If you have a friendly pet that you allow to roam around the neighborhood or that you don’t keep on a leash or in a cage, you might feel safer if you track your pet with a GPS tracker that allows you to monitor where it’s at, where it’s going, and if it is going too far.
In this article, we’ll list some of the best GPS trackers for your pet.
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Table of Contents
- 4 Best Pet GPS Trackers
- Which Is The Best Overall GPS Pet Tracker? Final Words:
- Range of a GPS Pet Tracker
- Sizing a GPS Pet Tracker
- GPS Pet Tracker Lifespans
- GPS Pet Trackers Safety
- Part 15 Compliant GPS Pet Trackers
- GPS Pet Track Battery Life
- GPS Tracker Comfort
- GPS Pet Tracker Controls
- How Accurate is a GPS Pet Tracker?
- Do Different Breeds Need Different Types of Devices?
4 Best Pet GPS Trackers
1. Whistle 3 – Best GPS Dog Tracker
The Whistle 3 pet tracker is only 0.92 ounces and is very compact in its cube-shaped package.
A drawback is that it doesn’t come with an included collar and you have to attach it to the collar your dog already wears. It is compatible with any collar or harness that is up to 1-inch wide.
It also requires a subscription plan for on-demand location tracking (starting from 6.95 dollars per month). Most high-end pet trackers do though and compared to those, the Whistle 3 is pretty affordable.
The Whistle 3 is going to withstand any activity that your pet is engaged with as it’s dirt, shock, and water-resistant. You have to make sure your neighborhood has AT&T 3G coverage as the positioning info is provided by this carrier.
The Whistle 3 sticks mostly to the basics and doesn’t have over-the-top features like meal logs or medication reminders. However, it does enable you to create multiple “safe zones” for your pet.
This allows you to pick more than one area where your pet would be considered safe to roam, depending on where your pet usually goes to.
Each time your pet leaves or enters the safe zone, the Whistle 3 will notify you. And if your pet goes beyond the Wi-Fi range, the tracker will automatically start using cellular and GPS technology to enable you to keep an eye on their whereabouts.
There are also some activity tracking features and rest monitoring that help you make sure your pet is getting enough activity.
You can set custom goals or notifications to be sent if there are radical changes in your pet’s activity or sleeping patterns.
A little bit like a Fitbit for your pet.
The Whistle 3’s battery life is around 7 days, which pretty decent.
- Compact design
- Battery life is long
- Great price for the functionality
- Doesn’t come with the collar included
The Whistle 3 cleverly combines all the things you might look for in a pet’s GPS tracker: great performance, affordable price, and compact size. Although it doesn’t include the collar in the package, it’s the best bang for your buck.
2. Trax Play – An Excellent GPS Dog Collar
Unlike most pet GPS trackers, the Trax Play doesn’t require a smartphone to operate and uses an online web application besides the smartphone app.
The Trax Play doesn’t offer many features and extras, but the things it does offer are very customizable including geofencing and outdoor tracking.
You can set your pet’s safe zones in any polygon shape you want or even draw them freehand. You can also choose to make them active on certain days of the week.
This means you can choose a pre-set safe zone for different possible scenarios.
The homepage is basically a map that shows you where the tracker (you) is, and a geofencing tab enables you to customize your pet’s safe zones, and a third tab allows you to locate your dog using augmented reality.
The Trax Play has a sleep mode to conserve battery life.
After 5 minutes of inactivity, the tracker goes to sleep and reactivates as soon as the pet starts moving again.
This means that the battery will last you more than a day even if you request 15-second location updates. You can also choose different intervals to get updates ranging from 10 seconds to 60 seconds.
You would need a subscription plan that is either 54 dollars for six months, 72 dollars for a year, or 96 for two years.
It uses T-Mobile 2G as a cellular service provider whose coverage is a little bit less comprehensive than AT&Ts.
A big drawback regarding the Trax is that it isn’t water-proof. This is okay if you’re planning to use it on a cat or a dog that doesn’t particularly like water. If your pet likes jumping into water, then you might disregard the Trax.Pros
- Doesn’t require a smartphone to operate
- T-Mobile has stronger coverage in rural areas
- Long-term subscriptions are chea
- A lot of customization options
- Not water-proof
- Might not sit as securely on the collar as other options
The Trax Play GPS tracker is a nice, affordable tracker that gives you a lot of customizable safe areas for your pet.
On the one hand, it’s not water-proof, but on the other, it has battery-preserving techniques that extend it’s battery life a bit longer.
3. Link AKC Smart Collar
The Link AKC Smart Collar comes in both an elegant leather or black sporty edition to fit whatever style you want your pet to wear.
And while it looks great and stylish, its features and performance are what truly make it a great GPS tracking device.
The package includes a collar, a water, and shock-resistant tracker, a collar carrier to attach the tracker to, a base station, and a power cord.
It can fit both dogs and cats of any size as the collar sizes range from XS to XL.
If you want on-demand location tracking, you’ll need a service plan that is enabled by the AT&T cellular network that starts at 6.95 dollars per month.
It also includes access to a Pet Poison Hotline, free collar size exchange, and Amazon Alexa integration.
Once your device is activated, you can go on as many off-leash adventures as you want with your pet. You’ll enjoy the accurate location tracking provided by the advanced GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular data.
You can use the Bluetooth with the Link AKC’s base station to create a safe zone that your app will send you alerts if your pet leaves.
The Link AKC Smart Collar also provides you with an “Adventure” feature that records walks, hikes, and trips in a virtual scrapbook with maps and photo included.
It also enables you to manage your dog’s health and wellbeing with activity tracking, activity recommendations regarding your dog’s weight, breed, and behavior, and the ability to store vet records and reminders.
The Link AKC Smart Collar also has a temperate alert that notifies you when your pet is in an environment that may be too hot or too cold for them.
It also has LED lights that can be turned on remotely to provide them with safety at night.
Its battery life lasts up to 3 days.Pros
- Stylish look
- The app is very easy to use
- Diversified safety features including LED lights and temperature alerts
- A lot of sizes that fit pets of different sizes
- May not suit smaller dogs or cats
- A bit pricey
The Link AKC Smart Collar delivers great location, activity, and wellbeing tracking features. It’s an all-in-all great device.
4. Findster Duo+ – A Great Tracker for Pets
The system of the Findster Duo+ is based on two modules: the Pet module that you attach to your pet’s collar and which locates its positions by communicating with GPS satellites, and the Guardian module that you can attach to a keychain or keep in your pocket.
Without the need for a SIM card, cellular coverage, or monthly fees, you can check your pet’s location in real-time.
As long as your pet is in a three miles’ range, Findster’s MAZE technology is going to be at work to keep the wireless communication between the two modules of the Findster Duo+.
The Guardian module also serves as an intermediary between the Pet module and your smartphone.
It sends the GPS data attained by the Pet module to the smartphone via Bluetooth.
The Findster Duo+ lets you create 3 different GPS fences.
The first is a virtual leash that automatically moves with you. The second is a Safe Zone that allows you to set the area in which your pet should be.
And finally, the third is a Danger Zone that lets you define areas your pet shouldn’t go to.
You will get notified if your pet goes beyond the virtual leash or safe zone into the danger zone.
If you complete your pet’s profile on the Findster app, you can keep track of their activity and movement.
Much like a fitness tracker for humans, you can also receive reports on time spent walking or rest, paws or distance walked, and even set weekly and daily goals.Pros
- No monthly fees
- No cellular coverage needed
- Works anywhere
- GPS might be inaccurate in denser areas
With the Findster Duo+ is a great tracker to provide you with real-time location info without needing cellular coverage or requiring any monthly fees. It works with all your pet’s adventures and roaming, even in off-the-grid areas.
Which Is The Best Overall GPS Pet Tracker? Final Words:
Generally, when you’re buying a GPS tracker for your pet, you want to look at the durability, price, subscription fees (if any), water-resistance, and features.
All of the aforementioned choices can work on both dogs and cats.
The top-notch choice would be the Link AKC Smart Collar.
A more affordable runner-up would be the Whistle 3. The Trax is even more affordable than the former 2, but it’s a little lacking in features when compared to them.
Finally, the Findster Duo+ is a perfect choice if you want a simpler tracking with no cellular requirements or monthly fees.
Range of a GPS Pet Tracker
You’ve probably seen claims that all GPS pet trackers have a virtually unlimited range. Technically, though, that’s sort of right.
Some units work by physically tracking satellites while others do everything with cellular towers. Regardless, they’re work as long as they’re linked to a tower that can somehow communicate with your phone.
In theory, you could use this kind of a configuration to track objects on the whole other side of the world!
That being said, you should think of your range as limited by local cellular connectivity. If you’re going to be somewhere without towers, then you should consider yourself functionally out of range.
Sizing a GPS Pet Tracker
Finding the right size smart collar for your dog is like finding the right size of nearly any kind of collar for them. You’ll want to make sure that it isn’t too tight or loose.
Certain pet trackers can be placed around their back or on any other piece of pet gear. These might be a good fit for those who are afraid that their four-legged friends will throw a collar off their neck.
This is also a good pick for those who have pets that like to play rough and therefore might ruin anything that you plan to have them wear around their neck.
GPS Pet Tracker Lifespans
Depending on how hard your dog is on the equipment, the average smart collar can last a while. There’s a few things that you can do to ensure it lasts a bit longer than normal, however.
Make sure to re-energize it at different charge levels all the time, which can help to prevent the memory effect from occurring. Clean it off whenever you’re done letting your dog run around.
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t want to get it wet either. However, this isn’t really realistic in most scenarios.
Always clean it off when you find your pet and get rid of any moisture. This should help to prolong the lifespan.
That being said, smart collars should never be completely submerged.
GPS Pet Trackers Safety
Since most trackers are really light, they’re not going to pull on your dog too much. You do want to make sure that the battery compartment is closely tightly, however, so there’s no risk that any water will get inside.
That ensures that your pet doesn’t suffer from any risk of problems.
Some units have a small screw that holds the compartment in place. If that’s the case, then you might want to invest in a special electronics screwdriver to keep the housing tight and your pet safe.
A few pet owners have suggested using the little bit that comes attached to a Swiss Army Knife!
Safety-minded pet owners should also make sure their GPS tracker is compliant.
Part 15 Compliant GPS Pet Trackers
Part 15 is a portion of the FCC rule book that deals with unlicensed transmissions. If you have a GPS tracker that’s compliant with these rules, then that means safety inspectors have picked over it to make sure it won’t hurt your pet or interfere with anybody else’s techie gadgets.
You may notice that a specific tracker claims to be compliant with some other FCC rules. That means it has undergone additional certifications.
Normally, you should be good as long as you buy equipment from a well-known manufacturer that gets good marks on Amazon.
GPS Pet Track Battery Life
Considering that questions regarding batteries are pretty common when thinking about nearly any kind of wireless pet gadget, you probably want to know how long these will last.
Look for ones with a lithium battery, since they tend to have the longest lifespans. Unfortunately, most pet manufacturers won’t bother telling you what kind of battery they shoved in the unit.
A good rule of thumb is that if it has a USB charger or anything that looks like one, it runs off a lithium battery that will last a while.
GPS Tracker Comfort
A few pet owners have reported that their dogs really don’t like wearing the tracker module. If you have this problem, then you might want to consider using a little bit of padding underneath the unit.
Make sure that your dog never gets any sort of rash from their collar. You’ll want to try out a lighter GPS tracker if the one you’re using is too heavy for them.
GPS Pet Tracker Controls
Quite a few manufacturers offer pretty sparse documentation when it comes to explaining what you’re supposed to do with your pet tracker!
Those that use mobile apps should be pretty self-explanatory once you have everything synced up. If you can’t figure out the controls right away, then it’s best to experiment with it while it’s not hooked to your dog’s collar.
How Accurate is a GPS Pet Tracker?
You’ve probably heard a great deal about how you need access to four individual satellites to keep an object accurately tracked when using GPS technology. While this might be a concern when tracking motor vehicles, you probably shouldn’t have any problem with your pet.
Assuming that they’re not injured, your dog should more than likely come to you when called which makes completely accurate tracking unnecessary. In more serious cases, you’ll be able to find them quickly once you get close enough to the position on the tracker.
This means most accuracy concerns are kind of a moot point.
Do Different Breeds Need Different Types of Devices?
While you’re not going to want to give a huge heavy GPS pet tracker to a small dog, it’s not like you need a specific type of GPS tracker for any specific breed.
It’s best not to give any tracker to a very small dog. Then again, you probably won’t be going on very many grand adventures with any member of a toy breed.