We do everything within our power to keep our precious pups safe and sound. But the world is an unpredictable place, and the behavior of our dogs is no exception.
No one wants to think of losing track of their fur-baby. But a small investment in the name of prevention can turn a scary moment into a quick reunion.
So today, we’re going to look at the 4 best dog GPS trackers. These high-tech tools help save pet parents from heartache and keep dogs where they belong - in our loving arms.
With so many options out there, we prepared this guide to help you pick the best whilst saving you time and money.
We'll both review individual dog trackers and provide you with necessary tips on how to pick one that'll suit your pup and what to watch out for. After all none of us want to rely on a half baked product.
In a hurry? Here are the top 3 trackers our experts choose:
Our top picks
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Best Dog GPS Trackers
Before we dive into details of how to pick the best one and what to watch out for, we present you the best of them all individually reviewed:
Tractive is a popular pet tracker that does precisely what it sets out to do, locating lost dogs quickly. This device stops you from panicking the next time your pet bolts on walks or slips out of the fence.
Tractive uses advanced and highly accurate software that includes an easy-to-install, user-friendly phone app. What we find helpful is that you can shift between different modes on the app depending on your needs.
Default mode lets you check in on your pooch from work, while the live-tracking will prove lifesaving if your pet gets lost.
It provides you with real-time data about where your dog is and the direction they're headed. What's even better is that you'll be guided on how to reach your pet. That can be very useful if you're unfamiliar with the area. If your pet goes astray, your chances of finding them are far better, no matter how far they've gone.
Some might consider the subscription fee steep, but the cost is worthwhile if it means finding a missing pet safe and alive.
Activity monitoring is a significant benefit to have because it lets you log your pet's progress over time.
It can also track general health based on their movements. However, users have expressed concerns over sharing private data on a public leader board, which could be a safety issue.
The shape and size of the tracker are compact and lightweight. Your pet won't be bothered by wearing this device, and you can feel peace of mind knowing where your dog is.
The tracker's light and beeper could be better. The LED lighting is too small to be effective, and the bleeper could be a few decibels louder. If you're out looking for your pet in dimly lit or noisy areas, these features might not prove all that helpful in the search.
Tractive has a decent battery life with a charge that lasts 2 to 5 days. However, this time might vary depending on the mode it's on.
Although it boasts worldwide coverage, it can be patchy and intermittent in remote areas with poor signal.
Our last comment is that while the tracker clips easily onto collars or harnesses, it might not survive every type of terrain, especially dense bush where the tag might snag off.
- Worldwide location tracking in over 150 countries
- Featuring virtual fence, location history and live tracking
- Includes a rechargeable battery, user manual and charger
What we liked
- Uses advanced software for tracking pets
- Comfortable and lightweight design
- Battery holds a decent charge
- Light and beeper not 100% effective
- Public leaderboard (that tracks dog achievements) could be a privacy issue
- Might not survive all terrains
If your pet is prone to wandering, fitting them with a GPS Tracker ensures they return home. This nifty Pawfit device will accurately update you on the location of your cat or dog around the clock.
There are a few benefits that stand out to us. We love that the latest technology is used to enhance the user experience, which lets you sync the device with your smartphone immediately and seamlessly.
Just be sure you've selected a separate data plan together with an embedded sim card before you get started.
Our team is blown away by the multiple settings and features on the phone app but feels that such a wide range of choices might confuse first-time users who aren't tech-savvy.
That said, although the instruction manual could be more comprehensive, Pawfit's customer service team will guide you through the process if you get stuck setting up or if you’d like to get full use out of the software.
Once you've learned to navigate the app, you'll appreciate all the choices at your fingertips.
Switch to live tracking mode during emergencies. This setting updates you on your pet's movements every three seconds over ten-minute intervals, making locating your pet easier and less stressful.
Our favourite feature is the audio tag that uses the latest speech-to-text technology to store your details. If someone else picks up your dog, they'll be able to deliver them back to you.
One minor niggle is that, like most other trackers, this one requires an excellent signal to work efficiently. It might not help where there isn't coverage.
Fortunately, the device is also incorporated with assisted positioning if your GPS becomes glitchy and unreliable.
With the help of sounds and light, tracking down your dog is possible in low-lit and remote areas.
If you want to check on your pup while you're at work, it helps if your home WIFI is fast, reliable, and provides broad coverage. Otherwise, you won't be able to spy on your animal, especially if your pet cat likes to curl up in a cupboard where the internet doesn't reach.
The battery life is pretty standard. Keep in mind, the only way to check the charge is via your phone.
A charging docking station included in the package looks good and is energy efficient but can be a little finicky when connecting it with the device.
It also has a cool Fitbit-like element that is also pretty handy if you want to keep track of and improve your dog's fitness. With this, you can set daily goals to ensure your pet gets a healthy dose of exercise and downtime.
- New Pawfit 2 tracker with embedded sim card and accurate GPS tracking
- Location tracking with multiple modes
- Embedded with activity monitoring
- Has smart protection features and conveniences: temperature alert, virtual fence security zone, audio ID tag and anti-disable alarm
What we liked
- Multiple settings to choose from
- Sophisticated docking station for easy charging
- Ultra-modern features, including nifty audio tag
- Needs good signal to work properly
- Connecting the device to the charge port is fiddly
Impressively, the Weenect Dogs 2 GPS tracker has no distance limit. So, no matter where on earth your dog is, you can see his location and activity with your Android or iOs device.
The position of the GPS is continuously transmitted to your smartphone in real-time, giving you up-to-date accurate info on your best canine buddy.
One unique feature of this wearable tracker is the training ring. By activating the ring-noise and getting your dog to associate it with meals, you can train him to return home for a treat whenever he hears the sound.
Because it relies on cellular data, the Weenect does require a monthly subscription. However, it’s a relatively nominal fee and most trackers work in this manner.
All in all, it gets high marks for its easy set-up, tiny size, and accurate tracking. And the battery charges in just around 2 hours, lasting 2 to 4 days on a single charge.
- No distance limit
- Smallest GPS tracker in the world
- Real-time tracking
- Assists with training
- Easy set-up
What we liked
- Very lightweight and comfortable
- Gives real-time, constant tracking
- Ringing dinner time bell
- On average, needs to be charged every night
The Kippy EVO has some interesting features that make it stand out among GPS dog collars. Firstly, it’s completely waterproof, so it can even be worn by lake-loving pups!
Another interesting feature it has is the activity tracking. You can track specific data like sleep, play, calories, steps, and relaxation.
With Vita Messages, you receive helpful notifications regarding your dog’s health, movement, sleep patterns, and more.
If you want to register your walks, the Kippy keeps intelligent info on distance, speed, and altitude. For people who like tracking their own fitness and activity, it can be fun to let their dog in on the action as well!
Most importantly, this wearable keeps track of your dog’s location in real-time. And with Virtual Leash, you receive a notification every time your pup strays from your smartphone’s bluetooth beam.
Thanks to its versatility, durability, and wealth of helpful info, the Kippy EVO is one of the best pet trackers in the UK.
- Pet tracking + activity monitoring
- 100% waterproof
- Weighs only 38 grams
- Rechargeable battery
- GPS localisation
- Virtual fence
What we liked
- Suitable for all collars, both cats and dogs
- Long-lasting battery (up to 10 days)
- Swim proof
- The Kippy EVO app requires some study to get the hang of
- May be too bulky for very small dogs
Advantages Of A Dog GPS Tracker
We never want to imagine losing track of any member of our family, and that includes our fur-babies too.
However, even the most responsible pet parent has found themselves in a moment of sheer panic staring at an open gate or a fresh hole just beneath the fence.
After all, dogs are smart and adventurous creatures. They have ideas. And they’re not always good ones!
Whether they’re after a cat, the ice cream truck, or just a little afternoon jog, sometimes dogs try to get loose.
The obvious advantage of a dog tracker is that you’ll never be caught off guard when your dog leaves his appointed area. And if he does, you’ll know exactly where he is.
Even if you don’t think your dog is the type to go astray, it's a small investment when you consider its contribution to your peace of mind.
How To Choose The Best Dog Tracker
Now that you’ve got a pretty good idea of what a dog GPS tracker is and how it can come in handy, you may be interested in making a purchase.
But there are a few more things to keep in mind as you decide which one is the perfect fit for your particular pooch.
Below, we point out some of the functions and factors you may want to consider before you select the right tracker for your dog.
Subscription VS No Monthly Fee
You’ll notice that most trackers require a monthly subscription fee while only a few don't.
Whether a pet tracker comes with a subscription actually depends on what kind of tech it uses.
If it uses cellular technology, and most do, you’re going to have to pay a monthly fee for that connectivity.
But if it uses radio frequency signals or Bluetooth technology, it won’t need a subscription or additional fees.
The downside of a tracker that uses cellular data is that if you’re in a spotty reception area, it’s going to affect your dog’s device.
So the ones with no monthly fee may actually have better coverage in areas where mobile phone signals are not reliable, but they generally can’t handle the same distance as a cellular-based tracker.
Both subscription and no-subscription ones are functional and dependable.
Because a no-subscription trackers will send immediate alerts if your dog leaves the area, you shouldn’t have any trouble catching up to him or getting within the tracking range.
What's the difference between these technologies?
Cellular: GPS Chip and Sim Card
Generally they come with a GPS chip to acquire dog's position and a sim card to send that data back to you. It has a wide range just like your phone but the sim card has a monthly fee.
This is an old school version which is usually bulkier for your pet to carry around. However you don't need to pay a monthly fee but need to have a radio trans-receiver to receive the signal of where your dog is.
It could be useful where cellular coverage is poor. If it has a GPS chip, the tracker device will be able to send you the coordinates where your dog is.
Otherwise it will send you only the direction and distance of where your pup is. The rest is playing "hide and seek".
This is the usual Bluetooth technology we're used to. It'll have a much smaller area to track though.
You can use it more as an alert that your pet is getting out of the safe zone. However, it'll be useless to find them if they made a dash for it already.
Microchip for Dogs vs Dog Tracker
Microchips that are implanted under the skin have nothing to do with dog trackers. They're simply identification tools.
If a dog is lost and found, a vet would be able to use a scanner to read information stored in the microchip to find the owner.
However these microchips are not GPS tracking chips and will not send you any location data of where your dog is.
You can think of them as an id tag.
Waterproof VS Splash Proof
This might be a huge benefit or an unnecessary feature, depending on your dog. Almost all dog GPS trackers in the UK are splash proof and rain proof, meaning they won’t be damaged by a little spray of water.
But only some are fully waterproof and suitable for a good swim.
If you like taking your pet in the great outdoors and he’s prone to swimming or playing fetch in the water, a water proof one is a great option for you.
While keeping an eye on your dog, you can also let your mind be at ease. If he escapes your vision for a second or two, you can easily find him - whether he’s in the water or on dry land!
Activity tracking is another feature that will sound appealing to some and seem frivolous to others.
Fitness trackers for humans are extremely popular, and activity trackers for dogs work much the same way.
Some of these products offer in-depth insight into your dog’s exercise habits, if that’s of interest to you.
Activity tracking monitors things like sleep, running, steps, speed, etc. This can be fun if you want an inside peek into the secret life of your dog!
It’s also helpful to see if he’s getting enough movement and exercise throughout the day.
Using one or a mix of cellular (which needs monthly subscription similar to mobile phones), wifi, radio frequency or buetooth technologies, it tries to track the position of your dog and send it to your phone.
If you're using a radio frequency tracker, then you'd need a trans-receiver.
It really depends on where you're located. Cellular trackers have a wide range for tracking but may not be very reliable if the coverage is poor.
Bluetooth has a very short range and radio frequency systems need a trans-receiver. Usually most dog trackers available online nowadays use GPS and sim card.
You can find reliable well constructed dog trackers at a variety of price points in the UK. It can be as low as £30 or over £100.
There are cheaper and more expensive alternatives, however we wouldn't suggest to go with a cheap option if it's not reliable or overpay what a £30 dog tracker can easily deliver.
While all of the dog tracking collars on our list are highly-functional and dependable, some stand out if you have specific needs.
With most trackers you might be able to monitor your dog’s physical activity throughout the day. They can offer helpful, interesting insight into your dog’s habits and movements including play, calories, sleep, and relaxation.
For example, if your pup is an avid swimmer, you might get a lot of use out of the newest version of Tractive GPS. It’s fully waterproof and durable, so it can withstand a lot of outdoor water romping and fetching.
Overall, the best dog trackers are ones that are lightweight and comfortable while also being accurate and dependable.
Whichever you choose, it will no doubt go a long way to keep your pup monitored, safe, and sound so you can breathe a little easier. Even when he’s out of your sight, your pup is never out of your mind.
And with trackers, his exact location isn’t either!
Haven't decided yet? Here is the top 4 in a nutshell:
Our Top Picks
- SUBSCRIPTION NEEDED - starting from only £4 /month*. No mobile fees, no...
- LIVE MODE & UNLIMITED RANGE - Follow every step with location updates every...
- VIRTUAL FENCE - Set safe spaces - like your yard - and mark places your dog...
- 【Embedded SIM Version】New Pawfit 2 includes embedded SIM with coverage...
- 【Activity Monitoring】 Pawfit provides the most accurate update of your...
- 【Protection Features】 By using the latest text-to-speech technology,...
- ♾️ NO DISTANCE LIMIT - The GPS tracker has no distance limit Track your...
- 📍 REAL-TIME GPS TRACKING - The GPS tracker constantly sends its...
- ⚠️ ANTI-ESCAPE ALERT - Set up safe zones to be automatically notified...
- GPS TRACKING OF YOUR PET - With this GPS tracker collar, you can locate...
- SAFE AREA - Thanks to the GPS detector, you can see where your pet goes...
- ACTIVITY MONITORING - You can measure your pet's steps, minutes, running,...
So, which one did you choose?
Now that you're equipped with all the necessary knowledge to choose the best, why not let us know which is your favourite in the comment section below.
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