The Link AKC Smart Dog combines all the useful features of a GPS pet tracker: activity tracking, adventure recording, veterinary records management, remote alerts, and notification systems, as well as ambient temperature monitoring. There’s a catch, though. As with most trackers, you have to subscribe to any of Link AKC’s service plans if you want to experience the full range of benefits of the technology.

What others say about it:
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I can’t say enough good things for LINK AKC. I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast and my dog Jackson goes with me everywhere. I use the LED feature at night so I can see him. I also really appreciate the Temperature alerts as I leave him alone occasionally in my camper. If he gets too warm I receive a notification and I can return to the camper and turn on the AC for him.
In regards to customer service, if you enjoy personalized support look no further. LINK AKC has responded promptly to all of my questions and has been personable through all of them. 5-star product. 5-star customer service.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Activity monitoring
  • Collar with built-in GPS tracker
  • Stores vet records
Cons
  • Subscription plan
  • GPS collars can get worn over time
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5 Garmin Multi-Dog Tracking GPS

Garmin Multi-Dog Tracking GPS
Key features:
  • Addition of GLONASS in its spectrum of satellite activity
  • Rescue Mode, stimulation levels, and LED light all integrated into one collar
  • 18 training levels
  • Manage up to 20 different dogs
  • 9-mile effective range
  • Battery lasts 20 to 40 hours

You can never go wrong with a Garmin GPS product. The brand’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 canines. What makes this model quite exceptional is the fact that it doesn’t only rely on GPS, but also GLONASS platform to make very accurate tracking of your pet’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 perfect for training and tracking up to 20 different dogs, the ideal solution when you’re in a hunting party with several dogs leading the charge. The battery lasts about 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 complaint is that the collar is quite bulky.

What others say about it:
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So… let’s just address the elephant in the room. This collar and tracker are EXPENSIVE. Ugh. Very, very, very much so. For me anyway. That’s also my only con. I mean, damn.

Ok, so this color has exceeded my expectations surrounding what I hoped it would do. I live in the country and like to let my dog run, especially in the backyard, fields, and woods. She won’t usually go more than a couple of hundred feet at most, and when she really runs, it’s usually after a rabbit or some other animal. (she doesn’t catch them, but they both get an adrenaline rush and some exercise. haha.
I LOVE being able to sit in my house and see exactly where she is. How fast she is traveling. If she is moving. Everything. And yes, it works while sitting in my house. I’m sure everyone’s experience will be different…

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Large range
  • Multi-pet GPS trackers in one product
  • Uses GPS satellites and GLONASS to track
Cons
  • Low battery life
  • Very bulky
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6 Eureka Technology Tracking And Locating System

Eureka Technology Tracking And Locating System
Key features:
  • 2-mile radius effective RF range
  • 3-pet monitoring system
  • 6-week battery life
  • Rugged and waterproof construction

Most pet trackers rely on orbiting satellites high above the earth’s atmosphere, but MARCOPOLO doesn’t work that way. Instead, this model relies on the same technology that you have been using with your 2-way handheld radios. Given that the MARCOPOLO operates using radio waves, the immediate question is its range. And while the 2-mile published effective range seems sufficient, this is based on a clear line of sight.

Still, this is a great choice for pet parents who prefer using RF trackers. Moreover, there are no subscription fees to worry about, which is quite important to some dog owners. 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.

What others say about it:
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I have been looking for a good solution to keep track of my pets. I have a 70lb Lab that loves the water and an 8lb cat that loves to hide from me when it is time to come in for the night. Finding one solution for both pets has been a challenge, to say the least.

For the cat, it has to fit comfortably on the breakaway collar she already wears. The Marco Polo tag weighs less than an ounce and attaches with a soft nylon fabric holder that fits tight to the collar so there is nothing hanging down to catch on branches. She barely noticed it after I put it on her collar…

Read the whole buyer review at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Long battery life
  • Great GPS monitoring for multiple dogs
  • Waterproof
Cons
  • Not a stylish design
  • Lots of parts
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7 Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar

Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar
Key features:
  • GPS, GLONASS systems
  • 9-mile effective range
  • Rescue mode and LED light
  • 20- to 40-hr battery life
  • 1 ATM water rating

When it comes to GPS devices, one of the most trusted names is Garmin. The T5 model – like all Garmin’s technologies – is a reliable, accurate, and quite a durable unit. It doesn’t only utilize GPS in its tracking capabilities but also the Russian version of GPS, GLONASS, to further improve the ability to track your pet.

The T5 already comes with two types of antennas to further extend the range of its already-remarkable 9-mile coverage. But what you will love the most about the T5 is that you’ll be relying on advanced tracking systems without getting tied down to monthly subscriptions.

What others say about it:
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Very good and relatively inexpensive GPS collar that so far has held up on a very active German Wirehair that will run or swim through anything.
No dislikes.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Covers long distances
  • LED light to find your pup at night
  • Multiple systems in one GPS tracking collar
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Bulky design
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8 Anki HappiGo GPS Tracker For Dogs

Anki HappiGo GPS Tracker For Dogs
Key features:
  • Bidirectional alarm with smart reminders
  • Location records
  • Maximum effective range: 50 meters
  • Super-slim, compact, and lightweight design

The Anki HappiGo Nut Smart Tag Bluetooth Pet GPS 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 and useful features, though. It’s super-slim and can easily be attached to almost anything. Aside from pets, you can use The Nut for your car, keys, laptop, wallet, and many more things. It’s is a worthy tracker for under $20 that can make your life easier.

What others say about it:
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The idea is great but I returned it. The description says you can use it to track your pets so I bought one for my pet. After about two months it started beeping and wouldn’t stop or reset. Its Bluetooth stopped working. I opened it up to find the battery had rusted. Many pets drink from water bowls and this goes right in the bowl with their mouth. So this would never actually work for my pet and forget about putting it on material things because it isn’t waterproof to keep out rain, etc.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Records past locations
  • Fits your dog’s existing collar
Cons
  • Could be pulled off collars
  • Short range
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9 PetFon Pet GPS Tracker

PetFon Pet GPS Tracker

Requiring no monthly fee, the PetFon GPS tracker combines Bluetooth, GPS, and WiFi technology to accurately pinpoint the position of your dog in real-time. Your pooch wears a durable, lightweight tag that is rainproof. All you have to do is download the app to your smartphone and thanks to the laser carving antenna you will be able to track your dog up to 0.65 miles away in a built-up environment and 3.5 miles in open country.

You can also define a geographic area that your pet should stay inside and get notified if they stray out of it. Using pre-recorded voice commands, you can recall your dog. The tag is powered by a battery that lasts between 8-16 hours and it is provided with a charging station.

What others say about it:
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After I got the product, I followed the instructions on the manual, turned on my phone’s Bluetooth, scanned the QR code, downloaded and installed the PETFON APP very quickly. Then I entered the App, clicked on the upper left corner to open the menu, click “Devices” →” Management”→”Add new device”, then I scanned the Controller and Tracker for matching according to the APP’s prompt. After that, I tried to set up various functions in the app, like an electronic fence, dangerous area, record the number of steps of the puppy, voice alarm, etc. That’s really cool, I have to say it is very easy to use.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Combines GPS and Bluetooth trackers in one product
  • Extremely accurate GPS tracking system
  • Find your dog’s location in seconds
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Short tracking reach
Show More

10 Jiobit Smallest GPS Tracker for Dogs

Jiobit Smallest GPS Tracker for Dogs
Key features:
  • Tracks at any distance – even indoors!
  • Waterproof
  • Small, unassuming design
  • Unmatched security and encryption
  • 10-day battery life

With a design that fits on any pet collar, the Jiobit GPS tracker is one of the best GPS dog trackers around. There is no handheld device or bulky charger to worry about, just a sleek charging port and a relatively thin tracker that you can slip onto your dog’s collar whenever you like.

These waterproof dog GPS trackers have a section at the top of the product where you can thread your dog’s collar though, meaning that the rest of the design will simply hand from your pup’s neck. It’s not a large product, so it shouldn’t get in the way of your dog’s daily activities like other GPS tracking device products. This tracker does require a subscription service after being purchased, but it’s extremely secure connection makes it a great choice for dog owners.

What others say about it:
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I use this tracker for my father who has Alzheimers. I attach it to his keys and I am able to know when he leaves, returns and where he is going. I use the geofencing to make sure he is in a safe place. Overall the battery is great and the app is easy to use. The only concern is that you can’t refresh the device and sometimes the accuracy off. There has been times where I had difficulty pinpointing where he was.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Pros
  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • Track at any distance
Cons
  • Requires subscription plan
  • New product needed upon cancellation
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Best GPS Tracker for Dogs: Buying Guide & FAQs

While the market for pet GPS devices may already be saturated, this should not dissuade you from choosing only the best model for your pet. To help you in your selection process, we put together this comprehensive, practical buying guide that can help you make a fully informed purchasing decision.

What is a GPS Tracker for Dogs?

GPS for the dog helping to find the dog in the forest .

A tractive GPS 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 cars. 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 can 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 cell phone is an approximation of the exact position of your dog. This also means that if your pet 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 GPS tracking technologies – they only work insofar as your dog is wearing one.

Who Might Benefit from Dog Trackers?

There are many individuals and special interest groups that may benefit from using dog trackers on their pets. These include:

Pet Owners With Large Tracts of Land

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. Having a large tract of land is wonderful, however, it also means that supervising and monitoring the whereabouts of your dog is next to impossible. This can have serious implications for their safety as they may venture into areas of your property that they shouldn’t go to. Many of today’s GPS dog trackers come with the ability to set or define a safe area for your pets. If they wander off this area, 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.

Families With Unusually Active, Fast-Running, or Adventurous Pooches

GreyhoundsSalukis, Vizslas, and Afghan hounds are known for their speed. They can bolt out of your fence and run away like there’s no tomorrow. LabradorsSiberian 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 trying these pooches down or restricting them in a kennel.

In these instances, you simply cannot dampen dogs’ 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 GPS tracking technologies 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.

Households With Pets That Are Escape Artists

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 area. 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 tracker will not prevent your pooch from escaping, you will at least be alerted to their escape attempts by defining a safe area for them. Preferably, you would want this area 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.

Hunters

Have you ever tried hunting in the woods with your dog? RetrieversSpaniels, Hounds, and Setters are all excellent dogs 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 collar or tracking unite can help. You can easily identify your pet’s location 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.

Rescuers

Civilian and military rescuers can benefit a lot from canine trackers 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.

Different Types of Dog Tracking Devices

Dog english pointer sitting in the forest with gps tracker

If you look in the market today, you’d see that there are currently two fundamental types of canine 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, as 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.

Radio Pet Trackers

If you’ve ever used a two-way radio before, this is what radio 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 the range of each other. Moreover, radio transmission can be reduced by a variety of factors such as the presence of obstacles that can interfere with effective radio transmission.

This is not to say that radio dog 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.

GPS Pet Trackers

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, but can also learn, monitor, evaluate, and manage its many activities. Many high-end devices come with live tracking.

One of the downsides to using GPS devices is that they’re 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. However, the downside is that most of these services, especially those that connect to cellular networks, come with a subscription fee.

Things to Consider When Choosing a GPS Dog Tracker

Picking a GPS 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 want to check when picking a tracking gadget for your pet.

Accuracy of Location Tracking

We already mentioned that GPS units 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.

Activity Tracking

While not absolutely a must, it would be great if you could keep track of your pet’s activity levels too, in pretty much the same way that wearable technologies allow you to monitor your own fitness levels. This way you can customize your plan of activities for your pet, including their playtime and diet. For aids in keeping your puppy active, see our round-up of interactive toys for dogs.

Notification and Alert System

Don’t be content with receiving notifications on your cell phone alone. The more avenues upon which notifications and alerts can be sent (including, of course, your smartphone) the better it is for you and for your pooch.

Weatherproofing

This is actually a must for outdoor dogs. It is imperative that the device is waterproof, shockproof, and even dustproof since you would want to use it when your pooch is outside the confines of your home.

Safe Zones

It is equally important that the GPS device is equipped with a system that allows you to define a safe zone for your pet. If your pooch wanders off outside this area, then you’d be alerted immediately.

How to Choose the Right Size of GPS Tracker for Your Dog

Hunting Beagle with GPS Collar

If the tracking unit is already embedded into the smart 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 the weight is a major consideration. You don’t want to burden your dog by putting something very heavy on its collar. The device should also not be very bulky as you don’t want your pup to 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 units for dogs that weigh a fraction of an ounce.

Pet trackers 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 the tracking models 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.

You may also like our guides on Dog Bark Collars, Dog Shock Collars, and Dog Cameras.

Our Top Pick

From this list of GPS dog trackers, some fell short of some 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: The Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker Activity Monitor. This device 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 in the voices of pet parents sharing their thoughts and experiences with the Whistle 3 we’d say we made the right choice.

Sources:

  1. Dr. Patty Khuly VM, LoJacking Fido: Why Your Dog Might Need GPS, Vetstreet
  2. Lynn Buzhardt, DVM, Pet Monitoring: Keeping Track of Your Pet’s Tracks and More, VCA

FAQs:

There are different kinds of dog tracking technologies. There are those that rely on satellites orbiting the earth’s outer atmosphere. Some of these work with cellular networks while others employ wireless internet connections. Still, there are others that work with Bluetooth technology and even the more traditional radiofrequency. 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 take 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 radiofrequency technologies will only work insofar as Device A is within range of these technologies.

Different manufacturers of tractive GPS technologies design their devices to be attached in a variety of ways, often to differentiate them from their competition. What is clear, however, is that majority of dog trackers in the market can be attached to a dog’s collar. Some products already come with their respective smart 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 all attached to dog collars using clips, D-rings, or some other similar mechanisms.

You may also like our guide on the Best Dog ID Tags.

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 tracker in this pattern is Device A. Since Device A can only be carried by a single animal, then it can be said that a tracker can only track a single animal. Now, if you have several animals that have the same tracking technology, you can simultaneously track them all 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.

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 tracker 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 unit 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 on your cat’s collar. However, make sure that it is not too big or too heavy for your pet. After all, most dogs weigh heavier and are larger than cats.

Check out our ultimate guide on Cat GPS Tracker.

Before we answer this question, let us first get a clear understanding of 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 a 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 microchips and GPS dog collars to help ensure you’ve got the basic safety issues covered.

Manufacturers always design their GPS dog trackers to work with existing technologies. Most come with both iOS and Android platform compatibility, although some have a 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 read the product description to determine device compatibility.

Eloise Hands

Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.

  1. Ryan Olivas
    Jul 18, 2018

    I have tried using a different tracker and it’s not on the list, the Trackimo. It’s also a great device with its superb tracking capabilities. You should try it out guys.

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