6 Best GPS Trackers for Dogs Reviewed
In recent years, technological developments have given rise to devices that are beneficial to both pets and pet owners. If there are Smartwatches and fitness trackers for humans, there are also GPS trackers for dogs and cats.
GPS trackers do not only keep track of your pet’s health and active lifestyle; they also make sure that in cases when your pet goes beyond your yard or your fence, you would still be able to locate and bring it back home before the city pound arrives.
Here, we’ve listed some of the best dog GPS trackers and the features you can enjoy from each of them.
6. Link AKC Smart Dog Collar
In sixth place is a smart dog collar from Link AKC which functions not just as a tracker but as a one-stop resource for everything related to your dog.
With the Link AKC Smart Dog Collar, you would be able to not only track its activities but you would also be able to take pictures of your adventures together. Add to that, the app also lets you take note of your dog’s vet and medical records for easy reference.
The records tab also includes a temperature alert capability. This lets you set temperature thresholds, where, in cases of extreme temperature rise and fall, you will be notified.
Link AKC has three major components – the leather collar, the tracker, and the home base.
The collar has sizes that range from 9 inches for small-sized dogs to 25 inches for the large-sized. The tracker that goes along with the package clicks itself into the collar and comes in one size only. It is 5 inches long and while this works well with most dogs, it would be a concern for those of smaller sizes.
When going for Link AKC, pet owners need to download an app which works well with both Android and iOS. There is a subscription fee of $10 per month (cheaper if you sign up for two years).
Just like any other pet tracking device, the Link AKC uses Bluetooth to keep track of your dog’s whereabouts. If your pet sets out to places out of the programmed area, the tracker alerts the pet owner.
While the tracker may work just fine, one common feedback is that the Bluetooth range may be poor. The collar may only be effective if your dog stays nearby.
There are also comments online about the constant “away” notifications even if the dog is just nearby. This may result in false alarms and unnecessary worries on the side of the pet parents.
Another feedback is that the battery life may not last longer than expected. One possible cause may be because of the same constant “away” notifications that may be eating up the battery life.
While there are other brands with a better tracking system, most pet owners are sold with the capacity of the collar to take photos of the adventures and keep your memories with your dog intact.
5. Tractive GPS 3G Dog Tracker
This Australian-based manufacturer recently made its way to the American market.
The Tractive GPS 3G Dog tracker, contrary to its name, is not limited to dogs alone. It can also be used by any animal as long as it weighs 9 lbs. or more.
One of the things this pet tracker boasts about is its capacity to offer accurate, live/real-time GPS tracking which pet owners should find useful especially with their escape-artist pets. Updates with the real-time GPS tracking comes in for about every 2 to 3 seconds.
The device is also waterproof which can survive being submerged in water for about 30 minutes. And despite having an app that pet owners need to download, those who do not own a Smartphone can check updates through a web browser.
The app can be used in about 80 countries and so pet parents who frequently travel with their furry pals need not worry about which gadget to bring and use when traveling. The tracker depends on the powers of GPS and GSM signals which make it possible to be used in just about any country.
The device may look good and perform just as expected but there may still be a few complaints about the collar clips which, according to some, break easily.
There are also talks about how the batteries quickly drain in cases when pet owners use the live tracking mode. When not being used, battery life is working just fine.
4. Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar
Initially, this tracking device was advertised for dogs that are being utilized for sports. This is, however, also popular with pet owners who, at the same time, are enthusiastic campers and hikers. This is also quite known for pet owners who live in huge and secluded areas like farms.
One of the selling points of this brand is that it is, in itself, an independent GPS unit and does not depend on cellular service. Other brands use cell services which, at times, could also fluctuate depending on the coverage – resulting in inconsistencies in tracking accuracies.
The Garmin T5 GPS Dog collar is waterproof and contains a durable and modifiable steel antenna which sends your dog’s location every 5 seconds through a handheld receiver.
The GPS signal is also sufficient to work even in heavily-covered locations. The GPS itself is super sensitive and is made of GLONASS.
It comes with a LED guiding light which would enable you to see your dog from meters away in the dark. It also comes with lithium batteries which are rechargeable and last for about 20-30 hours of continuous use.
While these and all can be had with this single collar, the tracking device is on the expensive side. If you are looking for something cheaper, this may not be for you. But if you can spare a few hundred dollars for the collar, this is just the way to go.
And don’t forget to check your dog size. The collar may not be suited to smaller dogs.
3. PETBLE Smart Tag Tracking
We normally take for granted the fact that pets would also need to follow a healthy lifestyle for them to avoid illness and discomfort.
This is where our third placer comes in. The Petble Smart Tag Tracker monitors your dog’s steps, sleeping and eating habits, among others through its companion app. It can even analyze your pet’s calorie intake and provide you with recommendations.
Your pet’s regular activity records can also be stored so you can keep track of the trends. This puppy tracking device also lets you set daily activities and health goals.
The advantage of this app over the others? This device can set targets based on your dog’s breed, age, height, and weight.
As for the tag itself, it is small and can fit in any collar, it is waterproof and dust-proof, and the batteries can last for up to a week per charge.
Basically, the app can be downloaded into your tablet or Smartphone. It is available for Android users with version 5.0 and above. For iOS users, the version should be updated to 9.3 and above.
There is no monthly subscription required but there is a one-time payment for the app which may not sit well with other users. But after shelling out some cash for the gadget and for the app, all you need is to take advantage of the application’s numerous benefits.
Aside from some comments on the app payment, all else is working just grand!
2. Eureka Tech MarcoPolo Pet Tracking
In second place is another tracking device that does not make use of any cellular service and relies on GPS signals. The Eureka Tech MarcoPolo Pet Tracking system is made for pets that are about 10 lbs in size or heavier.
It is composed of a handheld device called a locator. There is a tag which is being attached to the pet’s collar.
These two communicate with each other and provide you with the right location of your pet – be it during monitoring or during tracking.
There are two ways by which you use the tracking device. First is when it is on the monitoring mode. This is when the device checks your pet’s location continuously.
You pre-determine a safe zone and in cases when your pet goes beyond that zone, you are alerted by an audible sound and are contacted in the phone number of your choice. The alert, as per the manufacturer, comes within 80 seconds after your pet goes beyond the set safe zone.
If in case you lose your pet, the tracking mode is the mode to use. It locates your pet and directs you through an arrow to the nearest location of your lost pet.
The brand’s selling point is that you can monitor three pets at the same time. While the package comes with one tag only, you can add more by purchasing the two other tags for your additional pets.
And when your pet gets lost, the tracking system allows you to get help from others by using the Rescue Group Searching feature. Through this, you can transfer your pet‘s tag ID to other locators – enabling them to help with the search as well.
The battery life when using the monitoring mode can last for weeks; while when continuously using the tracking mode, it would last up to three days. The brand is also weatherproof and can be submerged into 6 inches of water for a maximum of 10 minutes.
While good in most aspects, some feedback dwell on the brand not being suitable for use in cities with large structures when in tracking mode. The monitoring mode may be good in any location but the tracking mode in cities is something the manufacturers would have to work on.
The collar might also not be good for small dog breeds.
1. Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker
When it comes to GPS trackers for dogs, it is Whistles 3 GPS that tops the list.
The Whistle 3 GPS is a tracker that can be easily attached to your dog’s collar. Suited for dogs that are 8 lbs. or heavier, the tracker needs a Wi-Fi connection during the initial set up.
Wi-Fi is also needed for pet owners to mark the area considered to be safe zones for the pet. These safe zones which, when breached by the tracker, signify that the pet has already wandered away and should already be tracked.
If this happens, you immediately receive a notification through push notification, email or text. You also get to keep records of data for the past 24 hours as these are saved in the iOS and Android app.
The tracking device not only keeps track of your dog’s whereabouts but you are also able to program the lifestyle for your dog. For example, you can set up fitness and activity goals for your dog – walking at this hour, sleeping at that hour, etc. This would actually work much like a Smartwatch or a Fitbit.
And when you think that Whistle 3 already had it all covered, there is one major consideration that catapulted this brand to the top. The most important thing of all aside from accurate tracking (which Whistle 3 can also boast of) is battery life.
Amongst all other options, Whistle 3 has the longest battery life so far. While package instructions state that there is a need to charge batteries every ten days, the batteries so far have worked really fine and exceeded expectations. Surely, this is Whistle 3’s major selling point.
But just like some tracking devices for pets, Whistle 3 also comes with a monthly subscription plan which may not sit well with other consumers. It also makes use of cellular services from AT&T that helps pinpoint your pet’s location anywhere in the US, as long as it is covered by the network.
While pretty much accurate in the tracking features, Whistle 3 may have fluctuating accuracy in certain places depending on the signal strength of AT&T. Its use is also limited to the United States only and is not available anywhere else.
GPS Tracker Buyer’s Guide
Purchasing a GPS tracker that’s perfect for your dog may not only be daunting but also overwhelming. This is because the market is teeming with brands that all promise the same thing; mostly overthrowing the others with an additional feature here and a unique capacity there.
As a pet owner, what is important is that you are able to determine the features which are very important to you and your dog. Major considerations like the price should play a role in your choice.
You should also be aware of whether the tracking device comes with monthly subscriptions as this would affect future finances. You don’t want to finally get a tracking device of your choice only to find out some surprise items on your bill in the future, do you?
Another major consideration is performance. How well does this device track your dog?
Battery life is also something you would need to look into. Remember that the longer the battery life is, the longer your window in finding your lost dog.
No matter what you choose, go with the one that fits your needs and capacity. Do you have the capacity to pay for the tracking device and the monthly subscriptions if ever? Does it perform as well as it advertised it does? Will the battery last longer than necessary?
While we pray you don’t lose a dog and will never need a tracking device, we also hope you are able to choose the one true gadget that could help you find your dog if in case it happens.