Why buy a pet GPS tracker?
None of us ever want our beloved pets to go missing or run away, but it happens sometimes. Doors are left ajar, windows are pushed open, fences are jumped, etc. While this hopefully never happens, it also never hurts to be prepared. A tracker attached to your dog or cat’s collar is considered by many to be the best way to locate your dog or cat if they escape from your home or yard. This isn’t the only benefit of pet GPS trackers, either. Many allow you to set a “safe area” or “safe space,” parts of the house and/or yard where your pet can go unsupervised, and the device will alert you if your pet leaves these areas. This may allow you to prevent them from escaping or getting too far. If you like to hike with your dog, let them off the leash during hikes or walks, or simply want them to be able to enjoy the backyard without you keeping an eye on them at all times, a pet GPS tracker can give you peace of mind when your pup isn’t in your direct line of vision. And GPS trackers are considered overall more accurate than Bluetooth trackers.
While aimed primarily at dogs and dog owners, cats and cat owners can benefit from a pet GPS tracker too. If you have a cat that spends time outdoors as well as indoors, a pet GPS tracker is an ideal way to locate them when they haven’t come home in a while. And even if your cat is a strictly indoor cat, there’s still a chance they might sneak out without you realizing, so a pet GPS tracker is still a useful addition to any cat collar.
What should you look for in a pet GPS tracker?
- Battery: Your new GPS tracker won’t function without its battery, so you’ll want to be very aware of the type of battery you’ll be getting. Is it a rechargeable battery, or will you have to replace it with some consistency? If it’s rechargeable, how long does one charge last, and how long does it take to charge? If it’s a standard non-rechargeable battery, how long is its service life? Does the tracker come with any spares or replacements? And what type of battery is needed for the tracker to function; does it require a standard battery that’s easy to buy at the store (like a AA or AAAs) or something more specific you’ll have to order online?
- Attachment: Almost without exception, pet GPS trackers are meant to attach to your pet’s collar. Many clamp or clip right onto the collar while others dangle or hang from it, more like a dog tag or keychain. The former are less likely to get caught on something or fall off. On the other hand, hanging trackers can be attached to any collar, no matter how thick or thin, while clip-ons may not fit every type of pet collar, even with their specialty attachments.
- Features: Some more premium pet GPS trackers come with some bonus features and services beyond monitoring your pet’s location. If you’re concerned about your dog getting enough exercise, some of these trackers can offer services like tracking your pet’s steps, recording walks, or setting activity goals. Some can monitor vitals like their heart rate, temperature, and sleep patterns, while others will even keep track of vet visits and records. While not strictly necessary, many pet owners may find these extra features useful.
Are there any other factors worth considering in a pet GPS tracker?
Look for pet GPS trackers that are, at the very least, water-resistant. A truly waterproof model will be even better. You want to ensure that your new tracker will be able to hold up under the elements and inclement weather.
Also keep in mind that many pet GPS trackers require the use of a smartphone app to access some of their more advanced features or even work altogether. So be sure to avoid those particular trackers if you don’t have a smartphone. If you do have a smartphone, make sure that the app is compatible with your phone. Most models these days will work with both iPhones and Androids, but it never hurts to double-check and make sure.
Tractive Waterproof GPS Dog Tracker
This device should be at the top of your shortlist if you want to keep track of your furry friend.
Pros: This is a pet GPS tracker that goes above and beyond. Not only is it compatible with most smartphones, including iPhones and Androids, but it’s waterproof, and the collar attachment is adjustable to fit most pet collars. It’ll work worldwide, in pretty much any country, and has plenty of useful bonus features. You can mark designated “safe spaces” so the collar will let you know whenever your pet leaves and returns to those areas and track all their steps and calories burned, keep track of their location history, and allow you to set fitness goals for them.
Cons: The only real downside to this pet GPS tracker is that it requires a subscription in order to work. You’ll have to pay for either a monthly, yearly, or two-year subscription on top of the initial price tag of the tracker itself.
Bottom Line: There’s a lot to love about this pet GPS tracker. If you want something that goes above and beyond just being able to find your pet’s location and you don’t mind paying for a subscription, this model should suit your needs nicely, no matter where in the world you are.
Jiobit Smallest GPS Tracker
Don't let this GPS tracker's small size fool you; it's more than effective and durable enough to get the job done.
Pros: Small and subtle as this GPS pet tracker is, it’s more than suited to the task of keeping tabs on your dog, cat, or other furry friend. It can safely track your pet indoors or outdoors since it’s both waterproof and shockproof, and its small size means that it’s nice and lightweight, so it won’t be uncomfortable for even small dogs and cats to wear. It’s also encrypted to dissuade hackers, with a notification option, and since it clips, it’ll fit pet collars of all sizes. This means it’s also extremely easy to take on and off, and it can be used by caregivers to track their patients or parents to keep track of their young kids.
Cons: This pet GPS tracker is a very expensive model, quite a bit pricier than a lot of others on the market. And it’s another one that requires a subscription to function, so it’ll cost even more money in the long run.
Bottom Line: If you’re willing to pay the higher price tag and fees that come with this pet GPS tracker, you won’t regret it. Small and subtle, it’s nevertheless perfectly suited to locating your pet at all times, and it’s not exclusive to pets either.
Nutale 4-Pack Tracker with Key Chain
If you've got more than one pet you want to be able to track, this set of trackers will be perfect for your needs.
Pros: Most GPS pet trackers are only sold one at a time, which isn’t exactly convenient or cost-effective if you’ve got more than one dog or cat at home. Fortunately, this pet tracker is an exception. You get four total with your purchase, which means you can keep track of up to four pets at once. They’re compatible with both iPhones and Androids and don’t require the extra cost of a subscription to use. The batteries you need for each, plus four keychains to attach them to your pet’s collar, come in the bundle, so you get quite a good bang for your buck. And the devices themselves come in several colors. If you don’t have four pets at home, it never hurts to have spares on hand. Or you can use them to locate inanimate objects like your car keys in addition to your dog or cat.
Cons: This isn’t a set of true GPS trackers but Bluetooth ones instead. This means that they won’t be as extensive or accurate as a real GPS tracker. And they don’t come with any extra handy features like tracking your pet’s steps or a designated safe area.
Bottom Line: If you’ve got multiple pets that you want to keep track of, that means buying extra GPS trackers, which can cost a pretty penny. These Bluetooth trackers, while not as elaborate as a true GPS pet tracker, will allow you to locate up to four pets at once without breaking the bank.
Cube Smart Tracking Device
A cost-efficient pet tracker that is ideally sized for smaller dog and cat breeds.
Pros: If you want to be able to locate your dog or cat, but you don’t have the budget to invest in a GPS tracker with all the bells and whistles, this pet tracker is a handy alternative. Its small size and near weightlessness make it an especially good option for smaller dogs and house cats, though there’s no reason you can’t use it for bigger breeds too. This model has a reasonable price tag, and the battery is extremely long-lasting; you shouldn’t have to replace it more than once a year, and the first battery comes included with your purchase. There’s a handy separation alarm function that’s especially useful for those who like to hike with their dog off-leash. And it’s another multipurpose model, one you can repurpose to find your phone or keys if needed.
Cons: This is another model that’s a Bluetooth pet tracker rather than a true GPS model, so it’s not going to be as accurate or have as many features. It also doesn’t come with a keychain or any other way to attach it to your pet’s collar, so you’ll have to provide your own.
Bottom Line: GPS pet trackers can be expensive investments, especially those that require a subscription in order to work and access all their features. This Bluetooth model isn’t as fancy or precise as some, but it’ll be a lot easier on your wallet.
Whistle Ultimate Dog GPS Tracker
If you want a premium GPS pet tracker with lots of extra features, this is the model for you.
Pros: This is one of those pet GPS trackers that goes above and beyond. It’s able to locate pets up to 3,000 miles away, sends you location updates every 15 seconds, and has a designated safe area feature, but it’s great for tracking their health in a multitude of ways as well. You can get food serving recommendations based on your pet’s breed and size, monitor activity levels, calories, and sleep, and even keep track of any bad habits they have, like scratching furniture. Most notably and uniquely, this GPS tracker gives you on-demand access to a vet through email, chat, or phone directly through the app. The tracker has a built-in night-light and rechargeable battery, and you get two collar attachments with your purchase.
Cons: As is often the case with pure GPS trackers, this model is quite pricey in and of itself. And it does need a regular subscription (and associated fee), so it’ll continue to cost you money in the long run as well as the short run.
Bottom Line: While the cost of this pet GPS tracker is undeniably high, you can at least rest assured that you’re getting plenty of useful features and functions beyond tracking your pet. And many of those features are dedicated to keeping them as fit and healthy as possible—something all pet owners strive for with their furry friends.
A beloved pet going missing is every owner’s worst nightmare. While none of us can predict if our dog or cat might run off, investing in a pet GPS tracker is among the best precautions you can take to more easily track them down should this happen.