As a dog owner, you will naturally want to fulfill the responsibility of keeping your loyal companion safe. As a puppy, training them to keep close and to be put on a leash are essential lessons for all owners, but things don’t always go to plan. Equally, it’s common to hear of adult and older dogs getting lost and being stolen. One thing’s for sure, no matter how much you care for and love your canine friend, sometimes unforeseen things occur that can turn your world upside down.
If you are unlucky enough to experience one of these periods of not knowing where your pet is, the anxiety and stress can be unbearable. Thankfully, recent innovations in technology have made keeping track of your dog easier than ever with a GPS dog tracker. Many of the most affordable, mid-range models allow you to easily pinpoint the location of your dog and get them back to you faster than any neighborhood search party.
However, since there are so many variations out there in terms of the technology used and quality, we have analyzed some of the most popular GPS dog trackers available and highlighted things you should avoid. Our guidance also takes into account comfort, features, ratings, budget as well as expert opinions and guidance.
Whistle 3 GPS Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor
The Whistle 3 GPS range of tracking collars can easily be used on both cats and dogs. Once securely fitted to your pet’s regular collar you can keep track of their location from the comfort of your seat using a subscription-based app on your phone. As well as tracking their live location, it also enables you to view their tracks over the past 24 hours, helping you to keep tabs on where they are going.
Perhaps the best feature is the notifications function. The application will notify you via email and text if your dog or cat has breached the designated “safe area”. This then allows you to pursue them on foot before they go any further; this is a great way to keep them safe and away from busy highways and roads.
The Whistle 3 tracking collar is easily one of the most lightweight and smallest designs out there that easily blends in with a standard collar. The design is also waterproof and durable, perfect for pets that love exploring.
The GPS tracking is also extremely reliable and allows you to set a variety of “safe zones” you choose within your neighborhood or other location. The battery is also has a superior life and can last as long as 7 days before requiring a recharge.
Perhaps the only downside of the Whistle 3 GPS tracker is the fact that it requires a subscription. For some people, this won’t be within their budget, yet for those that are able to make the investment, it is well worth it.
Link AKC Smart Dog Collar
This GPC tracking collar is offered in a range of different sizes from small to extra large, so in terms of size is perfect for almost any type of dog breed. The design is also made in such a way that it can be attached to almost any standard collar design if required. It is also offered in two unique designs, a more sophisticated leather style or for those that require something a little more durable a fabric “sports” design.
Just like the majority of GPS dog tracker collars, the AKC requires a monthly subscription plan. Once subscribed, you will be able to track your dog’s location, helping you to know if they are straying too far from home or into possible danger. It also monitors their ambient temperature, so you can be sure they aren’t getting too hot or cold.
One of the features that made this tracker make our best dog GPS tracker list is the fact that it doesn’t just allow you to monitor their location, but also their activity. This means you can see if they are getting enough daily exercise, which is essential for dogs that need to lose a few pounds or simply for owners who want to ensure their dog is fit and healthy.
Other unique features include the ability to keep records of their daily activity and locations, as well as fond walks you want to keep for future reference. Overall, this is a brilliant GPS tracker for dogs that will help you monitor their location AND activity.
Bartun GPS Pet Tracker Collar
Another dog tracker that made our list is this model by Barturn. The main reasons for this are the extremely durable design, as well as the unique innovative features rarely found in brands of a similar reputation. It’s also worth mentioning that this collar can be worn by either cats or dogs and its adjustable design makes it suitable for a wide range of breeds and sizes.
As mentioned, the silicone design makes this collar extremely durable, making it perfect for outdoor adventures where it may get a little wet and wild. If you get any dirt, mud or other residues on the collar they’re easy enough to wipe off. The silicone design is also very difficult to tear or scuff.
Like other GPS collars, this one will allow you to conveniently keep tabs on your dog’s location in real time and monitor their previous routes. This is all done via an app that can be used in the most popular operating systems including Android and IOS. One of the best features of this unit is the voice monitor that allows your dog to hear you communicate from your phone to the collar.
Garmin T5 GPS Dog Collar
You might imagine that the serious design and style of the Garmin T5 dog tracker make it for the more serious dog walker and you would be correct. This collar is for the more serious tracking enthusiast; particularly for those with extremely active dogs that may travel miles outside in very diverse terrains and even go exploring in the depths of the water. They are particularly popular among hunters who want to keep an eye on their working dogs, especially during the training period.
The design itself is durable, designed with active and outdoor dogs in mind. This means it will survive unscathed in even the most hostile of environments and locations; it’s also waterproof, so you don’t have to be concerned about water damage or your dog swimming to a depth of up to 10 meters!
The collar is adjustable, vibrantly colored and fitted with a lightweight GPS device that updated in real time every 5 seconds and has a substantial 9-mile radius. It is fitted with LED beacon lights and rescue mode if your four-legged friend finds themselves in a difficult spot. The battery can last up to 20 hours between charges, which is adequate for outdoor adventuring.
Nuzzle Pet Activity and GPS Tracker
Nuzzle is one of the original GPS tracking devices for pets and was initially funded by an impressive IndieGoGo campaign. That aside, this GPS pet tracker will offer dog owners the peace of mind and reassurance needed should your dog or pet go missing.
Unlike the other devices listed, this GPS tracker does not require a subscription service and instead utilizes national 3G cellular coverage in order to track the location of your dog or cat. You can then see them at any time from an application on your mobile device.
Every Nuzzle collar comes with two rechargeable batteries, meaning you can alternate between using one and charging one, or simply has a backup should you break or lose one of them. The collar is itself is made from a durable silicone design that is comfortable and waterproof. It’s also adjustable making it a comfortable fit for a wide range of dog breeds and dog sizes from small toy varieties all the way to up to extra large great Danes of the world.
Key Things to Consider when Buying a GPS Tracker
As well as the brand reputation and reviews of the collar or tracking device you have in mind, there are some other important considerations. These include the following:
Activity vs. Location Tracking – You will find a variety of smart collars and devices out there that enable you to track your pet’s location via GPS, but there also those that can do a range of other things too, such as monitoring your pets physical activity. Some of the designs mentioned above do both, which is probably the best idea since if you decide you want to monitor both at a later date you will end up spending even more.
GPS Location – Tracking devices like some of those discussed utilize 3G network. This means the device sends and receives signals from local radio towers throughout the nation in order to locate your pet. Be aware that this process isn’t always live and there can be delays depending on location and coverage issues.
Cat or Dog? – This article has focused on GPS collars for dogs alone; however, many of the collars are suitable for use on cats. There is no difference in how they operate; it’s simply a sizing and weight issue alone. So make sure to consider size and weight, especially for small breeds or cats since the last thing you want to do is impair their health or wellbeing.