There are two main types of dog trackers in the market. They either use GPS technology or radio frequency through a microchip to work. In regards to a GPS tracker, the tracker functions by issuing a radio signal. The signal from the tracker on the dog, which typically is attached to its collar, is then sent to your GPS unit.
Because it’s using GPS technology, the signal allows you to know the exact location of your dog. However, it is subject to distortion and loss due to terrain. Radio signals have a difficult time transmitting through objects. If your dog happens to be in a thick forest, then it may interfere with the GPS unit.
GPS units also have to be attached to a dog’s collar. If they’re running through the bushes, then there’s a chance that the GPS tracker might get pulled off. You’ll find the bush, but not your dog.
The other kind of tracker is based on radio frequency and emits via a microchip that’s inserted under your dog’s skin. It works similarly to a GPS system except that it doesn’t contain GPS technology. You may be informed about the general whereabouts of your dog, but you won’t be able to know their exact location.
Radiofrequency signals can also become weakened due to thick terrain and uneven ground.
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Best Uses For A GPS Dog Tracker
If you want to use a GPS tracker to keep an eye on your dog, then you have an advantage over microchip trackers. GPS trackers can tell you the exact location where your dog is. Even if you lose the tracker’s signal because of the terrain, you can still follow the last known location of the signal.
Instead of having to guess where your dog is, you can head in the direction of the signal and find your dog.
GPS trackers are best for those who use their dogs to hunt. If you have to release your dog out in the wild to sniff out the game, then it’s vital that you’re able to find them again. Using a beep collar or dog bells isn’t viable for hunters as it can scare their targets away. A GPS tracker is quiet and ensures you can find your dog again after they’ve trapped your prey.
They’re also good for hikers. If you love to take your dog on a hike, then you can be sure you can find them if they run off without you through a GPS tracker. While you’ll have to be wary of the terrain, having a GPS tracker can give you some confidence in being able to locate your dog again. It’s also a good way to keep yourself safe. Give an additional GPS unit to someone who is at home. If you stick with your dog and become lost, they can use the tracker to find you both.
Finally, GPS trackers are good for everyday use. If your dog has a tendency to run off or you’re just worried that they might, a GPS tracker can give you peace of mind.
Best Uses For Dog Microchips
Dog microchips aren’t ideal for tracking them if they’re lost. They’re actually better used for identification. Each microchip contains a unique number. When your dog is lost and found by someone else, they can bring them to the vet. The vet is able to scan for the microchip and receive the identification number.
By calling that number into the manufacturer’s database, they’re able to identify the dog’s owner and inform them that their dog has been found.
While some microchips can be used to also track a dog, it doesn’t give exact locations like GPS trackers. If you lose the signal, then you only have a general idea of where your dog’s last location was.
In this case, a microchip is good to have in the event that your dog is completely lost. It can help vets return your dog to you. However, you have to rely on others or animal control to find your dog first.
Microchips are also useful because they’re inserted just beneath the skin. Whereas GPS trackers can become knocked off, a microchip will remain snugly within your dog.
Can You Track Your Pet With A Microchip?
You cannot track your pet with a microchip like you can with a GPS tracker. Microchips are primarily to help identify animals and notify owners. While they do emit a short-range radio frequency, it isn’t enough to actually use them as a way to track them. At most, you can use the information about where your dog was identified to establish a known last location for them.
How Much Does It Cost To Put A Tracker In A Dog?
If you’re interested in having a microchip inserted into your dog or cat, then you’ll find that the price is reasonable. Most vets charge around $45 to have the microchip inserted within the pet. This is a one-time fee. Vets will also sometimes register the pet into the manufacturer’s database for you.
In some cases, if you buy your dog from a breeder, they may already be microchipped. You’ll want to receive any information you can from the breeder if this is the case.
Insertion of the microchip is similar to receiving a vaccination for your dog.
When it comes to the cost of a GPS tracker, you’re looking at something more expensive. The price varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, yet you’ll find that the average cost ranges from $80 to $250.
One difference between the GPS tracker and the microchip in terms of price is that some GPS trackers also require you to pay a monthly subscription fee. The subscription enables you to use track your dog via their software.
If your GPS tracker already costs a lot, then you’ll have to determine if the subscription is worth it to you.
Luckily, there are some GPS trackers that do not require you to pay a monthly fee.